Skip to content
Skip to navigation

River Relief

Updates Entry

River Results this Fall

July - October 2018

Welcome to our new Quarterly "River Results" Newsletter!  Often, our emails are chock full of upcoming events.  This is an opportunity to look back at what's been going on and feature some cool stories.  We hope you'll enjoy seeing the visible and lasting difference this resilient river community is making!




Hartsburg Missouri River Success!

Missouri River Clean-up:  Hartsburg, MO

Over 200 volunteers from the surrounding communities joined us for our annual Mid-Missouri Clean-up on the Missouri River.

“The week before the clean-up, the river had risen well into flood stage, then had quickly fallen 8 feet, leaving the banks and floodplain forest coated in greasy Missouri River mud. During our trash scout on Friday, we were worried that we were going to have a lot of trouble getting our volunteers up the steep banks and through the deep mud to find the trash scattered throughout the woods.

Of course, our hardcore volunteers brought their very best and found more trash than we ever expected to find on our pre-scouted sites.
After just a couple of hours, volunteers collected 143 big bags of trash and removed 38 tires from the banks of the river, totaling 3.3 tons!

While our crew went through the many bags of trash to separate out recycling, we picked out a couple of interesting items to count. We picked light bulbs, airplane bottles and balls of various sizes and types. After going through most of the bags that made it to land, we counted 26 light bulbs, 44 airplane bottles and 68 balls of various sizes.

Thank you so much to our sponsors, partners, volunteers and crew for helping us put on this amazing event. This clean-up was such a great way to end our clean-up season and we are already looking forward to the next one.

photos by Steve Schnarr
Check out this amazing collection of photos here:

Learning with Students


Experiencing the River with Southern Boone FFA 

photo by Melanie Cheney

We had a great day during “Investigating the Missouri River” with Ashland FFA students from Southern Boone County High School on October 18th!

The students started the morning making observations and asking questions about the Missouri River during a guided hike on the Katy Trail. They learned about those that had visited the river before them and how our relationship with the Missouri River has changed over time. In the afternoon, they learned about the creatures that dwell in the river’s depths and cast their rods in hopes of catching one. A big thank you to the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundationand our experienced boat drivers and deckhands: Melanie Cheney, Kevin Tosie,  Patricia L. Farrar,  Patricia Jansen, Theresa Thomas, Laurie Ferretti. Also a big thank you to our Missouri Dept. of Conservation presenters Brian McKeage and Kylie Sellers.


See more photos from the day on our Flickr page!


Learning with State Leaders

Missouri State Leadership Academy learns about policies and impacts of the Big Muddy 

photo by Kristen Schulte

The fall colors provided a beautiful backdrop for Missouri's state employees from the Departments of Natural Resources, Social Services, Labor, Insurance, Transportation, Public Safety, Agriculture, Mental Health, Revenue, Higher Education Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of Administration to discuss the policies that apply to the Missouri River and its surroundings.   

We wove together a historical look at the river and its importance to the people and economy of Missouri.  By sharing the breadth of impacts of the river, we hoped to show the varied connections that many departments, communities, and individuals in our state government have to the river.

See more photos from the day on our Flickr page!


Learning with Teachers

Integrating Water Quality Education Into the Classroom with Kansas City Educators

photo by Kevin Tosie
On October 5th we had a great but soggy day during our teacher workshop with 17 teachers from Shawnee Mission School District.  The teachers spent the day exploring the river ecosystems (sometimes from under a bridge to escape the rain) and learning how human choices have affected the river’s water quality, rhythm, and flow. At the end of the workshop, teachers gained a new understanding of the Missouri River, while making it possible to connect their curriculum to the local water quality issues in their watershed. A big thank you to our experienced boat drivers and deckhands: Kevin Tosie, Dave Stous, Bill Fessler and Joan Leavens.

See more photos from the day on our Flickr page!

New Education Resource:

Introducing "Missouri River Information Packets"

photo by Claire Hassler

The Missouri River is home to fascinating creatures, as well as many issues. That is why we felt it was necessary to develop information packets. In these packets, a broad range of information is introduced and discussed; from the giants who dwell in the depths, to the consequences of the interaction between cities and the Missouri River.  To learn more and download 14 different information packets directly visit:

A big thank you to writers and designers of the information packets! This includes University of Missouri students Josh Palmer, Leif Nordstrom and Claire Hassler along with Felicity Dykas, Head of the Digital Service Department at the University of Missouri who made this vision a resource for the classroom.

