News Release 129

Ceremony will recognize ‘Heart’ felt volunteer effort at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park

Volume 38-129 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Sue Holst

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MARCH 18, 2010 -- A helping hand from the McCarthy Building Companies’ Heart Hats program is making it easier for visitors of all abilities to experience the outdoors at the Outdoor Education Center, or OEC, at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park in Wildwood starting this spring. A ceremony at the OEC to recognize this effort will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1 at the park, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today.

Through the McCarthy Heart Hats outreach program, employees are encouraged to find projects that meet real needs in the community and use their building skills and other talents to assist.  At the OEC, volunteers installed an asphalt walkway leading to the pond, replaced a bridge over a creek on the path, and expanded the concrete fishing platform at the pond. All the facilities meet accessibility standards. Other projects included removing several old structures and overgrown vegetation in the area, and completing minor repairs to two shelters. In addition to their volunteer time and material donations, McCarthy worked with several St. Louis area contractors who also donated materials and labor for the project. 

"We greatly appreciate the efforts by McCarthy and all those who volunteered their time and talents to this project. Our department is dedicated to bringing the benefits of nature to everyone, and these improvements will make it easier for all campers to enjoy the outdoors," said Bill Bryan, the Department of Natural Resources' director of the state park system. Bryan is scheduled to attend the ceremony along with Paul Hartwig, senior vice president of operations for McCarthy and Dr. Craig Larson, superintendent of the Rockwood School District.  Rockwood has partnered with the Department of Natural Resources since 2002 to operate the OEC through its Community Education department.    

The Jacob L. Babler Outdoor Education Center is a 300-acre retreat in Babler State Park that offers organized outdoor education and recreational opportunities for people of all abilities.  OEC amenities include eight heated cabins, a dining hall, a recreation center, conference and meeting rooms, pond and an aquatic recreational feature.  

For information about Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, call the park at 636-458-3813 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or visit