Stewardship on the Missouri River 2022

Job Point Partnership Creates Meaningful Experiences Outdoors

We partnered with JobPoint to bring members of the YouthBuild program to the Missouri River. Four cohorts of Youth Builders from Columbia, Kansas City, Saint Joseph, and Saint Louis were able to get out on the river totaling 62 participants. After a big muddy welcome to the Missouri River and introduction to other cohorts, we kicked off a fun day exploring and enjoying the Missouri River.

On shore, participants made observations of the Missouri River and created a watercolor of the Missouri River. Time spent watercoloring is often a chance for participants to unplug and relax, something that can be more and more difficult to find time to do with our daily schedules and responsibilities.  Participants also tried their hand at catfishing with a local fisherman and crew member, Soda Popp. Although no catfish were caught, it was still a perfect day to learn the basics of fishing. Everyone also very much enjoyed Soda Popp sharing his experiences growing up on the river. 

                        Photo by Liz Sensintaffar, JobPoint

The other half of the participants were on the water. They climbed onto the boats after being fitted for lifejackets and the captains motored them to different sections of the river to do a river clean up. Throughout the day, tires, lamps, and even a box spring were found and brought back to the boat ramp where it was disposed of correctly. After an incredible catfish lunch fried up by the Job Point staff, the river and land groups switched to explore a new aspect of the river in the afternoon. Overall, the day was an opportunity for members to become more familiar with the Missouri River while meeting with other young adults from all over the state.

“This was my first time visiting and was very excited about being a part of the day and the activities. I will be ready to come back next year!”
—JobPoint Volunteer

We would like to give a big muddy thank you to our presenters Soda Popp and Christina Ritz, and all of our amazing boat captains and volunteers for their time and energy. We would also like to thank our partners at Job Point and their volunteers for making such an amazing program like this possible. To see more photos from this program and more, see our Flickr here. 

Photo by Liz Sensintaffar, JobPoint

 Photo by Kristen Schulte

Photo by Liz Sensintaffar, JobPoint

In Honor of Phillip Masters

This year, we were heartbroken learn of the news that our friend and crewmate Phillip Masters passed sometime in early June 2022. We met Phillip when his mother ran the store at Cooper’s Landing. Phillip and his daughter Willow helped at cleanups in the area. Then Phillip started walking a darker path that led to jail. When he was released, he found help and inspiration at JobPoint and he reached out to us to get more involved.

Phillip learned boat operations and helped at many river cleanups and events. He helped us build our successful ongoing cleanup and education program with Job Point and shared his story with the participants. Phillip was a caring, passionate and visionary person who struggled with mental illness, trauma, and addiction. We are heartbroken by this unnecessary end to Phillip’s story.  But let us see in Phillip’s story a reminder to look for the possibility of redemption in those you love.

We put together a photo album you can browse here of Philips adventures with us.

Thank you to our Sponsors

Missouri River Relief would like to extend a Big Muddy thank you to each and every one of the volunteers, guest speakers, and our partners at AmeriCorps for making this possible.

This event would not have been possible without the enthusiastic participation from Job Point’s volunteers and staff. Missouri River Relief would like to thank Jerrell Morton for continuing to provide new opportunities for those in the YouthBuild program.

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