We also could not have done it without the help from our numerous agency partners, these packets include scientific expertise from Aaron DeLonay, Duane Chapman, Barry Poulton, Matt Strukhoff, Susannah Erwin, Carrie Elliott, and Rob Jacobson at the U.S. Geological Surveyand Darby Niswonger, Chris Newbold and Bob Rives at the Missouri Department of Conservation



Great Rivers Confluence Clean-up

Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area

The results are in!  
  • 243 Volunteers
  • 33 Students, 6 Teachers
  • 9.5 River Miles
  • nearly 3 Tons of Trash
Missouri River Relief really left their mark on Columbia Bottom Conservation Area this year. The staff and crew camped for a total of 4 nights and 5 days while we hosted groups, schools, organizations, and dedicated individuals and families for stewardship and education along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

On Thursday, our Education Director Kristen Schulte hosted City Garden Montessori for a full-day field trip called “Investigating the Missouri River” where we took 30 students out on the river for place-based learning about these two great rivers. 

Many thanks to the Sponsors and many Partners and Stream Teams that jumped right in to help make this event a huge success!  Thank you!

photo by Melanie Cheney

Check out this amazing collection of photos here:

In the News

River Relief's Education Assistant Intern
We recently said goodbye and thank you to our summer Education Assistant Intern Claire Hassler. We feel incredibly lucky to have Claire leave her mark on our education program! We will deeply miss her energy and passion that she brought to our students and teachers. We asked her at the end of her internship to reflect on her experience, click below for a fun read on her experience and to see her beautiful photo essay of working with River Relief for the summer.
Women in STEM
Below is a link to an awesome report on women in STEM careers at U.S. Geological Survey.  Reading through the profiles of women from around the country with many diverse backgrounds, education tracks, and STEM specialties is inspiring!
Rivertowns Premier
This new Nine Network special taps into the social, natural and cultural changes in Missouri River communities over more than two centuries. Inspired by the book, Growing Up with the River, Nine Generations on the Missouri, the film visits historical sites, the people and the beauty of the Missouri River Valley.
River Notes from the New Director
In case you missed it, the big story of MRR's year... River Relief transitioned our staff and welcomed Steve Schnarr on as our new Director.  Here is a mid-year recap and letter from Steve.
Facebook Fundraisers

Missouri River Relief is Feeling Grateful :) 

WHOA!  Over $2,000 has been raised by our Facebook friends and followers just this year through FB (Birthday) Crowd Sourcing Fundraisers!  We just wanted to give Brian Schaefer, Laura Bee, Tina Brooke, Amy Meier, Natalie Ann, Julie Evenson, Tina Busch, Robyn (and Kory) Kaufman and Phillip Masters, a Big Muddy Shout Out for thinking of us on your birthdays, and feeding some always helpful funding our way!



And don't forget about Amazon Smile!  Another easy way to support Missouri River Relief.

Oh the stories we could tell... but there's just not enough time or space.  We'll just have to catch up on the River!  Here's the Full List of Events River Relief has participated in since July!

  • July 5 - Columbia Alternative/Holistic Education Coalition Presentation
  • July 8-12 - Missouri River Academy
  • July 12 - Rockin & Rollin on the Missouri River Presentations
  • July 24 - 27 - MR340 Race Support Boats
  • August - Sept - Big Muddy Speakers Series talks Statewide
  • August 4th - Missouri River Relief Rummage Sale
  • August 9th - Missouri River Communities Network Americorps Workshop
  • August 11th - Boonedawdle Boat Rides
  • August 15th - Missouri Department of Conservation Lunch & Learn
  • August 17th - Incredible Missouri River Presentation at Russell Blvd.
  • August 25th - Operation Clean Stream
  • August 25th - Race for the Rivers
  • August 27th - 31st - Missouri River Days
  • Sept. 8 - Missouri River Relief presentation to Ashland Optimist Club
  • Sept. 8 - EcoArtFest Boat Rides
  • Sept. 13 - Investigating the Missouri River with City Garden Montisorri
  • Sept. 15 - Great Rivers Cleanup at the Confluence
  • Sept. 16 - Pedal Paddle Support Boat
  • Sept. 18 - Incredible Missouri River Presentation at Camp Trinity
  • Sept. 19 - 23 - Paddle MO Support Boat
  • Sept. 23 - Just Plein Air & Water Painting Workshop & Fundraiser
  • Sept. 22-23 - Missouri American Water Open House booth
  • Sept. 29 - Race to the Dome
"Investigating the Missouri River by boat with City Garden Montisorri in St. Louis

A Big Muddy thanks to our "Sustaining" Sponsors - 


Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District
Missouri American Water
Missouri Department of Conservation - Missouri Stream Teams
The Hulston Family Foundation
The Rio Vista Fund
Pat Jones

Your Donations help us conduct River Clean-ups, Education Events and River Outreach.  Over 1/3 of our budget comes from generous people like you!

« Previous update

Next update » is created and maintained by Missouri River Relief, P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205
Copyright © 2020 Missouri River Relief, photos copyright © their respective owners
Site designed and built by Josh Nichols.