“Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.”
~ E.O. Wilson, Biodiversity
Dan Burkhardt lives in St Louis where he was an Investment Banker for Edward Jones for 30 years. He and his wife Connie own a farm in Marthasville and founded the Katy Land Trust in 2010 to highlight the value of, and protect, the rural and scenic landscape along the KatyTrail.
In 2012 he co-founded Magnificent Missouri an organization to connect Missourians to the landscape and countryside of Missouri through local food production. He has also helped to create Stop-Honeysuckle.org which sponsors activities and events to limit the spread of bush honeysuckle into rural areas.
He has created and edited two coffee-table books, “Missouri River Country – 100 Miles of Stories and Scenery from Hermann to the Confluence” and “Florida Bay Forever – A Story of Water from the Everglades to the Keys.” Both books benefit conservation causes.
He is on the boards of the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Danforth Plant Science Center and the Nine Network of Public Media (Channel 9) all in St Louis.
Jeff was destined to have a livelihood centered on natural history. He grew up with family pen pals’ letters from the Africa bush, surrounded by birders and lived adjacent to a zoo.
Having childhood ownership in the garden kicked off valuable botany skills. Those skills later developed into landscaping with natives and botany jobs for Missouri National Guard camps, The Nature Conservancy, and The Wildlife Conservation Society. Naturescaping has been a focus of his instruction to garden clubs, educators, public groups, city parks departments and teacher conferences for over 25 years.
Currently Jeff is employed by the Missouri Department
of Conservation as a conservation education consultant. He is a frequent contributor to the Joplin GLOBE newspaper and a staff writer for SHOW ME the OZARKS magazine. Native plants and the proficiency in naturescaping continue to be entwined in his work with educators, university courses, nature centers and bird conservation related projects.
Margo Farnsworth works as a consultant in strategic sustainable development for organizations, businesses and
individuals; as an adjunct faculty for Lipscomb University’s Institute of Sustainability and serves as a Board Member for the Biomimicry Institute’s Education Advisory Board. In the past, Farnsworth served as Executive Director then Senior Fellow for the Cumberland River Compact. With degrees in Science Education and Parks Administration, her professional accomplishments include research in environmental education, qualitative mammal studies and service on numerous local and state environmental boards and committees. Recognition of her work has come from various disciplines including a State Resource Management Award of Excellence, the “Friend of Fisheries” award, State Environmental Educator of the Year and the Freeman Tilden Award for Outstanding Interpretation.
Associate Professor and State Native Plant Extension Specialist for Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.
She funded the LU-Native Plants Program and created the project ‘FINCA: Families Integrating Nature, Conservation and Agriculture’. The purpose of the NPP is to increase awareness about the importance of native plants in conservation and as specialty crops through outreach and education.
The FINCA project provides educational tools to students and the public at large to learn to identify, grow and market native edible plants and those important for pollinators.
The NPP organizes the field day ‘In Touch with Nature’ that brings children and adults every year. In 2014, a new event called ‘Dining Wild’ was launched. A full course dinner, appetizers and beverages were prepared or flavored with native plants to introduce native plants to local cuisine.
She obtained funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for the collaborative effort to create the LU-Community Garden, LU-Farmers Market and LU-Commercial Kitchen in addition to the FINCA project.
In 2008 she received Missouri’s highest conservation honor as she was inducted into the Conservation Hall of Fame as a Master Conservationist and in 2009, she received the Erna Eisendrath Memorial Education Award from the Missouri Native Plants Society. Some of her interests are to help protecting natural areas, creating urban green corridors and promoting consumption of local foods, including native edible plants.
Bill Spradley, owner of Trees, Forests & Landscapes, Inc. since 1990, is strongly dedicated to tree preservation and educating the public on proper plant selection for creating successful landscapes. The Trees, Forests & Landscapes professional team of arborists is 100% ISA Certified. Bill graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. degree in Forest Management in 1982. Education and professionalism is a priority for Bill, as proven with time spent as a horticultural instructor at St. Louis Community College at Meramec since 1992 and providing nearly 100 presentations about various subjects related to horticulture and arboriculture. Bill is a member and past officer of several professional organizations, including International Society, Tree Care Industry Association, Horticulture Co-op of St. Louis, Landscape and Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Arborist Association, Gateway Professional Horticulturist Association and Missouri Botanical Garden. Hobbies include touring fascinating gardens and growers of premium plants, hiking unique natural areas, listening to musicians at intimate venues, and relaxing by the lake after installing and caring for his family’s arboretum collections at a 136-acre farm located in Fredericktown, Missouri.
In 2011, Bill was awarded the distinguished ‘True Professionals of Arboriculture’ award for outstanding involvement in community service and public education of arboriculture by the International Society of Arboriculture, an organization with more than 20,000 members worldwide. Bill also received in 2012 the Missouri Arbor Award of Excellence with his daughter Kelcie Spradley for contributing 50 trees and hazard tree pruning in response to significant ice storm damage at William Woods University and for assisting his daughter and the University with establishment of Missouri’s first “Tree Campus USA.”
Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, where he has been developing the garden for 23 years. The wildflower garden is a five-acre demonstration for landscaping with Missouri Native Plants. In addition, there is about 25 acres of reconstructed tallgrass prairie surrounding the garden.
Scott received a BS degree in horticulture at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has worked at various public gardens including Old Westbury Gardens in New York, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, Castello Di Uzzano in Italy, and Tudor Place in Washington D.C.
He currently serves as an advisor to Wild Ones St. Louis and is the education chair for the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program. Scott also volunteers for the Ozark Regional Land Trust.