From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
December 2015 Issue

I Am Conservation

David and Melissa Sanford acquired Brush Creek Farm in 2009, and they have worked the past five years converting the land from overgrown fields of rank fescue, sericea lespedeza, and cedars to fields of abundant wildflowers, native warm-season grasses, and a 10-acre restored prairie. I am Conservation 12-2015“We wanted a place to train our English springer field spaniels, to enjoy nature, and to learn about native plants,” said Melissa Sanford. “We moved from a golf course community in Springfield and had no idea how to run a farm. We soon learned that land needs care and commitment.” The couple contacted the Department’s Private Land Services staff for assistance. The Department helped them develop a plan and assisted with restoring over 80 acres to native grasses and forbs. “It takes at least three years to reestablish warm-season grasses,” said Melissa Sanford, “The first few years we had drought and lost them all. But we replanted, and now we have beautiful big bluestem, Indian grass, switch grass, and others. This year, some of it was 9 feet tall.” The couple said they hope the land will serve as a legacy to their family and to fellow spaniel enthusiasts. “Upland bird hunting is a passion for many, and passing this on to our son and our grandchildren is so important to us both,” said Melissa Sanford. “We are expecting our first grandchild in February, and he will be raised knowing the importance of upland bird hunting.”

—photograph by Noppadol Paothong

Also in this issue

German Shorthair and an English Pointer

Sporting-Dog Rescue

“Second-chance” bird dogs can enrich your life in the field and at home.

Flooded Timber at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

Wondrous Wetlands

The Department is planning for the future so the wonder continues for generations to come.

Stars over Castor River Shut-ins

Discovering Nature at Night

Discovering nature doesn’t end when the sun sets. All you need is a clear night and an open sky.

And More...

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This Issue's Staff:

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler