Missouri Prairie Foundation
PO Box 200
Columbia MO 65205
Lepidopterist and MPF member Phil Koenig helps a young naturalist learn about prairie butterflies.

Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (888) 843-6739
Mission Statement
The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s mission is to protect and restore prairie and other native grassland communities through acquisition, management, education and researchThe Missouri Prairie Foundation also promotes the use of native plants through its Grow Native! Program and supports the identification and control of invasive plant species through its Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Carol E. Davit
Board Chair Ms. Doris Sherrick
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1968
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s mission is to protect and restore prairie and other native grassland communities through acquisition, management, education and researchThe Missouri Prairie Foundation also promotes the use of native plants through its Grow Native! Program and supports the identification and control of invasive plant species through its Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force.
Background Statement
The Missouri Prairie Foundation began in 1966 by a small group of conservation professionals and volunteers who were concerned about the rapid decline of greater prairie-chickens and the degradation and loss of native grassland habitat throughout the state. MPF was incorporated in 1968. Since that time, MPF has grown and developed with several general goals in mind, including the permanent protection of prairie habitat and the need for greater understanding of the role of native grasslands in wildlife conservation, carbon storage, and water quality. In addition, MPF promotes the use of native plants in the built environment and altered landscapes, through its Grow Native! native plant program and and supports the identification and control of invasive plant species through its Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force, which it initiated in 2015. 

What began as an all-volunteer advocacy organization has grown into a complex land trust, with more than 1,900 diverse members to serve and more than 3,300 acres to own and protect in perpetuity. Our work would not be possible without financial contributions from members and other supporters, and the many hours of service from our dedicated volunteer board members, other loyal volunteers, and our committed staff.
Impact Statement
2016 Accomplishments:
  1. In 2016, MPF  dedicated its 20th acquisition, the 163-acre Carver Prairie, named in honor of Dr. George Washington Carver.  
  2. From 2014 to 2016, MPF purchased for permanent protection, 588 acres including original, unplowed remnant prairie supporting, at a minimum, hundreds of native species of plants and animals. No other group or agency in the state purchased more original prairie than MPF in this time period. 
  3. In August 2016, MPF was awarded its second Natural Resource Damage Assessment award totaling $843,670, to purchase additional land. With this award and other donations made throughout its three-year 50th Anniversary Campaign, MPF surpassed its $4 million campaign goal by $1.28 million. For an organization that only a few years ago had an operating budget of approximately $300,000, this fundraising success is quite an achievement.
  4. Now 16 years old, MPF’s Grow Native! program has grown from fewer than 80 professional members when MPF assumed the program four years ago from the Missouri Department of Conservation to 128 members for 2017. MPF staff administer the program with many of the activities of Grow Native! guided by MPF’s Grow Native! committee, made up of native plant professionals and educators. MPF organized three Grow Native! workshops in 2016: One in Edwardsville, IL featured Dr. Doug Tallamy; one in Arcadia, MO; and one at Powell Gardens, with more than 100 registrants.
Goals for 2017 as reflected in MPF's 2017-2021 Strategic Plan: carry out prairie management plan on MPF's 21 properties and provide management services to partner landowners, secure at least five $50,000 or more donations to build endowment and other long-term funds, carry out more than 20 hikes and other free educational activities for the general public. 
Needs Statement
  • Secure at least six new lifetime members ($2,000) in 2017 to meet 2021 goal of 30 new lifetime members.
  • Secure an additional $40,000 minimum increase to annual Grow Native! operating budget to increase staffing capacity.
  • Secure at least three $25,000 donations in 2017 as part of 2017 operating revenue.
  • New-to-us pick up truck to replace aging one, for prairie management work.
  • Additional staffing capacity to carry out many aspects of our outreach and education program.
Service Categories
Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Biological, Life Science Research
Environmental Education
Areas of Service
MPF serves the state of Missouri, however, our Grow Native! program service area is the lower Midwest—eastern Kansas, all of Missouri, southern Illinois, and northern Arkansas.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
We are one of the largest private land trusts in the state of Missouri, owning 20 parcels of property totaling more than 3,200 acres, and helping protect thousands more through partnerships with other landowners. 
