Touting Outdoor Safety Smarts

Four public service agencies hosted an Outdoor Safety Day on the lawn at Truman State Park’s Office, Saturday, July 20.  Representatives wearing sharp distinguishing uniforms from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, MSHP Water Patrol Division, as well as Missouri State Park Rangers, and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) agents, were on hand at this first-time event to educate and demonstrate summer safety practices to children and adults. 
Canopies were set up for each agency where maps, pamphlets, and freebies were distributed, and questions answered about Missouri parks, lakes, plants, animals, fishing and hunting. The Truman Lake Park offered many pamphlets from its office, and had different Missouri animal pelts, shells and skeletons on display. Truman State Park Naturalist Bailey Sharp even held a live native snake for visitors to observe. The MSHP Water Patrol parked one of its boats on the lawn, and sounded its siren from time to time. There were bicycles for those who wanted to take a quick bicycle safety course, a Ranger four-wheeler, and rifles and shotguns (without firing pins) for hunter safety courses given by MDC agents.
Free items made it more exciting for kids who walked away with activity books, whistles, Frisbees, cell-phone stands, floating key holders, pencils, plus a bright orange tote bag. 
The Outdoor Safety Day was scheduled from 10 AM to 1 PM, but State Park Naturalist Sharp said that future summer events such as this may be scheduled in the evenings when the hot daily temperatures began to cool down. She said that this Safety Day was a bit of an experiment to see if adjustments need to be made when planning the next event.
State Park Manager, Luke Johnson, who is fairly new on the job, stated that he wants to plan more Park programs in the future to help keep everyone safe in the outdoors. He also wants give the public an opportunity to meet the men and women working to make that possible.
Corps of Engineers personnel went from the Outdoor Safety Day to the Warsaw Municipal Pool around noon, on July 20, to conduct a Water Safety Splash in partnership with the Pool management. They were there until 3 PM, offering safety information, and giving out free prizes such as life jackets.