I Am Conservation

Jodi Adams, director of parks for Springfield-Greene County, is devoted to providing outdoor, green spaces for families and children. Jodi believes that “when talking about parks, we’re talking about health, the environment, conservation, transportation and economic development.” By executive order, Missouri communities were challenged to take action to enhance children’s education about nature and to increase children’s opportunities to experience nature and the outdoors. In April, Springfield was recognized as the first community in Missouri to achieve the Governor’s Children in Nature Community award. Expansive parks, extensive greenways and the MDC Springfield Conservation Nature Center with its beautiful woods and miles of trails make it easy to see why Springfield-Greene County would qualify for this award. Adoption of Nature Unleashed, the second of MDC’s five Discover Nature Schools educational units, by nearly every Springfield public school fourth grade provided the city with the finishing touch and final criteria piece for the city’s efforts to bring children outdoors and closer to nature—whether in school with their classmates, in a city park with their friends or at home with their families.

—Photo by David Stonner