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Parkville Nature Sanctuary

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I’m not real sure why it has taken me this long to write about this little gem of a place. So few people know about the Parkville Nature Sanctuary it is truly a shame. My association with the sanctuary started way back when I was at Martha Lafite. My friend and volunteer naturalist, Jim Reed, told me that he had become involved with this piece of property in Parkville and they were installing hiking trails and signage with intentions of it becoming a nature sanctuary.

The sanctuary is located behind the Parkville town hall on 9 Hwy (basically it is below the Riss Lake Dam). Formerly a farm for producing food for Park College students, today the Parkville Nature Sanctuary encompasses 115 acres thanks, in part, to the 1997 acquisition of 69 acres of forested hillside from Park University by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

A tireless volunteer corp has installed miles of hiking trails, a great boardwalk over a rich wetland area and they also lead hikes for organized groups and the public. The area is teeming with wildlife and on any given day you are likely to see white-tailed deer, wild turkey, wood ducks and numerous other birds. If it is wildflowers you are seeking, a walk through the diverse woods and wetland area will prove productive for you much of the year.

Like all private, nonprofit organizations, Parkville Nature Sanctuary can use your help. For information about joining their friends support group, contact their Director, Jim Reed at 741-0820. You can also learn more from their website,www.parkvillemo.com/nature/and get more precise directions and download a great map to their trails.

By Mark McKellar