News Release 294

Justin Adams named May 2010 Employee of the Month by Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Volume 38-294 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Philip J. Tremblay

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MAY 14, 2010 -- Justin M. Adams, facility manager for the Division of State Parks at Cuivre River State Park, Troy, has been chosen as the May 2010 Employee of the Month by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Adams is being recognized for his continuing efforts in organizing volunteer cleanup of a large, illegal trash dump adjacent to Cuivre River and working with local residents and equestrians to make trail repairs in the Big Sugar Creek Wild Area.

“Justin’s willingness to organize these events as well as his dedication to protecting the resources at Cuivre River State Park have not only resulted in substantial cost savings for the department but have also increased awareness of the need for more volunteer opportunities,” said Dawn Fredrickson, DSP field operations coordinator, who nominated Adams for the award. “Given today’s economic realities, the use of volunteers to assist with resource protection and maintenance is even more critical.”

The nearly 6,400-acre Cuivre River State Park is considered one of the most naturally significant parks in northern Missouri. It contains physical features more like southern Missouri, such as rugged hills, caves, sinkholes, dense forests and tallgrass prairies. The park includes six state-designated areas – three natural areas, two wild areas and an Outstanding State Resource Water. Cuivre River State Park is bordered on its southwest corner by Cuivre River and contains a large portion of the watersheds for Big Sugar Creek, the state-designated OSRW, and Lake Lincoln.

The river cleanup project is addressing a decades-old illegal dump by removing garbage and abandoned vehicles and restoring a cleaner and more beautiful river environment.  With the help of local volunteer Bill Benhardt, Adams organized two river cleanup weekends in January and February.  Together, they secured the volunteer services and equipment of the Lincoln Co. Fire and Rescue Department as well as El Rancho Garage, a towing company in Troy. With a crane, tow trucks and boats, the volunteers hauled off tons of garbage, including five abandoned vehicles, from the base of Frenchman’s Bluff, adjacent to Cuivre River.

Use of the equipment during the cleanup was free – a substantial cost-saving. More than 50 volunteers donated nearly 450 hours of work, nearly $8,400 in labor costs. With the continued assistance of Benhardt, Adams plans several more riverbank cleanups at the dump throughout the year.

Adams also is working with volunteers from Show-Me Missouri Backcountry Horsemen in repairing or rerouting several miles of equestrian trails in the Big Sugar Creek Wild Area.  Because of wild area restrictions, these trail improvements and on-going maintenance must be done with hand tools; no mechanized equipment is allowed in the wild area.  Tools and material must be packed in either by hand or by pack animals.

In December 2009, 25 equestrian volunteers helped repair a section of trail. All materials were transported by horseback, including 20 tons of gravel. This required more than 100 trips by horseback. The volunteers donated nearly 200 hours – $3,700 in labor.

Volunteers included Benhardt, Kevin Cox and his staff from El Rancho Garage, members of the Lincoln Co. Fire and Rescue Department, members of the Show-Me Missouri Backcountry Horsemen and Cuivre River Trailriders, and other Troy-area residents.

Adams is currently a Natural Resources Manager and began working for the department in July 2007. He lives in Salem.