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2021 started with renewed uncertainty due to the pandemic. BETA Fund worked with Missouri State Parks to host a cleanup day in February at Elephant Rocks State Park to address trash and graffiti. Volunteers maintained COVID safety while helping pick up trash throughout the park and helped remove much of the graffiti. There’s still more work to do, and we’re looking forward to future workdays.

BETA Fund focused the spring and summer season on getting Rockwoods Reservation ready for climbing. We’ve had countless numbers of workdays, phone calls, emails, site visits, meetings with administrators, meetings with emergency managers, and more. We are humbled by the Missouri Department of Conservation’s commitment to opening this long-time closed area. They continue to be an incredible partner to work with. Even when the area does open, which we anticipate to be early fall of 2021, there will be more work to do. We’re planning to host volunteer workdays so that the community can embrace and love this area as much as we do.

In August of 2021, we executed the work to install the top-anchors at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park just in time for the climbing season to open the day after Labor Day. While working, we were in constant awe of the stunning landscape with the roar of the Black River carving through the granite just steps from the bluffs. The installation of these anchors maintains the traditional climbing ethic of the area while also meeting State Parks goals for improving climbing access. Be sure to obtain your free daily climbing permit from the visitors center before climbing.