MRPC News Release

For immediate release
March 20, 2017

For more information, contact
Maria Bancroft at (573) 265-2993

Libby Sanders of the Bonebrake Center accepted the ‘big’ check and the real check from MRCF chair Vicki Nelson.

MRCF awards six community grants
Bonebrake Center of Nature and History receives $250 for bathroom renovation

ST. JAMES—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded the Bonebrake Center of Nature and History of Salem in Dent County $250 for bathroom renovations at the MRCF invite-a-friend luncheon March 7 at #4 Industrial Drive, St. James. This year the MRCF board reviewed a total of 17 grant applications requesting a total of $4,250 and representing projects from Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.

Established Oct. 24, 1988, the Bonebrake Center of Nature and History provides opportunities, both outdoors and indoors, for community members, as well as visitors to the area, to explore the nature, history and culture of the Ozarks. Funds received will be used to improve the one public bathroom at the facility and make it ADA compliant with a raised toilet, grab bars, and small heater.

Other recipients, each receiving $250, include:

  • Esther’s House of Redemption in Maries County for the Freedom Outreach Project,
  • Newburg Community Revitalization Program Group in Phelps County for the community park,
  • Owensville Chamber of Commerce in Gasconade County for downtown benches,
  • Salvation Army of Pulaski County for their food and shelter program, and
  • Washington County Community Partnership for a bathroom renovation.

MRCF is an outgrowth of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC. Vicki Nelson, a representative at Mid America Bank – Belle Branch, serves as MRCF’s chairman. Currently, MRCF has 52 funds totaling nearly $767,576.

CFO is a public foundation serving the Missouri Ozarks. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the region through resource development, community grant-making, collaboration and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 49 affiliate community foundations and more than 2,600 charitable funds totaling approximately $253 million in assets.

MRPC, in addition to establishing the regional foundation, provides staff support to MRCF. 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 25, 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 www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at


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