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GRHA Closes On Future Floodplain Conservation and Education Area

In 2022, Great Rivers Habitat Alliance embarked on an exciting new venture to protect more than 181 acres of floodplain habitat along the Mississippi River and create what we will call the GRHA Foster-Rollins Floodplain Conservation and Education Area. The property is just south of St. Louis and adjoining Cliff Cave County Park and is now the largest property currently owned by GRHA. That journey took another step when GRHA closed on the property on April 11, 2024. Future steps will include restoration and management. The area will be open to the public and managed to enhance the adjacent public parks viewing opportunities. An existing multi-use recreational trail on the property makes it highly accessible.

The properties owners, Tom Rollins and George Foster approached GRHA with the idea of conserving the property by selling the property to GRHA at a significant savings. Great Rivers Habitat Alliance proposed the creation of a conservation and educational showcase on the 181-acres of floodplain designed to meet the mission of GRHA and celebrate the legacy of the former owners. This site possesses aesthetic views of the Mississippi River, the bluffs and a biologically diverse floodplain environment adjacent to and within the Cliff Cave County Park. The Foster-Rollins Floodplain Conservation and Education Area will connect people to the Mississippi River and emphasize the importance of Americas big river floodplains. The property will highlight river floodplain best use practices including wetland, grassland and bottomland hardwood habitat restoration, agriculture, recreation and natural wildlife habitat management. GRHA will maintain  agricultural operations while restoring some existing agriculture to wetland habitat and improve existing natural habitats for wildlife through prairie and bottomland hardwood restoration, as well as improved management practices. These lands will create an outdoor oasis for people and wildlife demonstrating how green spaces are important to quality of life.

Future plans include developing education/outreach kiosks, viewing/camera blinds, and use the property for environmental programing, including opportunities such as use as an outdoor classroom by local and state educational institutions.

The project would not have been possible without the generous support of the Mysun Charitable Trust, Robert J. Trulaske Family Foundation and The Conservation Fund.

You can help support this effort by making donations on-line at: GRHA Membership – Great Rivers Habitat Alliance

Stay tuned for more information as this exciting property continues to develop!

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