Temperate grasslands---including Missouri's tallgrass prairie and other native grassland communities---are the least conserved, most threatened major terrestrial habitat type on earth. We exist to conserve these biologically rich landscapes for the benefit of all Missourians, and to help more people understand the value of choosing native plant species for ecological stability, landscaping, livestock forage, carbon storage, and water quality.

MPF organizes and hosts more than a dozen events around the state every year to provide opportunities for our members and the general public to enjoy and learn about Missouri's grassland natural communities, including events targeted specifically to educators. Events include our Prairie BioBlitz, campouts, guided prairie hikes, seed collecting outings, lectures, tours and native landscaping workshops. In 2016, its 50th Anniversary year, MPF founded National Prairie Day (first Saturday of June), providing an opportunity for groups and citizens nationwide to highlight the important of native grassland conservation.

Program Budget $48,683.00
Category Environment, General/Other Land Conservation
Population Served Adults, Families, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Increased participation of teachers, students, members, home gardeners and others in our events, as well as visits to the MPF and Grow Native! websites and Facebook page, and response to articles and press releases. 
Long-Term Success

Increased understanding by the general public, MPF members, educators and students of the importance of prairie, savanna, glade natural resources, and their conservation in Missouri. Increase in number of acres of prairie purchased by MPF or other conservation groups, and/or more prairie conservation efforts on the part of individual, private landowners. Increased membership in our organization would serve as an indication of the number of people reached who are interested enough and care enough about native grassland conservation to become members. Additionally, the increased demand for native plants for landscaping would be an indication of the success of the reach of our Grow Native! program.

Program Success Monitored By Increase in number of acres owned and managed by MPF, increase in research projects on MPF land, increase in conservation projects with partners. Increase is sales by Grow Native! members who sell native plant products and services. Increase in number of MPF members, Facebook followers, e-news subscribers, views of on-line MPF videos. Communication with and surveys of event participation.
Examples of Program Success

In 2016, MPF came very close to attracting and retaining 2,000 members, up several hundred from five years ago. Our Facebook followers have grown from 1,500 at the beginning of 2015 to 2,954 as of February 27, 2017. In 2012, there were 60 landscaping and native plant professionals who were Grow Native! Professional Members; today we have 133.  

Description Acquisition, restoration and management of native prairie parcels in the state of Missouri. To that end, MPF owns and/or manages more than 3,300 acres through partnerships with public agencies and private prairie owners, helps protect thousands more. 
Program Budget $186,120.00
Category Environment, General/Other Land Conservation
Population Served General/Unspecified, General/Unspecified, General/Unspecified
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Reduction or eradication of invasive plants, including trees and exotic species like tall fescue and sericea lespedeza through eradication programs employing herbicides, tree cutting and prescribed burning; increased members and supporters of our organization.
Long-Term Success An increase in number of acres of original prairie protected in perpetuity by MPF and/or our partners. The perpetuation of these original, native grassland landscapes with their attendant flora and fauna, the increase of populations of native grassland-dependent species, and the increased connectivity of native grasslands via land acquisition, prairie restoration, and/or reconstruction.
Program Success Monitored By Additional acres acquired (such as our 2015 acquisition of Snowball Hill Prairie in the greater Kansas City area); visible recovery in appearance, habitat, flora and fauna species and species inventory and documentation.
Examples of Program Success
In 2014, MPF purchased three additional tracts of land totaling 359 acres; in 2015, MPF purchased two additional tracts of land totaling 239 acres. In early 2017, MPF purchased another tract totaling 59 acres. In an age of rapidly disappearing prairie resources, this is quite an accomplishment--to have both attracted the funding to purchase this land and to steward it and sustain high species diversity or, in the case of degraded land, increase it. 
