About Us

MRCN Introduction


MRCN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports two movements:

Watering Can SUAC1. Clean water. MRCN develops educational programs, fundraisers, cleanups, river festivals, and other community-centered programs to ensure that our watersheds are safe for human and non-human use.

2. Local/regional economic development. MRCN supports local food producers, the Katy Trail Merchants, regional non-profit organizations, and other associations that directly improve the economy while indirectly improving our environment.



Sunset on Missouri SteveOur landscape, waterways, culture, and stories are a unique legacy in mid-Missouri.

MRCN envisions a sustainable tourism corridor that supports this mid-Missouri legacy through outdoor recreation, local business, local food, and history.


Ways to Share the Vision

Promoting Healthy Food with AmeriCorps

James at Fundraiser

James DeBiasi, a 2013 AmeriCorps VISTA, enjoying a fundraiser dinner he helped organize for the Kirksville Green Thumb project.

MRCN’s Healthy Food AmeriCorps Program helps nonprofits connect people with the health and
economic benefits of local food.

MRCN recruits skilled AmeriCorps members to educate students and their communities about growing, harvesting, and eating healthy food, as well as increasing production and access to healthy locally grown food.

We then match each AmeriCorps member with a nonprofit in mid-Missouri, such as:

Meet our current AmeriCorps partners or find out how to get your organization involved in the Local Food movement by contacting MRCN.


Promoting Regional Cuisines

To promote local economics and regional cuisines in mid-Missouri, MRCN helped organize four nonprofits:

Each organization supports local food, recreation, and sustainable heritage tourism in their areas. Known as regional cuisine associations, they span multiple counties across the state.

View the map to find which regional association is promoting local food and events your area.


Promoting Local Food with Festivals

Cooper, Sauerkraut Smile Complete

A Taste of Local Missouri

To celebrate the cultural, environmental, and economic benefits of local food, MRCN worked with the Missouri River Bluffs Association to create six food festivals across mid-Missouri.

Approximately 800 people made it to the festivals to enjoy local food, dance to live music, and meet the people behind their meals.

The Food Festivals Continue!  Join our mailing list for more information about upcoming food festivals in Missouri.

You can also visit our Food Festival photo gallery and the 2013 schedule for more details on the original six events.


Promoting the Katy Trail

Kickin’ it on the Katy

Katy Trail Merchants and Communities logo

To promote local businesses on the Katy State Park Trail, MRCN helped to develop a nonprofit known as the Katy Trail Merchants and Communities, or KTMC.

KTMC supports events that improve river/trail recreation and local businesses, including:


Promoting our Historic Heritage



Lewis and Clark BicentennialLiving our history

MRCN partnered with AmeriCorps, historic educators, and others to promote the Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration in 2004.

MRCN also helped develop 49 information boards along the Katy Trail and Bicentennial Driving Byways. These signs continue to provide historic information for visitors today.

View the Bicentennial Byways map to discover the Lewis & Clark’s historic trail.

Check out Columbia’s Heritage Festival to learn more about the heritage of Missouri.