History of the Northern Ozark Rivers Partnership

As told by Larry Cain, who serves as MSTWC president, Northern Ozark Rivers Partnership vice president, and coordinator of  Stream Team 1008, the Twin River Rangers.  

Our Stream Team Association, Northern Ozark Rivers Partnership was first born at a meeting organized by (president) Burt Stewart at Meramec State Park on October 19, 1996.

Our first Stream Team picnic was held on September 27, 1997 at Meramec State Park,  for the main purpose of recognizing 1000 stream teams.

At this time, the association decided to try an annual picnic and regrouped at Meramec State Park on September 26, 1998. It was a cool fall day. Because of the cool temperature, except for a few kids, no one else went in the river. It was then decided that 1999’s picnic would be scheduled for the summer, the fourth Saturday in July, and has been ever since. 

The Meramec Watershed Celebration picnic has grown over the years. NORP grills, and Stream Team members contribute side dishes.
The Meramec Watershed Celebration picnic has grown over the years. NORP grills, and Stream Team members contribute side dishes.

As the picnic has grown over the years, our committee has grown also. Most of the picnic is coordinated by our association’s core families.

We have several partners including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation,  Missouri Stream Team, Open Space Council, and Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition. We also have sponsors and volunteers who help each year.

Canoeing on the Huzzah River. Photo from the Missouri Division of Tourism Archives, Missouri State Archives.
Canoeing on the Huzzah River. Photo from the Missouri Division of Tourism Archives, Missouri State Archives.

NORP Stream Teams hail from the following fantastic waterways:

  • Meramec River
  • Courtois River
  • Huzzah River
  • Big River
  • Bourbeuse River

To see NORP in action, head down to Sullivan this weekend for the 16th Annual Meramec Watershed Celebration, just one of our official 25 Days of Stream Team events.

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