The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 5, 2013

Kansas department to take on operation of Galena nature center

GALENA, Kan. — An official with Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism said Tuesday afternoon that the department has been approved to take over operations of the Southeast Kansas Nature Center at Schermerhorn Park.

It will be the second nature center the department will operate; the other is in Junction City.

What remains now is completing a written agreement with the center’s board, which must be approved by the Galena City Council, and hiring a director. The state began advertising Tuesday for the position; the deadline to apply is March 15.

The center’s founder, Linda Phipps, a former Galena teacher, currently heads it up. She spearheaded a $60,000 restoration project paid for through grass-roots fundraising efforts. She’s relied largely on volunteers, donations and grants to keep the center going since it opened in 2004.

Phipps, now retired and wanting more time with her family, first proposed two years ago that the state take over its operations. The plan was rejected, primarily because of funding issues the state was facing at the time.

She again pitched the idea to a group of KDWP&T officials in a December meeting at the center. It was receptive, and the plan worked its way up the chain of command.

“It was what we have been hoping for for a long time,” Phipps said. “I feel like this will ensure that the nature center will go on when some of our key people are not there any longer. It’s the answer to a prayer. Or lots of prayers, maybe.”

It’s great news for Galena and for the center, Mayor Dale Oglesby said of KDWP&T assuming operations.

“We think it’s an exciting opportunity to improve the park and to take it to the next level, including new educational aspects,” he said. “We’re looking forward to working with the state on this.”

He said Galena city officials, Phipps and representatives from the center’s board will meet with KDWP&T representatives in coming weeks to draft the memorandum of understanding; no date has been set.

KDWP&T Wildlife Education Coordinator Mike Rader said there will be no disruption of services and operations at the center will continue mostly as they have, although the new director may have additional ideas for programs.

“We want to maintain the involvement of the board and Linda,” he said. “Of course we will have final say on operations, but we’d like to keep them in an advisory capacity,” Rader said.

A large event already planned at the park this spring may be the director’s first formal introduction to the public: The Kansas Herpetological Society will camp April 26-28 in order for some 100 to 150 members to conduct a survey of the reptiles and amphibians there, many of which have been on the state’s threatened and endangered species list.


Phipps estimates the center has had some 20,000 to 30,000 visitors since it opened, including frequent field trips from schools in Baxter Springs, Riverton, Pittsburg, Frontenac, Quapaw, Webb City and Carl Junction.


Text Only
Local News
  • State audit of Joplin School District begins

    Staff members from the state auditor’s office have begun their audit of the Joplin School District, Superintendent C.J. Huff said Monday. They are expected to be in the district four days per week for the next five to six months, or perhaps longer, until the audit is complete, Huff said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Burglary conviction draws shock prison time

    A Joplin man who received 120 days of shock incarceration time Friday in a drunken-driving case in Jasper County Circuit Court was assessed a concurrent sentence Monday in a burglary case.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Family gatherings mirror circle of life

    The annual family gathering is getting bigger. There tends to be an ebb and a flow to most family gatherings. When you’re a kid, and especially if you’re a kid from a large Catholic family, the gatherings seem to be huge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • 071714 Jasper Cty Dispatch1_72.jpg Area communities, Jasper County work to improve communications

    The first law enforcement officer to respond to a fatal shooting last November at Northpark Mall was from the Duquesne Police Department — not Joplin. Joplin police Chief Jason Burns said he wasn’t bothered by that. “We dispatch for them, and they had an officer close who could get there faster,” he said. “And getting help to people as quickly as possible is more important than jurisdictions.”

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • New and old TIF districts on agenda for Joplin council

    Another tax increment financing district is being proposed for Joplin, this one along South Main Street. The area is close to the new Mercy Hospital Joplin that is set to open next year. RKS Development is seeking authorization from the Joplin City Council when it meets Monday night to prepare a request to establish a TIF district.

    July 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Family grows by one — a black Lab named Raven

    If you haven’t experienced the feeling of a tiny puppy in your lap at the end of a perfect July Saturday — hammock time, s’mores, leisurely walks, you know the kind — I highly recommend it. It is pure joy.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Car show, sidewalk sale and more scheduled for weekend in Carthage

    All roads leading to Carthage should be packed this weekend as numerous events geared toward entertainment, cultural pursuits and bargain hunting are expected to pull in large crowds.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Hobby Lobby lawyer to speak at watermelon feed

    Josh Hawley, who helped represent Hobby Lobby in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act, has been added to the list of speakers for Thursday’s annual watermelon feed sponsored by Newton County Republicans.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read


Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter