NIXA, Mo. — Our KOLR10 Daybreak team is hitting the road, broadcasting live from counties in the Ozarks every Wednesday in May. Christian County is the first county to be in the spotlight.
The Missouri Department of Conservation manages 300 points of access to waterways across the state, and two of them are in Christian County. One is the 24-acre Delaware Access and the other is the 20-acre Shelvin Rock Access near Nixa, off Shelvin Rock Road by way of Highway 14 and Route M.
“In Southern Missouri, we have some very pretty streams,” said Francis Skalicky, Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. “People love to float them, people love to fish on them, and what these access sites do is provide people access to do that.”
The Department of Conservation manages the access sites, including maintenance and cleanup.
“A big thing people can do at our accesses is help us pick up the trash,” Skalicky said. “We do regular trash cleanup and we try to do as best we can, but we have something like 300 accesses throughout the state, so that’s a lot of places to cover.”
“Because they’re out of the way, some people make the wrong decisions with trash,” Skalicky said. “They think because they’re out of the way, ‘well, I’ll just leave it here, it’s no big deal.'”
Skalicky said the best way to help is for people to bring a trash bag with them when they head out to an access point and pick up after themselves. People can also call the Missouri Department of Conservation’s hotline at 1-800-392-1111 to report those who are littering.
“Not every state has as many accesses as we do,” Skalicky said. “When it comes to stream accessibility, we are one of the more accessible agencies in the country.”
As for how the MDC acquired the hundreds of access points across the state, Skalicky said some were donated and some were purchased.
“Some of it is just very therapeutic,” Skalicky said. “They just want to get out on the stream, helps them unwind, helps them get away from all that stress and tightness that was bothering them at work or at home. This just lets them relax so we’re happy to help them do that.”
The best way to find access points close to you is to go to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website’s places to go section, where you can search conservation areas by county.
“The big thing is to find out about all these places and then go to them because they’re great places to visit,” Skalicky said.