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Hawn, St. Francois to hold meetings

The tall pines are a hallmark of Hawn State Park. (MSP)

Local state parks to hold public meetings Saturday

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 31, 2023 – Missouri State Parks representatives will be on hand to provide information and answer questions that the public may have during a series of open houses and town hall meetings to be held this month at state parks and historic sites throughout the state.

St. Francois and Hawn state parks, located near Bonne Terre and Ste. Genevieve respectively, are among the many parks and conservation areas located in the aptly-named Parkland that contribute millions of dollars to the local economy every year.

Input from the public is important to Missouri State Parks, according to Communications Director Tisha Holden. These informational meetings are being held virtually or in-person in all state parks and historic sites to help create two-way communication with the public.

“The meetings will inform the public on the current status and future plans for the park or historic site and offer visitors the opportunity to comment on the facilities,” she said. “For more information on public meetings, visit”

Helen Coffer Hawn bought at least 12 separate parcels of land between 1932 and 1941. Upon her death in 1952, she gave nearly 1,500 acres of these wild hills and streams to the state. Thirty more purchases have added to the original 1,500-acre tract to form the now 5,000-acre Hawn State Park. (Missouri State Parks)

Local meetings are Saturday:

  • Hawn State Park: This town hall-style public meeting will start at 3 p.m. in the park’s amphitheater. The park is located at 12096 Park Drive in Ste. Genevieve.
  • St. Francois State Park: This open house-style meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the amphitheater and will be followed by an interpretive program. The park is located at 8920 U.S. Highway 67 N in Bonne Terre.

The following 16 parks and historic sites will also hold meetings during September:

  • Sunday, Sept. 10, at Cuivre River State Park
    Join park team members in a town hall-style meeting at the Visitor Center at 2 p.m. Cuivre River State Park is located at 678 State Route 147 in Troy.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Big Lake State Park
    The public is invited to an open house-style public meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. at Camper Cabin 4. Big Lake State Park is located at 204 Lake Shore Drive in Craig.
  • Thursday, Sept 14, at Route 66 State Park
    At 6 p.m., join park team members at an open house-style public meeting in the media room of the visitor center at Route 66 State Park, located at 97 N. Outer Road, Suite 1 in Eureka.
  • Saturday, Sept. 16, at Trail of Tears State Park
    This town hall-style public meeting begins at 2 p.m. at the park’s visitor center located at 429 Moccasin Springs in Jackson.
  • Saturday, Sept. 16, at Graham Cave State Park
    This open house will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the lower picnic area, located at 217 Highway TT in Danville.
  • Saturday, Sept. 16, at Dillard Mill State Historic Site 
    Dillard Mill State Historic Site will hold an open house beginning at 1 p.m. at 142 Dillard Mill Road near Davisville.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 20, for Gen. John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site and Locust Creek Covered Bridge
    The public is invited to a town hall-style meeting for these two state historic sites. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Leadership Archive Museum Building at 1100 Pershing Drive in Laclede.
  • Thursday, Sept. 21, at Don Robinson State Park
    The public is invited to share comments at the meeting starting at 6 p.m. in the day-use area of the park, located at 9275 Byrnesville Road in Cedar Hill.
  • Saturday, Sept. 23, for Mastodon, Sandy Creek Covered Bridge and Gov. Daniel Dunklin’s Grave state historic sites
    The town hall-style meeting for these three state historic sites will begin at 2 p.m. in the museum auditorium at Mastodon State Historic Site located at 1050 Charles J. Becker Drive in Imperial.
  • Saturday, Sept. 23, at Big Oak Tree State Park

    Nature sometimes takes a toll, but Missouri’s state parks work to maintain accessibility. St. Francois State Park’s Swimming Deer Trail was briefly closed this summer due to flood damage to the bridge but was soon fixed. (St. Francois State Park)

    This meeting will be held at 11 a.m. in the picnic shelter at 13640 S. Highway 102 in East Prairie.

  • Saturday, Sept. 23, at Bollinger Mill State Historic Site
    Join park team members at 2 p.m. in the day-use area south of the mill for this town hall-style public meeting located at 113 Bollinger Mill Road in Burfordville.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Castlewood State Park 
    The public is invited to an open house-style meeting starting at 5 p.m. in Shelter #2 at 1401 Kiefer Creek Road in Ballwin.
  • Saturday, Sept. 30, at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park
    A town hall-style public meeting will start at 2 p.m. in the visitor center located at 800 Guy Park Drive in Wildwood.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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