Master Naturalists in the News

Larry Maggard Prepares Dutch Treats

View our own Larry Maggard at preparing Dutch treats in a demonstration of Dutch oven cooking Friday, July 12. Larry, who specializes in primitive skills and outdoor living, is shown preparing Scotch eggs with the Greater Ozarks Dutch Oven Group in Republic.

Bob Korpella Receives Environmental Excellence Award

President Michael Baird presented Bob Korpella with the 2013 Springfield Master Naturalist Environmental Excellence Award at the Choose Environmental Excellence award luncheon April 19. The award has previously gone to Joe Kleiber and Bob Kipfer. Here’s a view of the ornate knife with a blade of Damascus steel that the chapter gave Bob.

Bob joined the Master Naturalists in 2011 and currently serves as program chair. He has given hundreds of hours of service, including many classroom presentations on mammals, insects and aquatics. For the latter, he developed an aquatic trunk to add to the others that Master Naturalists use in classrooms.  He also serves on a local Stream Team, and you’ll find him lending a hand with other Master Naturalists at many other volunteer opportunities.


Professionally, Bob is editor and publisher of, devoted to the Ozarks outdoors. He is a freelance writer and photographer and occasionally does human resources consulting. His blog, “Fresh Air,” is well worth a visit.


Bob Ranney Writes About Water and Walleyes

Follow this link to Bob’s article about his love for water and walleyes  in the March 21 Springfield News-Leader.

Jennifer Ailor Writes About Trees for Springfield News-Leader

The Springfield News-Leader printed an essay and photo of Jennifer Ailor on trees in the Aug. 23 Go! section of the paper. Here’s a link.

Tana Pulles Joins City as Environmental Educator

In July, Tana Pulles, class of 2011, joined the Barbara Lucks’ team in the Department of Environmental Services at the City of Springfield as an educational outreach specialist. Seems like a perfect fit!

Tapping into her classroom experience and love of the outdoors, Tana will help plan, develop and implement comprehensive community-wide environmental/conservation education/information programs on waste reduction, recycling, water quality protection, water conservation, air quality protection and related environmental/conservation education promotion and comunnications.

We Lost a Good One:  Joe Kleiber

The chapter has been following the sad deterioration of member Joe Kleiber following a tragic accident in April in which he lost the use of his legs. On Friday afternoon, July 27, he passed away.  Graveside services Friday, Aug. 3, were followed by a family lunch in Nixa, which Master  Naturalist members helped provide for.

This fall, likely September, the family plans a tribute to Joe at the Gardens of Woodfield in Nixa, which he was very active in developing.  Our chapter will respond at that time with an appropriate memorial.

You’ll recall that we honored Joe with the chapter’s second Environmental Excellence Award in April. 

Gala Solari Welcomes Visitors to New Dewey Short Visitor Center

In April, our own Gala Solari was featured in a front-page Springfield News-Leader article about the opening of the new 15,000 sq. ft. Dewey Short Visitor Center on Table Rock Lake. Gala is the assistant director of the Ozarks Rivers Heritage Foundation, which operates the center.

The center sits on the south end of Table Rock Dam. You can walk a 2.2-mile trail, watch a video about the making of the dam, participate in interactive displays or simply enjoy the beauty of the LEED Gold-certified building and the “best views” of the lake outside its windows. And if you’re lucky, you may run into Gala and get a tour with a Master Naturalist’s perspective.

Jeremiah Moorhead Helps the Homeless

As you drive down Commercial Street, it’s hard to miss the Missouri Hotel, long known as a shelter for the homeless. But it’s the little white virtually unmarked building next door where Jeremiah Moorhead works, and what goes on inside is anything but boring.

“I help run Bill’s Place, which is a drop in center for the homeless, where…just a place to get out of the weather, and drink coffee, do their laundry, take showers,” said our own Jeremiah Moorhead in a March 20 interview on KSMU. He is an outreach specialist with Burrell Homeless Services who works out of Bill’s Place, next to the Missouri Hotel on Commercial St. Bill’s Place offers temporary shelter to the homeless.

Read more about Jeremiah at

Buck Advocates for the Regal Fritillary to Become a State Monarch of Sorts

Master Naturalist Buck Keagy testified in February before the Missouri House of Representatives to designate the Regal Fritillary butterfly the state butterfly. The Regal Fritillary is a relatively rare prairie butterfly. Rep. Charlie Dennison, shown with Buck, has attached the proposal to a veterans-related bill he is sponsoring, the idea being that the House and eventually the Senate would be likely to support anything for veterans.

While the designation of a state butterfly won’t be front-page news, we can take pride that our own champion of butterflies started the process.


Snowy Owls Invade Missouri

Charley Burwick and Janice Greene were quoted recently in a national news story about the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and this season’s snowy owl invasion. The story ran in several newspapers across the country. Here’s a link: And here’s Charley’s photo of an owl at Smithville Lake north of Kansas City.

Ten Master Naturalists participated in the Taney County bird count and others in the Greene County count, both in December. Numbers of birds and numbers of species were both down, probably the consequence of weather and drought.

The bird counts are an excellent opportunity to view and learn about birds from local experts and to pick up some service hours at the same time. Talk to Charley about participating next December.

Good Fires on the Prairie

Read the Springfield News-Leader’s article on the importance of fire for a healthy prairie. You’ll find our own Linda Ellis present at a recent prescribed burn on Woods Prairie in Lawrence County, identifying rattlesnake master, black-eyed susan, spurge and more plants. Our own super blog also has a synopsis. 

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