Many of MPF's prairies acquired a decade or more ago are now virtually free of woody growth. As a result MPF has been able to take on management of partner prairie tracts. In addition, plant and animal surveys on our properties document a high level of native grassland biodiversity, which is perpetuated or increased thanks to our management. MPF shares data obtained from biological surveys with conservation partners.
Description Production of a high quality full color magazine with features on many aspects of prairie biology and conservation to keep our members, conservation partners, and elected officials informed of our activities, educate them about grassland natural community biology and management, and inspire them to increase their involvement with the organization and prairie conservation. The Missouri Prairie Journal also includes a Grow Native! native gardening/landscaping feature in every issue, as well as a regular feature on the benefits native pastures/forage to cattle producers and other landowners.
Program Budget $36,141.00
Category Environment, General/Other Land Conservation
Population Served Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
Membership retention and increase, and increase in attendance at MPF  activities.
Long-Term Success Increased membership attributable to interest in the Missouri Prairie Journal; increased prairie conservation by private individuals and agencies attributable to information provided by this publication; increased funding for MPF activities and prairie conservation in general. Visit www.moprairie.org and view archives of past issues.
Program Success Monitored By
Positive feedback from readers and membership retention; increased web traffic to on-line Missouri Prairie Journal articles. Citation of articles by prairie researchers, conservation professionals, and citizen scientists.
Examples of Program Success Constant improvement in content and increased breadth of types of subscribers. Please visit MPF's website at  www.moprairie.org and visit Missouri Prairie Journal archives to view past issues.
MPF runs the 17-year-old native plant education and marketing program called Grow Native! MPF manages the Grow Native! website, organizes numerous native landscaping workshops and other events, produces native plant articles to several publications every month, manages sales of tags for more than 200 native plant species, available for professional members to purchase to help market/sell their native plants, and, in 2015, launched the Missouri Invasive Exotic Plant Species Task Force, housed within Grow Native!
In 2016, MPF awarded its fifth and sixth Prairie Gardens Grants, to the Harrisonville Elementary School and to Prairie Pop Up in St. Louis. Schools, libraries, garden clubs, arboreta, and other entities may apply for a small grant to fund the establishment or expansion of a prairie garden in a public venue to help the general public enjoy and learn about the benefits of native prairie plants.
In 2016, MPF gave away more than 4,000 native milkweeds and nectar plants to help provide habitat for monarch butterflies.
Program Budget $77,317.00
Category Environment, General/Other Horticulture
Population Served Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Increased interest in Grow Native! programs; increased readership of Grow Native! articles; increased sales of native plants and native plant services of Grow Native! Professional Members; increased attendance at Grow Native! workshops (e.g., 300 attendees of Feb. 26, 2016 Grow Native! workshop--a three-fold increase over some other workshops).
Long-Term Success Increased use of native plants in developed landscapes in rural, suburban, and urban areas for landscaping, stormwater management, livestock forage, erosion control, and other purposes. Increased and sustained demand for native plants and native plant services (e.g., landscape design, architecture).
Program Success Monitored By Accomplished action steps in our 2016-2020 Strategic Plan; tracking visits to www.grownative.org; measuring attendance of Grow Native! workshops; surveying Grow Native! Professional Members about increase/decrease in native seed/plant/services sales, increase sales of Grow Native! plant tags (100,000 sold in 2015; 160,700 sold in 2016).
Examples of Program Success Increased revenue from the annual MPF April Native Plant Sales in Kansas City (revenues have increased in every year of the past five years); Increased professional membership to the Grow Native! (increase from 80 in 2014 to 100 early in 2016); Increased attendance at annual Grow Native! Professional Member meeting (fewer than 60 in 2012, under Mo. Dept. of Conservation; more than 60 under MPF in 2012; more than 100 in 2013 and 2014; 133 for 2017).
CEO Comments
Missouri's remaining native grasslands and their rich biodiversity face constant threat from invasive species that crowd out native species and degrade wildlife habitat; from agricultural and other forms of development, and from climate change. MPF's prairie protection programs—including prairie acquisition, management, advocacy, and educational endeavors—are designed to conserve the biological integrity of our remaining prairies, glades, and savannas for the benefit of future generations of Missourians.
