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New Missouri State Park - Don Robinson Park
Photo of Don Robinson Park, courtesy Misssouri State Parks
Don Robinson State Park in Jefferson County to Open Jan. 6
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, January 2, 2017 - The new Don Robinson State Park in Jefferson County will officially open on January 6. The 818-acre park, located near Cedar Hill, will be open for day use and will feature hiking trails to allow the public to enjoy the wide variety of natural resources found within its boundaries.

In an announcement, Governor Jay Nixon said, "Here in Missouri, we cherish our nationally recognized state parks system, as seen by the record 20 million visitors to our parks in 2016 and the overwhelming 80 percent vote in November in favor of renewing the Parks, Soil and Water sales tax. I am proud to open this new park so more Missourians can enjoy the beauty and wonders this area offers. This gift to the people of Missouri from the late Don Robinson will have an enduring impact for generations to come, and is a reminder of our state's celebrated outdoor heritage."

The park's land is in the upper watershed of LaBarque Creek, a high-quality stream that supports 42 species of fish before entering the Meramec River. The park also includes an extensive network of sandstone cliffs and box canyons, outcrops and shelter caves as well as glades and upland and bottomland forests. Native shortleaf pine occurs in the area and may represent the northernmost location of this species in Missouri. The park is rich in native plants, with approximately 650 species of plants.

"This new park was made possible thanks to the generosity of the late Don Robinson," said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks. "Thanks to his efforts, Missourians will be able to enjoy the outstanding biological diversity found within this new park."

Don Robinson was a self-made businessman who became successful by producing and marketing a cleaning product called "Off." With his profits, he began buying land in the Jefferson County area, creating his own sanctuary surrounded by mostly forested steep, rugged hills. Upon his death, Robinson donated his land as well as trust fund to help manage the park to Missouri State Parks.

Visitors will be able to access Don Robinson State Park starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, with trails and picnic areas open and available for use. The entrance to the park is located at 9275 Byrnesville Road, Cedar Hill. Guests can find out more about the new park by calling 636-257-3788.

Don Robinson State Park is the newest of several state parks now available to the public through efforts by Gov. Nixon to enhance outdoor opportunities in Missouri. In July, Gov. Nixon dedicated Echo Bluff State Park in Shannon County. On Dec. 10, the Governor opened 47.5 miles of trail between Pleasant Hill and Windsor along the Rock Island spur of Katy Trail State Park, enabling hikers and bicyclists to travel cross-state from the Kansas City area all the way to the St. Louis area along the world-renowned Katy Trail.

Missouri Cybersecurity Task Force Issues 2016 Report
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, January 2, 2017 - The Missouri Cybersecurity Task Force has issued its 2016 report with recommendations and action steps to continue improving cybersecurity throughout public and private sectors. Among the recommendations include a call for continued investments in STEM education and workforce development, with cybersecurity professionals being in high demand across all industries.

"Protecting tax payers' private information is an important responsibility of state and local governments, and our work to strengthen Missouri's cybersecurity systems has been an investment worth making," Governor Jay Nixon announced. "Going forward, it is important that the state continue its investments in education and workforce development to ensure there are qualified men and women trained in this fast growing field. The latest programs and hardware can be purchased immediately when needed, but maintaining a skilled workforce requires a long-term vision and commitment across all levels of government."

"Over the past nine months we have had the opportunity to talk with organizations across the state, and although many are making great strides in their efforts to improve their cybersecurity postures, there is still work to be done," Office of Administration Commissioner Doug Nelson said. "I am proud of the progress our team and the task force have made to further this cause and form a statewide cybersecurity network, and we greatly appreciate Gov. Nixon's emphasis and attention on this critical issue."

Gov. Nixon formed the Missouri Cybersecurity Task Force this past April to bolster the state's ongoing efforts to strengthen cybersecurity. In August, Missouri launched a statewide cybersecurity ad campaign to raise public awareness of cybersecurity best practices and hosted the first-ever State of Missouri Cybersecurity Summit which brought together representatives of state and local governments, law enforcement, business, higher education, and K-12 institutions across the state to strengthen cybersecurity efforts by raising awareness and sharing best practices.

This year, Missouri was one of five elite states in the nation to receive an A grade from the Center for Digital Government in its 2016 Digital States Survey. In its report, the Center cited Missouri's public safety and emergency management programs as the crown jewel of the state's efforts.

This past May, Missouri was honored with the "Innovation of the Year" award from StateScoop, the leading government IT media company. The StateScoop 50 Awards celebrate outstanding achievements of the nation's top state IT and tech industry leaders making a positive impact in government and public service.

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