From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
April 2019 Issue

Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

Last year at a national conference, I heard an impressive young man from Harlem share his story about how he first fell in love with the outdoors. It wasn’t what I was expecting. He said it all began in Central Park in the heart of New York City. Here he first learned how to fish with the help of several older men planted on a nearby park bench who would call out advice to the novice anglers. His love of the outdoors was born in that busy place.

Memories of the first catch are powerful. In this photo of my first fishing memory at age 3, I’m looking pretty smug at the camera because my brothers, who had “hogged” the only extra rod for what seemed like a lifetime that day, finally had to share with their kid sister. It was my turn now. And on Swan Creek in southwest Missouri, my thrill of fishing first took hold and still runs strong today.

One doesn’t have to travel to the heart of the Ozarks for a great fishing experience in Missouri. MDC offers bountiful fishing opportunities in our urban areas and has been doing so for half a century (see 50 Years of Urban Fishing in St. Louis on Page 10). This past February, it made me smile to see the story of two friends fishing in Forest Park in the heart of St. Louis when one hooked a 26-inch rainbow trout, stocked through MDC’s urban winter trout program. It was only his second time fishing. My guess is he will be hooked for life.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

Also in this issue

Two young anglers hold up their catch

50 Years of Urban Fishing in St. Louis

Born as an experiment, this program has brought fishing home to city folks for five decades.

Falcon take flight against a clear blue sky

The Millennial Falcons

Peregrine population takes flight, thanks to conservation partnerships formed in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

A western foxsnake curled up on a gravel road.

Snake Thieves

Poachers push Missouri’s wild reptiles closer to the edge of existence.

And More...

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This Issue's Staff:

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler