The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation

"Cedar Gap is a place to step back in time," says Janice Reynolds. "In this pristine piece of the Ozarks, you can stand quietly and hear only the birds singing, the trickle of a stream, a distant hoot of an owl."Because she wants to protect the area's steep valleys and tall timber, Janice, her husband, David, and a group of 23 people raised $140,000 to purchase 391 acres of land near the town of Cedar Gap in Wright County. The land forms the headwaters of Bryant Creek, a popular float and fishing stream.

"The tract is only 35 miles from Springfield," David Reynolds explains. "It will be a place to spend the day hiking and enjoying the Missouri Ozarks."

The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation was created in November 1997 to help with conservation programs in Missouri like the Cedar Gap project. "The Foundation is a great partner to help with the project," says David Reynolds. "We received numerous donations-usually checks-for the Cedar Gap project that the Foundation deposited in a special account. When all the money had been raised, the Foundation purchased the tract and deeded it over to the Conservation Department for management."

"What a great day that was," says Janice Reynolds, who shares her husband's love of the outdoors. "But it took continued support from a lot of people to make it happen.

"The quality of outdoor life for future generations depends heavily on decisions made now," she continues. "We all share responsibility for protecting the environment, and David and I are thankful for the Foundation's help."

Foundations are not a new concept. There are over 40,000 foundations in the United States that give approximately $12 billion annually to support a variety of causes. Projects funded by the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation help meet the overall conservation needs of the state.

"The Conservation Department has always been honored by donations from generous and conservation-minded citizens," says Conservation Department Director Jerry Conley. Those special people are greatly appreciated, and we hope to encourage them to continue their benevolent giving." Contributions received by the Conservation Department in the past include real estate, cash, securities, farm tractors and implements, boats and motors-even automobiles.

Machinery donated to the Conservation Department is put to immediate use; money is deposited in a general fund and assigned to a project when annual budgets are prepared. Money donated to the Foundation, however, is available immediately. Donors can direct their contributions to a specific project,