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Big Muddy Refuge Dedicates Missing Link to River
Midwest Region, June 8, 2004
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The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, in cooperation with the Friends of Big Muddy Refuge, held a dedication for the Lewis and Clark Trial of Discovery. The dedication occurred on June 8 at the trail head on the Jameson Island Unit of the refuge. The Lewis and Clark reenactment crew, Discovery Tour of St. Charles, was on-hand to make an official Corps of Discovery army salute to the dedication. Standing side-by-side the reenactors held at attention as several presenters made comments about the benefit of the trail. Friends of Big Muddy Chairman Kerry Haller was the master of ceremony and introduced the speakers which included: Tom Bell, manager of Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge; Michael Dickey, manager of Arrow Rock State Historic site; Kathy Borgman, president of Friends of Arrow Rock; Kevin Kemp, Eagle Scout and Tom Beamer Arrow Rock mayor. The trail is situated directly below the small community of Arrow Rock, which is a Missouri Department of Natural Resources historic site and on the national register of historic places. The town was founded 175 years ago and grew because of its location on a bluff directly above the Missouri River, the mass transit route of its day. Shortly after the turn of the century the river was channelized and forced a mile away from town, opening up the bottomlands for farming. Floods in 1993 and 1995 severed the link between fields and roads that still somewhat connected the town to the river. The bottomlands below Arrow Rock were allowed to return to their natural state and the river was almost inaccessible except for a few hardy souls willing to brave the mile of brush and briars. In Fall of 2002, Friends of Big Muddy, Friends of Arrow Rock and refuge staff began a volunteer project to rebuild the river link with the Lewis and Clark Trail of Discovery in honor of the 200th anniversary of the explorer's epic journey. For the next year and a half volunteers braved the cold and heat and gave up many weekends to construct the trail. Scout troops and Arrow Rock citizen jumped in as well. On June 7, 2004 the final touches were completed on the trail which included three new interpretive signs. The trail is 7/10th of a mile long and has a crushed gravel surface all the way to the river.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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