Additionally, the nation as a whole is faced with the reality that 93% of our land has been altered, leaving only 3% of truly intact land available for native plants, insects, and countless other species that are not only vital for the survival of many wildlife species, but also for human well-being. To help address this challenge, MPF not only continues to safeguard original prairie remnants, but also is the home of the Grow Native! native plant education program, which educates home gardeners, municipalities, agricultural producers, businesses, schools, and other entities about the importance of choosing native plants for the built environment and altered landscapes, and provides resources to them to help them find native plants and native landscaping services. Through Grow Native! MPF aims to help increase the ecological productivity of yards, corporate campuses, farms, school yards, parks and other landscapes throughout Missouri and other places in the larger lower Midwest region. Another initiative of the Grow Native! program is the Missouri Invasive Plant Species Task Force, which MPF begin in 2015, to comprehensively and proactively identify and control invasive plant species that threaten biodiversity and many aspects of Missouri's economy.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Carol E. Davit
Term Start Jan 2011
MPF Executive Director Carol Davit has more than twenty years of professional experience in environmental and conservation communications, administration, leadership, development, and education, for federal, state, and city government, a regional resource authority, and private, nonprofit organizations. More than six years experience as a volunteer advisor to municipal environmental commissions/committees. She also serves on statewide interagency/inter-organizational conservation committees and advisory boards. She has received two awards during her career from the Missouri Native Plant Society: the Erna Eisendarth Education Award and the Plant Stewardship Award. Davit has written on a wide range of natural history and environmental topics for the Missouri Conservationist magazine, the Missouri Prairie Journal, for which she has served as editor since 1996, and for a variety of other publications.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Mr. Justin R. Johnson 2004 - Mar 2009
Paid Full-Time Staff 3
Paid Part-Time Staff 0
Volunteers 40
Paid Contractors 6
Retention Rate 100%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
  • Missouri Department of Conservation
  • Missouri Department of Natural Resources
  • Conservation Federation of Missouri
  • Kansas City WildLands
  • Kansas City Native Plant Initiative 
  • Kansas City Parks and Recreation 
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Powell Gardens
  • Kansas City WildLands
  • Ozark Regional Land Trust 
  • The Nature Conservancy 
  • individual garden centers and native landscaping professionals
  • University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Monarch Joint Venture 
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Missouri Native Plant Society 
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Audubon Society of Missouri
  • Missouri Master Naturalists 
  • Private, individual landowners
  • Private foundations  
  • Individual corporations 
  • Missouri Monarch and Pollinator Conservation Collaborative
  • Missouri Conservation Biomass Alliance
  • Missouri Outdoor Action Committee
  • Missouri Environmental Education Literacy Board
  • Missouri River Bird Observatory
  • Institute of Botanical Training
St. Louis Audubon Conservation AwardSt. Louis Audubon2010
Civic Stewardship AwardSt. Louis Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects2007
Conservation AwardAmerican Motors1975
Kansas City WildLands Award for an OrganizationKansas City WildLands, a Bridging the Gap affiliate2011
G. Andy Runge AwardMissouri Chapter of The Wildlife Society2006
Conservation Organization of 2016Conservation Federation of Missouri2017
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments
Temperate grasslands---including Missouri's remaining prairie and other native grasslands---are the least conserved, most threatened major terrestrial habitat type on earth. Missouri's remaining native grasslands---fewer than an estimated 70,000 scattered acres from the state's original 15 million---are under constant threat by agricultural development, invasive species, and may be significantly altered by climate change. To address these challenges, MPF is armed with the passion of its 1,800+ members and other supporters to conserve remaining prairie and its high level of biodiversity statewide through acquisition, restoration, and management by MPF, as well as the power to advocate for the same actions by federal and state agencies and other conservation groups.  MPF also advocates for the use of native plants in the built environment and altered landscapes through its Grow Native! program and identifies and controls invasive species through its Missouri Invasive Plant Species Task Force.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Doris Sherrick
