We’ve said it before here at The Buzz, and we’re saying it again:
Jay Nixon is Missouri’s Teddy Roosevelt.
The 26th president of the United States was proud of his conservation work and wound up establishing the Forest Service and creating five national parks.
Well, just in the last week or so Nixon has taken a couple of steps to cement his legacy as one of Missouri’s top conservation governors.
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Last week, he cut a ribbon on a 47.5 mile hike-and-bike trail linking Pleasant Hill, southeast of Kansas City, to the Katy Trail State Park. It’s now possible to bike from Pleasant Hill southeast of KC to St. Louis on the abandoned railroad property.
On Friday, the avid outdoorsman announced the creation of three new state parks in southern Missouri that his office said would have some of the state’s most distinctive natural landscapes and features on their more than 8,000 acres,
“These new state parks ensure that we can protect and preserve these valuable natural landscapes for generations to come,” Nixon said in a statement. “At a time when other states are closing or even selling state parks or charging day use fees, we are expanding our system of state parks to offer more opportunities for Missourians to experience the outdoors at no admission cost.”
The new parks include:
▪ Ozark Mountain State Park, with 1,011 acres, features an open, grassy, flower-filled landscape of ridges and hills, known locally as knobs. The property is located in Taney County, northwest of Branson along Highway 465.
▪ Bryant Creek State Park, with 2,917 acres, consists of thick oak and pine forests and nearly two miles of river hills and bluffs along Bryant Creek. The property is located in Douglas County, near the Ozark County line approximately 22 miles southeast of Ava.
▪ Eleven Point State Park, with 4,167 acres, includes six miles of direct river frontage on the Eleven Point River, a nationally protected river corridor. The property is located in Oregon County approximately 45 miles east of West Plains, near Alton.
The state park system purchased the Eleven Point State Park for $8 million, Bryant Creek State Park for $4 million and Ozark Mountain State Park for $2.8 million.
Money for the purchases came from settlements reached with mining companies that had operated in the state. The purchase of Ozark Mountain State Park and Bryant Creek State Park also included some state park funds designated for land acquisitions.