Big Tree owner in the Big Muddy Speaker Series

The presentation will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 8 at the Les Bourgeois Bistro in Rocheport.

Short-eared owl at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. Photo by Benjamin Zack.

John Sam Williamson’s family has been farming the McBaine bottoms along the Missouri River for six generations. They’ve fought floods, droughts and the changes of the river while taking care of the rich bottomland and growing food for the country.

There’s a lot going on in the McBaine bottoms, including Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, the Columbia Water Treatment Plant and well field and the much revered site of the state record bur oak tree, which Williamson and his family have been taking care of for generations. Williamson is also the president of the McBaine Levee and Drainage District and treasurer of the Boone County Fire Protection District.

John will share some of his family history in the area and bring the story to the present, where changes in the management of the Missouri River mean changes in the ways farmers deal with levees.

Directions:

  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in the lower level. You can either enter at the restaurant entrance then go down the stairs to your left past the bar, or you can follow the walk to the right of the restaurant and enter through a glass door into the lower level.
  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO (click for Google Map)

For more information, visit Missouri River Relief’s page for the Big Muddy Speaker Series.

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