Healthy Forests

Our Glorious Forests: Current River CA

  • Size: 29,330.52 acres
  • Location: Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties. The main tract is 3 miles west of Ellington on Highway 106. There are 3 entrances: One is located 3 miles west of Ellington on Highway 106. Another is located on South Road in Ellington. The third is located on Reynolds County Road 626.
  • Highlights: This forested area features a picnic area, fishing jetties, Buford Pond (3 acres, fishable), Blue Springs Natural Area (17 acres), Cardareva Bluff Natural Area (95 acres) and 3 miles of the Current River.
  • Find more info: visit our online atlas, keyword "Current".

If you look forward to the eye-popping annual display of serviceberry and redbud blossoms, consider viewing them from the Current River this spring. The Current River Conservation Area features one of the largest and most beautiful examples of Ozark hardwood forest in the state, and it also shelters the headwaters of the Current River. A float trip between March and June will reward you with the views of serviceberry, redbud, wild plum, wild crab, red buckeye, dogwood, hawthorn and tulip poplar blossoms. These flowering, fruit-bearing trees not only delight our eyes and gladden our winter-weary hearts, they support honeybees and an array of birds and other native wildlife. While we’re accustomed to valuing Missouri’s glorious forests for their habitat and industry values, it’s hard to put a price on the experience of floating a wild Ozark river and witnessing the forest’s annual rebirth.

Community Tree Care Grants

Applications for funding are due June 1.

Cooling shade and leaves that help generate the air we breathe are among the many reasons for communities to care for their forests. Get the funds to enhance or help start a tree-care project on public lands in your community from the Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) program. This cost-share program is administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forest Council. Deadline for application is June 1. Download the application online.

We All Live in a Forest

Helping fourth-grade classes plant and study trees.

Any Missouri fourth-grader can tell you that our state’s Arbor Day is the first Friday in April. Its purpose is to help us remember why trees are important and to encourage us to plant more. Through their “Trees for Tomorrow” program, the Missouri departments of Conservation and Transportation help fourth-grade classes increase the number of trees in our state. The Department of Transportation buys the trees, and the Department of Conservation grows and distributes them. To further support fourth-graders’ study and cultivation of trees, the Department of Conservation supplies classes with curriculum materials. Although it’s too late to enroll in the 2008 Arbor Day program, schools and teachers interested in receiving seedlings next year should call Matt Seek at  (573) 522-4115, ext. 3288.