Within Missouri's borders exists an incomparable variety of natural and historical adventures. From the surreal grandeur of the nearly two- billion-year old elephant rocks to the haunting presence of controversial artist Thomas Hart Benton in the cluttered studio where he died at his easel, Missouri's diverse heritage is illustrated through its more than 75 state parks and historic sites. In this book, four writers and committed conservationists team up with photographers to capture the compelling history, beauty and recreational value of Missouri's unique state park system. Illustrated with over 200 full-colour, large-format photographs and written in a lively style, ""Exploring Missouri's Legacy"" offers an invitation to discover Missouri's spectacular variety of geology, ecology and culture. Housing more caves, springs and clear natural streams than any other state in the nation, Missouri also boasts some of the oldest rocks on the continent and some of the youngest land-forms. The first archaeologically undisputed contact of man and mastodon in the new world was found in Missouri. The state's small towns have remained peculiarly vibrant, producing some of the nation's leaders in war and politics, literature and the arts. That remarkable diversity is preserved and commemorated here. The book opens with an account of the evolution of the park system. Essays on each of the state parks and historic sites are arranged chronologically within each of the states six natural divisions.
Susan Flader is Professor of United States Western and Environmental History at the University of Missouri-Columbia.R. Roger Pryor is Executive Director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.John A. Karel, currently Director of Tower Grove Park, served as State Park Director during 1979-1985.Charles Callison served for many years as Executive Vice-President of the National Audubon Society.Oliver Schuchard is Professor of Art and teaches landscape photography at the University of Missouri-Columbia.