Photo provided by Lois Frazier

Dr. Rick Mansfield presented with Distinguised DAR Conservation Medal, Conservation Certificate award

On April 6, Jan Tappana, Chapter Regent, Ozark Spring NSDAR presented Dr. Rick Mansfield with the distinguished Daughters of the American Revolution’s (DAR) Conservation Medal and Conservation Certificate Award. 
 
The NSDAR Conservation Award is a one-time per recipient award – honor that recognizes adult and youth volunteers, including DAR members, with distinguished conservation records; businesses that exhibit sustained efforts to improve the environment or to educate the public on conservation issues; and compensated individuals who go above and beyond the requirements of their jobs. 
 
Dr. Mansfield is a retired educator, having earned a Master’s Degree in Reading and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Management. He spent most of his teaching career in the rural schools and was both an elementary school principal and superintendent before he retired. Rick practices what he “teaches” in the preservation of our nation’s history and in environment conservation. 
 
Mansfield founded Ozark Heritage Project (OHP) nearly two decades ago and continues to serve as its president. OHP is a501c(3), dedicated to the preservation and restoration of both the Ozark culture and environment. OHP operates within the framework of the United States Constitution as created by our Founding Fathers, getting inspiration and guidance from the Word of God. Rick through OHP, annually removes literally tons of debris (more than 20 tons each year since the 2017 flooding) from Missouri’s streams and watershed.
 
In addition to his efforts to clean up the Ozark waterways, Dr. Mansfield’s activities include helping to restore several historic buildings such as the old barn at Montauk State Park. He has planted thousands of native trees and willow cuttings on both public (Montauk State Park and public schools) and private properties to prevent erosion and further provide habitat for native birds and small mammals. He has started acres of pollinators for butterflies and bees. Rick combines historical storytelling and writing to preserve iconic aspects of Ozark culture while combining the traditions with appreciation for and care of the physical environment that framed them. Rick has authored ten books, several of which specifically address preservation. For the past 40 years, he has hosted numerous fishing trips around Missouri (many within Federal and State Parks and private properties) to introduce hundreds of young people to the outdoors and to teach them safe and ethical ways to fish.
 
To be eligible, the nominee’s criterion includes a nomination of worthy recognition submitted to the National Conservation Committee, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and must be accompanied by professional letters of recommendations from others in in their field that highlights the nominees lasting contributions in wildlife and nature centers; resource management; park establishment; youth leadership; conservation-related media and education.
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