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Oct 2016 to Oct 2017
Email info@moprairie.com
Board Members
Ms. Susan Appel Community Volunteer
Mr. Holly Berthold Missouri Botanical Garden
Ms. Anita Berwanger Retired, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Mr. Dale Blevins Retired, USGS
Mr. Dale Carpentier Retired teacher
Mr. Glenn D. Chambers Photographer
Ms. Christine Chiu Community Volunteer
Ms. Laura Church Missouri DIFP
Mr. Brian Edmond Southern Missouri State University, Springfield
Ms. Margo Farnsworth Biomimicry Educator/Writer
Mr. Page Hereford President, HPR Complete Print Management
Ms. Sarah Hinman Biologist
Mr. Bob Lee Retired attorney
Mr. Scott Lenharth software engineer, community volunteer
Dr. Wayne Morton M.D.Morton Van Zanten Clinic, Sac Osage Hospital
Mr. Steve Mowry Von Erdmannsdorff, Mowry and Bartlett
Mr. Stan M. Parrish Community Volunteer
Ms. Jan Sassmann Community Volunteer
Mr. Bruce Schuette Retired, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Ms. Doris Sherrick Community Volunteer
Mr. Mike Trial Retired, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mr. Jon Wingo CEO, DJM Ecological Services
Mr. Van Wiskur Engineer
Mr. David Young Retired Wildlife Biologist
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 23
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 15
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 68%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Scientific Advisory
Advisory Board Members
Mr. Max Alleger Mo. Dept. of Conservation
Mr. Jeff Cantrell Mo. Dept. of Conservation
Mr. Steve Clubine Retired Biologist
Mr. Dennis Figg Missouri Department of Conservation
Mr. Michael J. Leahy Missouri Department of Conservation
Dr. Quinn Long Missouri Botanical Garden
Dr. Peter H. Raven Retired, Missouri Botanical Garden
Mr. Rudi Roeslein Roeslein & Associates
Mr. Rick Thom Retired wildlife conservation professional
Dr. James Trager Missouri Botanical Garden
CEO Comments
The Missouri Prairie Foundation's hands-on board of directors not only attend board meetings, carry out important portions of the operations of the organization, guide the biological management of its prairies and engage members, but many also serve as committee chairs, work at native plant sales, mow prairie fire lines, fight invasive species, and conduct prairie wildlife surveys. MPF seeks more opportunities to convey their knowledge and passion to the philanthropic community and to conservation and agricultural policymakers.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $616,732
Projected Expenses $616,732
Endowment Value $237,538
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$373,144$105,202$10,000
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$8,935$9,897$7,968
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$326,901$292,037$262,566
Administration Expense$25,099$51,254$45,074
Fundraising Expense$29,183$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses3.173.532.44
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%85%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$5,149,127$4,284,952$3,391,636
Current Assets$511,610$389,272$318,999
Long-Term Liabilities$78,272$0$0
Current Liabilities$59,029$67,948$43,868
Total Net Assets$5,011,826$4,217,004$3,347,768
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities8.675.737.27
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets2%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $103,737Anonymous $540,000Anonymous $316,205
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $80,000Anonymous $100,000Anonymous $49,311
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $55,000Anonymous $35,000Anonymous $25,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments
By December 31, 2016, the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) had raised $5.28 million for its 50th Anniversary Campaign (2014-2016) goal---$1.28 million over its goal. Launched in summer 2014 in recognition of its 50th anniversary in 2016,  this campaign--to help Prairies Now and Forever--presented all prairie enthusiasts and lovers of native landscapes with a golden opportunity to invest in future prairie protection. Now 51 years ago, the founders of MPF took a stand to ensure that Missouri would always have rich, beautiful prairies. 
MPF invites everyone to help MPF build its long-term funds including its permanent endowment, and funds for future land acquisitions.
Organization Name Missouri Prairie Foundation
Address PO Box 200
Columbia, MO 65205
Primary Phone (888) 843-6739
Contact Email info@moprairie.com
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Carol E. Davit
Board Chair Ms. Doris Sherrick
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 1968