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McGee Family Conservation Area

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Photo by: 
Linda Williams

Missouri’s newest conservation area, The McGee Family Conservation Area, opened this fall just south of Plattsburg, Missouri, in Clinton County. I knew Thomas McGee from my days with the Nature Conservancy. I knew him as a man who deeply cared about nature and its longtime protection.

Tom bequeathed his farm to the Missouri Department of Conservation upon his death in January of 2010.

Whether it was hunting quail or mushrooms, Tom was very proud of his farm and loved sharing it with others. He always wanted to donate the property after his death for preservation and enjoyment by the public.

In a MDC press release in 2011, Anita Gorman of Kansas City, former member of the Missouri Conservation Commission said, “He said he just couldn’t let it be developed because there were so many Bobolinks living there.” All grassland species, including Bobolinks, are in decline due to habitat loss.

Currently the area is almost 1,000 acres of upland grasslands and hosts 6 ponds and a timber corridor along the Little Platte River. Future plans for the site include more wildlife friendly habitat such as row crops and native warm season grasses as well as wetlands around the river. The area can be accessed off County Road C or Hwy 240 in southern Clinton County.

Thanks Tom. Your legacy lives on through the birds and wildlife you loved so much.

By Mark McKellar

Winter 2013