MRPC News Release


For immediate release
Dec. 14, 2016

For more information, contact
Jill Hollowell or Tammy Snodgrass at (573) 265-2993

ORSWMD recognizes environmental efforts
Earth’s Classroom receives award for non-profit organization

ST. JAMES—The Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management District (ORSWMD) recently honored Earth’s Classroom with an award for environmental excellence at its annual meeting Nov. 29. Each year, Ozark Rivers recognizes individuals and organizations that help the district meet its goal of reducing solid waste by 40 percent through a commitment to recycling and waste reduction.

“As chairman of the ORSWMD, it’s my honor to help recognize the recipients of the awards for Outstanding Achievements in Solid Waste Management,” Chairman Brady Wilson said. “These awardees set an example for others to follow. Whether it be recycling, education or environmental improvement, their grassroots efforts lead to positive changes that benefit the entire region. The annual banquet is the district’s opportunity to thank these individuals and groups for their role in taking care of our natural world.”

Bill and Jody Miles founded Earth’s Classroom, located in Rosebud, in 1999. The non-profit organization strives to use experiential education on the 179-acre facility to advance awareness, understanding and appreciation of ecology, cultural history and their interrelationship, according to their mission statement. With 53,000 visitors over the past 17 years, Earth’s Classroom delivers environmental education for students of all ages and to the general public. Bill and Jody offer a wide array of family/community programming from trash and recycling pickups to winter backyard birding to Missouri maple syrup making; as well as, receiving a recycling presentation on how and why to use their on site recycling center. MRPC staff nominated Earth’s Classroom for the non-profit organization award.

Others honored at the meeting included Eco-Miners, a volunteer group of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla; Valerie McEuen, a teacher at Bourbon High School, Onondaga Cave State Park in Leasburg; and the Dixon High School Key Club. 

The Ozark Rivers District includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities with populations of 500 or more. The district’s strategy for solid waste reduction, which has been individually adopted by all member governments and approved by Missouri Department of Natural Resources involves intense education and increased recycling efforts in member counties and cities. MRPC provides administration of the district and assists with a variety of implementation projects.

For more information about ORSWMD or waste reduction and recycling opportunities in the Ozark Rivers area, contact Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC environmental programs manager, at 573-265-2993 or by email at

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 24, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at or on Facebook at



Earth’s Classroom Awardee Cutline: ORSWMD Chairman Brady Wilson (left) presents the award to Earth’s Classroom founders Jody Miles (center) and Bill Miles (right) at the Nov. 29 Annual Dinner in recognition of their environmental efforts.



Award winners cutline: ORSWMD Chairman Brady Wilson (3rd from the right) presented awards to Earth’s Classroom Founders Bill Miles (left) and Jody Miles, Onondaga Cave State park represented by Lori Moore and Connie Stephens, Dixon High School Key Club represented by Trisha McCray, Valerie McEuen and the Eco-Miners represented by Jillian Hunt and Joshua Breedlove in recognition of their environmental efforts within the Ozark Rivers region.

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