MRCN’s ongoing projects include:
Regional Associations: Mississippi River Hills, Old Trails, Missouri River Bluffs, and Missouri Rhine Valley. Each association represents a grouping of counties together promoting and growing the unique cultures of our geographic heritage. We collaborate to raise awareness about our place.
Local Food Promotion: Here at MRCN, we recognize that the billion dollar a year food industry in Boone County alone could serve to nourish our local farmer economies and the health of our River Valley communities. Missouri Foundation for Health and Missouri Dept of Agriculture have been supporting our efforts for regional Farmer’s Market conferences, as well as a series of Taste of Missouri festivals that will take place during the 2013 growing season. For more information about these pursuits, visit our Local Food page, or the AmeriCorps VISTA projects page.
Americorps VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) have been contributing to various MRCN projects for many years. In 2013 and 2014 we hired over ten VISTAs who are doing outreach, education, and local food promotion with MRCN and some of our partners:
- Columbia Farmers Market,
- Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture,
- Southern Boone Learning Gardens,
- Lincoln University Extension
- Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition,
- Kirksville Green Thumb Project
By supplying VISTAs to these organizations and others, MRCN is stabilizing local ties between the communities in our network. Visit our VISTAs and learn more about their projects.
The Taste of Local Missouri Food Festivals were a series of 6 festivals around mid-Missouri that took place over summer, 2013. These projects were a collaboration of the Missouri River Bluffs and MRCN. The continuing goal of the Taste of Local Missouri Food Festivals is to promote local producers and farmers’ markets, educate the public on local food, cooking with local food, and to promote specialty crops, meats, cheese, and artisan products produced locally. Check out our our cooking lady, Laura Carter’s website MO Deep Roots for recipes and information on local food in mid-Missouri. Please visit the Taste of Local Missouri website for event details and more information.
Katy Trail Merchants and Communities is yet another group that MRCN actively supports. By combining our resources with the Katy Trail we aim to expose more folks to the beautiful network of trails and parks we have along the river.
This year we provided the Pedaler’s Jamboree in Rocheport with food and a stage, and the Jamoree had great success! In the past, MRCN has also partnered with the Katy Trail for events such as Canoe for Clean Water trips and various heritage awareness festivities.
Lewis and Clark history projects—including our state’s Bicentennial Byways—share information about the first European exploration of this area, and how the land and waters have changed since the early 1800s. 49 information boards can be seen at various points along river on the Katy Trail and the Bicentennial Byways driving tours. Learn more.