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Columbia Hosts First W.O.W School
Midwest Region, May 2, 2008
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Two years ago we proposed to the W.O.W. board of directors to hold a fifth course for the state of Missouri right here in Columbia.  The first weekend in May 2008 it became a reality.  Columbia National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (NFWCO) has participated in Wonders of the Outdoor World (W.O.W.) Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School at Roaring River and St. Louis for the past three years.  W.O.W. is sponsored by multiple state, federal agencies, Wonders of Wildlife National Fish and Wildlife Museum and Bass Pro Shops.  W.O.W. is doing what the whole country is talking about; getting people reconnected with nature.

During the initial planning our idea was to host a “Missouri River Bluff to Bluff” course highlighting the outdoor recreational opportunities within the confines of the Missouri River floodplain and the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.  We soon realized many of these classes would be geared more toward experienced outdoor adventurers.  This prompted involving the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department to host a “beginner” course to cater to the less experienced enthusiast.  This two pronged approach proved to be a winner by involving a wider range of people.  Another first for this course was holding it in the spring rather than summer of fall.  The reasoning behind this was to get people out early in the year to promote the recreational potential summer will soon provide.  In addition, spring provides cooler temperatures and unique opportunities for better fishing, mushroom and wild edible gathering.

Contact Info: Jeff Finley, 573 234-2132 x .171, jeff_finley@fws.gov



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