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April Monthly Meeting

Our April Meeting will take place on Friday April 5th! Join us at 7:30 a.m. at the Watershed Center. 

Loring Bullard and Robert Kipfer will discuss their newly published book, Saving Bull Creek. It describes the history of the Bull Creek watershed from Native American habitation to the present and looks at the impact of human activity on a fragile ecosystem. “The authors ask readers to do their part to protect this unique natural resource for the enjoyment of future generations of people, plants, and animals,” says the Missouri State University’s Ozarks Studies Institute.

Following the presentation, the Natural Resource Conservation Service will give a quarterly update, and meeting attendees are encouraged to share brief updates.

Above: ‘Saving Bull Creek’ cover with art by Jane Troup

About the authors:

Loring Bullard is the Watershed Planning/Grant Assistant for the James River Basin Partnership and serves on the Ozarks Land Trust Board. He served for 23 years as Watershed’s Executive Director and before that, Loring was an Environmental Health Supervisor at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. He has also published three water-related books: one for the Watershed Press titled Consider the Source; A History of the Springfield Public Water Supply; one for the University of Missouri Press titled Healing Waters: Missouri’s Historical Mineral Springs and Spas, and one for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources called Springs of Greene County. Loring has a lifelong love of water and enjoys canoeing and fishing on Ozark streams.

Bob and Barb Kipfer acquired land on Bull Creek in Christian County in 1995 and expanded it to 400 acres. This 8-mile stretch of Bull Creek is designated as one of the Outstanding Waters of Missouri. Here, they have focused on bank stabilization, riparian plantings, prescribed fire, invasive management, and timber stand improvements on portions of their oak-hickory forest, certified by the American Tree Farm system. They have completed a permanent stream conservation easement with MDC, including a mile of Bull Creek and three intermittent streams that feed into it. To further protect the future of the land, they have completed a remainder trust with Missouri State University, which will assume ownership when they are unable to manage it. This includes a 50-year obligation to maintain it and not sell it. This work has encouraged neighbors to complete their own remediation projects, further protecting the Bull Creek Priority Conservation Area!

Bob and Barb are active in the conservation community. Following their retirement 15 years ago, they joined the Springfield Plateau Chapter of Missouri Master Naturalists. Bob served two terms as President, and Barb is the current President and Master Naturalist representative on Missouri Prairie Foundation’s GrowNative! Board. Together, they have written over 1,3000 entries for the chapter’s blog. They are also members of the Stream Team which monitors water quality along the upper Bull Creek. They have volunteered to assist with field trips with the WOLF School, “taught through the lens of nature,” in Springfield for 11 years, and, for the last six years, have been teaching weekly for 2 hours in the classroom. They involve Missouri State and Memphis Universities in research on their property to further incorporate the outdoors in education and sustainability with hands-on experience.

Their efforts at Bull Creek have received due credit:

  • Letter of recognition in 2010 for work with MDC Black Bear Project
  • Tree Farmer of the Year 2013- Missouri Tree Farm Committee
  • Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year- 2014, hosted the State Tree Farm Conference
  • Community Outreach Award 2011 – Missouri Forest Keepers Network
  • Letter of Recognition 2011 – Missouri Chapter, American Fisheries Society
  • Forest Advocates Award 2011 – Missouri Forest Keepers Network
  • Water Warrior Volunteer of the Year 2015 – Ozarks Water Watch
  • Forest Keeper Advocate of 2016, Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri
  • Fantastic Forestkeeper 2019 – Missouri Forest Keepers Network
  • Conservationist of the Year 2016 – Conservation Federation of Missouri
  • Special Achievement Award 2022, National Wildlife Federation

This meeting will be at the Watershed Center, 2400 E Valley Water Mill Road, Springfield, MO 65803.