“River Defender” Award

Categories: JRBP Blog

16839462_10210556037555434_179790176_nJRBP Honors

Darlene Haun

with the 2nd of 12 JRBP

20th Anniversary Awards


This month we have the privilege and honor to award Darlene Haun the 2nd of 12 awards in celebration of JRBP’s 20th Anniversary. Darlene’s passion for process, results, and our local, natural habitats deserve applause and admiration. Darlene’s mind is constantly observing her surroundings, assessing where help is needed, and acting! We appreciate Darlene’s unending response to better our waterways for everyone to enjoy & depend on.


Q & A with Darlene Haun


Q: What about the elements draw you to study them?

A: I like being out in nature. All those elements are in a constant state of change. Documenting the current state of the soil, water, and conditions for biology are important in order to provide a base of information for future projects.


Q: How long have you been a member of Missouri Stream Team and have you volunteered in the Ozarks?

A:  I joined the Fenton Stream Cleaners (ST 1857) in 1999. After moving to Springfield, I joined up with the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society in their riparian habitat efforts on South Creek and formed the South Creek Sentinels (ST #5091) in 2014, and since then, I have joined both the JRBP (ST#1365) and OWW (ST#4325) to help with their long-term monitoring projects. I also assist the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks with about 5- 10 school field trips per year - introducing young people to the critters that live in our local streams and  connecting their actions to the healthy habitats.



Q: When did you first become acquainted with JRBP?

A: Tiffany Frey was my first contact person due to our shared experiences as Americorps workers. When I moved to Springfield in 2014, I contacted Tiffany, who got me immediately involved in biological monitoring, pre-construction, of the re-naturalized portion of South Creek.


Q: What inspires you to take care of our local streams?

A: During my first Stream Team pick-up, I went from seeing an area full of trash – to everyone working together in good camaraderie - and then seeing the contrast of pristine land and full dumpsters. Since then, the “before” and “after” of any project has been very self-rewarding. Whether that’s seeing piles of invasive non-native plants from streambanks, or seeing a compilation of chloride data in a yearlong chart, or seeing children get back onto their school bus a little wetter, muddier and happier about their local stream than they were when they arrived.


Q: What is your biggest pet peeve to see when you go to our local rivers?

A:  Apathy. Springfield, which is named for it springs and renowned for its clean streams, still have families that mostly interact by only driving over our water on bridges. ​​​​​​​


Q: What is the best part about monitoring streams in Missouri?

A:  Gosh do I have to pick just one? Some days it is the good feeling that I have made countable documentation in the state of the earth, or in the knowledge of the people who live by the streams – because I talk to people who come by and ask me what I am doing.  Sometimes it is just because it’s so pretty outside! Sometimes it is seeing some of my “crazy ideas” get validated. Sometimes it is knowing that my pieces of data are part of a bigger picture that can fuel positive change in Missouri.


CLICK HERE to see January’s Winner > “Volunteerism & Studentship” – Brooke Widmar

Did You Know …?

JRBP is celebrating their 20th Anniversary in 2017..!

We are so honored to have shared in this journey
alongside our passionate and dedicated volunteers, members,
donors, patrons, partners, and friends for 20 years.

Let’s continue our mission to preserve the integrity of waterways
and their habitats for generations to come.


Make a special 20-year Anniversary Donation Here


Author: Christa Gammon

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