Thanks to you and other supporters, the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) and its Grow Native! program accomplish a sustained, high level of conservation activity to benefit prairie and people, and to promote the use of native plants. We invite you to make a year-end contribution to help us continue to deliver our award-winning conservation work.
MPF owns and manages some of Missouri’s most biologically diverse prairies—30 properties totaling more than 4,300 acres. Our stewardship sustains the stunning biodiversity of these prairies and their natural integrity, making them irreplaceable sites for prairie wildlife conservation and research. Through our work with partners, we help protect thousands of additional acres.
In 2022—with an active board of directors, Grow Native! committee, other valued volunteers, only four employees working in the field and from home offices, trusted contractors, and thanks to generous gifts from supporters like you—MPF has completed an incredible amount of work including these highlights:
- Dedicated four recent MPF prairie acquisitions—Edgar W. Schmidt Sand Prairie, Thoh-dah Prairie, Shelton L. Cook Memorial Meadow, and Goodnight-Henry Prairie.
- Continued monitoring for potential prairie remnants to acquire and protect, and, as of this mailing, have recently identified two prairies for potential acquisition.
- Organized a free virtual Annual Dinner, featuring guest speaker Dr. Reed Noss, and organized 25 webinars and master classes on many aspects of prairie biology and native landscaping. As of October 30, this programming had total live attendance of 3,670, with more than 6,030 additional views of program recordings on MPF’s YouTube channel, which now has 1,420 subscribers. Additionally, the Grow Native! Southwest Illinois Committee organized a half-day native landscaping workshop in Edwardsville, Illinois.
- Scouted for and treated invasive plants multiple times on nearly all 4,319 acres of MPF prairies, and 602 acres of MDC prairies.
- Conducted prescribed burns on 1,182 acres over portions of 13 MPF prairies, the Ozark Land Trust’s Woods Prairie, and at prairie plantings established by MPF for the City of Joplin. More prescribed burns are planned for the remainder of 2022.
- Planted 1,600 native plants in swales and along the riparian corridor at MPF’s Lordi Marker Prairie.
- Marked trees for winter thinning in the overgrown sand savanna at MPF’s Edgar W. Schmidt Sand Prairie.
- Completed renovation and native landscaping of two bioretention basins and a prairie planting at the City of Bridgeton Recreation Center, continued site preparation for a 40-acre prairie planting at Creve Coeur Park in St. Louis County, and stewarded 50 acres of prairie plantings for the City of Joplin.
- With host partners, organized 14 native plant sales in Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Springfield, Salem, and Sullivan, Missouri.
- Contracted for bird surveys at MPF’s Thoh-dah Prairie and Shelton L. Cook Memorial Meadow, botanical surveys at Edgar W. Schmidt Sand Prairie and Thoh-dah Prairie, leaf beetle surveys at Thoh-dah Prairie, Goodnight-Henry Prairie, and Schwartz Prairie, and pollinator surveys at Carver Prairie, Noah Brown’s Prairie, and Schuette Prairie.
- Organized field tours for professional members of MPF’s Grow Native! program and hosted an in-person Grow Native! Professional Member Conference on November 9, with a virtual option free to MPF members.
- Organized numerous guided hikes and tours to MPF prairies and other native grasslands for students, members, and the general public, provided Bumble Bee Atlas training, further developed MPF’s iNaturalist Citizen Science project, hosted the Paint It Prairie plein air art event at Snowball Hill Prairie, and organized and hosted MPF’s 11th Prairie Bioblitz at Thoh-dah Prairie on National Prairie Day (founded by MPF in 2016).
- Finalized and launched the Grow Native! Professional Certification Program, inviting native plant professionals to register for the certification test, converted the online Grow Native! Resource Guide to a searchable database, added more plants to the searchable Grow Native! Native Plant Database, and inducted five additional sites to the Grow Native! Native Gardens of Excellence program.
- Produced three issues of the Missouri Prairie Journal—now in its 43rd year of publication.
- Awarded Prairie Garden Grants totaling $3,014 to Central Methodist University-Division of Science in Fayette, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Pulaski County Master Gardeners, St. Louis Aquarium Foundation, Lakewood Hills Homeowners Association in Eureka, and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Troop 1791 in St. Charles.
- Staff and board members gave in-person or virtual presentations on prairie and native plants to many groups including the Saint Louis Zoo Pollinator Dinner, Natural Resources Conservation Service Missouri staff, St. Joseph Master Gardeners Symposium, more than 200 fourth-grade students in Vernon County, the Vernon County Historical Society, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, the Cass County Historical Society, and the St. Louis Climate Reality group.
- MPF Director of Prairie Management Jerod Huebner provided in-person training on prairie planting establishment and stewardship to University of Missouri Landscape Services staff and to St. Louis County parks staff. Huebner, along with several board members, also led a hands-on, 2.5-day MPF prairie woodland and prairie management training geared to young professionals at Schuette Prairie.
- The Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP), administered by Grow Native!, finalized its five-year strategic plan, developed new educational resources, and prepared for further collection of stakeholder input on its Cease-the-Sale of invasive plants idea.
Ecologists rank temperate grasslands—which include Missouri’s prairies—as the least conserved, most threatened major terrestrial habitat type on earth. Of Missouri’s original 15 million acres of prairie, fewer than 50,000 acres of intact, scattered remnants remain. Prairie protection efforts in Missouri, therefore, are not only crucial to preserving Missouri’s natural heritage, but also are highly significant to national and even global conservation work. In 2023, we will continue our award-winning conservation work as the only state-based organization dedicated exclusively to prairie protection.
MPF greatly appreciates your support. Please consider making a year-end gift to sustain our award-winning work.
We cannot protect prairies or promote native plants without you!
You can see more in our 2022 Year-in-Review Photo Album here.