Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:46 am

Mallards 2 cc .tif

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) will celebrate 75 years serving people and wildlife from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Montrose Conservation Area headquarters in Henry County. This free event will include activities such as instruction on becoming a more effective wing shooter, retriever demonstrations and educational exhibits about waterfowl. Experts will give demonstrations on bird banding and how rocket nets are used in waterfowl research. Kids’ activities will include stations with furbearer pelts, insects and snakes. There will also be spotting scopes for youth to view wildlife and a stream table that demonstrates how rivers shape landscapes. Exhibits and booths for all ages will showcase Missouri’s outdoors and work done by public and private conservation groups to help wetlands.

MDC and DU officials will speak at 1 p.m. to open the event, and Ducks Unlimited will dedicate Montrose Conservation Area, a restoration completed under the Golden Anniversary Wetlands Initiative.

Ducks Unlimited was formed by concerned sportsmen in 1937 with the mission to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl, and also for the benefit of other wildlife and people. DU is now the world’s largest and most effective private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization.

The Montrose Conservation Area has a long history of partnerships serving outdoor enthusiasts. Kansas City Power & Light Co purchased land along Deepwater Creek in the early 1950s for a coal-fired electrical generating plant. The utility also built a 1,600-acre lake to provide cooling water for the plant.

In 1957, KCP&L began leasing land to MDC for public use and the area became a popular hunting and fishing destination. The lake offers good fishing including in winter months thanks to warm water from the power plant. Also, thousands of ducks, geese, shorebirds and raptors are attracted to the area during winter and the migration seasons. A portion of the area is designated as a wildlife refuge for waterfowl during winter months.

Montrose Conservation Area is north of the city of Montrose and southwest of Clinton. The area headquarters can be reached by traveling 12 miles west from Clinton on Missouri 18, and then four miles south on Route RA.

Wetlands Fun Day will be held rain or shine. For more information, contact the MDC Regional Office at 816-622-0900. Information about Montrose Conservation Area is available at – including a link to a map of the area.

Photo of mallard ducks in marsh by Missouri Department of Conservation