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LMRD 688, Tuesday, October 9, 2018

All Saints Day ~ New Orleans Full Moon from Algiers Point
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Falling Leaves:

Last week for Smithsonian Water/Ways at the Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale, Mississippi
(ends Saturday Oct 13th)

Last 2 weeks for Wilderness Within Watercolors at the Mississippi River State Park, near Marianna, Arkansas
(ends Sunday Oct 21st)

View Downstream from St. Charles, Race for Rivers Weekend
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Arkansas: Rivers, Mountains, Floodplains
52x52 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Wilderness Within ~ Watercolors at the Mississippi River State Park

Memphis from Martys Park

18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Spirit Canoe
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Big Head Carp

18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Mississippi Map Turtle, Port View
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Mississippi Map Turtle, Starboard View
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Canis Major, Orion, Moon over South Pass
(backed with South Pass Island, Rouseau Cane, Windy Day)
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Speyeria diana
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Orion, The Paddler, Over Buck Island

18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tära Gillanders
June 1, 2018 870-295-4040 /

John Ruskey Watercolor Exhibit at Mississippi River State Park.

Local artist, John Ruskey of Clarksdale, MS, will have a collection of his watercolors on display at Mississippi River State Park Visitor Center from June 21st to October 21st. His work is created using water from the Mississippi River. John Ruskey is worker bee in the colony of his queen, the Lower Mississippi River. He carves canoes, paints, and guides others into the wildest place remaining in the center of North America, the verdant floodplain of the big river, which reaches fullness in her last thousand miles of free-flowing joy to the Gulf of Mexico. He is author of, one million words, photos, paintings, maps and videos describing the Mississippi River for paddlers.

During exhibit visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase his artwork. Any pieces sold before the end of the exhibit period will remain on display until Oct 21st. Join the park for the opening reception or any day between 8 and 5 to experience John Ruskey’s vision of the Mississippi River.

For further information, contact Mississippi River State Park at (870) 295-4040 or go to website.

Mississippi River State Park is located four miles southeast of Marianna on Arkansas Hwy 44.

Mississippi River State Park exists to provide quality access to the St. Francis National Forest and to inspire personal connections with the River, Delta, and Ridge.

TVA Power Plant, Old Moon, Mouth of McKellar Lake, Dismal Point

24x18 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

If You Go:

Take the Low Road from Helena:

The “Low Road” north of Helena runs along the base of Crowley’s Ridge and provides land access to the mouth of the St. Francis River, and the Three-Mile Boat Ramp also on the St. Francis River. From Helena you can drive to the mouth of the St. Francis by going north out of town on Franklin Street, cut over one block east and continue north on Holly Street which becomes the Sterling Road or the “Low Road” County Road 239. The Low Road is closed above 45HG due to flood water.

This is one of the most beautiful drives in the region with the unique environment of steep Crowley’s Ridge hardwood ridges with ash, pawpaws, persimmons, rhododendron, ferns and equisetum on one side and cypress bottoms on the other side of the road. Trees and plants that grow on one side don’t grow on the other. The road is the dividing line between two distinct biota, and so the driver gets a doubly rich safari! This gravel road is appropriate for bicyclists and hikers. Little traffic. Lots of side roads to explore, including roads to Horner Lake and Porter Lake. No maintained trails, but being National Forest you can follow game trails, or your own line of direction and wander through thousands of acres of ridges, ravines and wetlands without encountering a single other person! Avoid leaving road during hunting season. Watch for poison ivy, snakes, spiders, and lots of briars. Carry a map and GPS.

Get maps and directions from the Arkansas Visitor's Center at the base of the US 49 Bridge in Helena, AR.

Helena Bridge from Bottom of Buck Island
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey


Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

"Voice of the Lower Mississippi River"

Published by the Quapaw Canoe Company since 1998

Celebrating our 20th Anniversary Year!

Snow Geese, Canoes, Beavers, Full Moon
18x24 watercolor 2017 by John Ruskey

Position Opening for the
Mississippi River Network:

**1 Mississippi
Campaign Manager **

Position Description

The Mississippi River Network: Headwaters to Gulf (MRN) is seeking applicants for full-time, salaried position to work on the coalition's public outreach campaign. The MRN is a collaborative effort of 55 organizations who have joined together to protect and restore the Mississippi River. The MRN has several initiatives: 1) a public communications campaign 2) improved and amended policies that restore and protect the River and 3) promoting communication and collaboration among the MRN members and partner organizations.

The Campaign Manager helps to implement and grow the MRN’s public communications campaign called 1 Mississippi. The purpose of the campaign is to build a nationwide community of people (River Citizens) to protect the Mississippi River. The overarching goals of the campaign are to increase the number of River Citizens, to better engage and educate River Citizens, and to encourage River Citizens to take advocacy action.

As a full-time manager of the 1 Mississippi campaign, the Campaign Manager collaborates with the Regional Hosts (MRN members) to hire, train, and manage 1 Mississippi Outreach Assistants. Outreach Assistants are responsible for recruiting River Citizens as well as cultivating the River Citizens’ relationship to the River through education and engagement events with support from the Campaign Manager.

The Campaign Manager is responsible for organizing meetings, events, and engaging River Citizens to use their advocacy voice throughout the basin and specifically in Illinois and Iowa on MRN priority policy issues. He or she works towards acquiring press and increasing exposure for the 1 Mississippi campaign by building relationships with member’s communications staff, partners, and media. This person identifies, tracks, and manages all aspects of the campaign and analyzes how to continually improve the campaign’s communications strategy. He or she will develop and guide a Campaign Committee to ensure that the communications strategy is delivered effectively to the public.

The Campaign Manager uses web development, social media, and research skills to maintain, update, and promote the 1 Mississippi website and social media accounts. The position requires staying up to date on policy issues involving the River, translating these and other complicated ideas to the general public, and inspiring people to take action to help the River. The Campaign Manager creates presentations and informative materials (i.e., fact sheets, infographics) to further educate and engage River Citizens on MRN priority issues (key problems that affect the River) and how River Citizens can help. In addition, the Campaign Manager seeks to increase the reach and resources of the campaign through grant writing as needed. The Campaign Manager reports to the Director of MRN.

Additionally, The Campaign Manager manages the 1 Mississippi Campaign Funding Program (CFP). S/he creates campaign funding guidelines and applications, conducts consultations with interested members and, in collaboration with the MRN Director, reviews CFP member proposals, and weighs in on projects to be funded by the Campaign Fund. The Campaign Manager regularly communicates with CFP recipients (MRN members) and provides guidance to these recipients in planning their projects or events.

The position involves other types of outreach such as presenting the 1 Mississippi message and campaign at conferences and networking to increase MRN’s exposure.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Coordinate the implementation and growth of a national public engagement campaign in order to engage people of voting age about the River
  • Within the context of MRN’s policy priorities, organize in-basin meetings around policy issues and engage River Citizens to use their advocacy voice
  • Identify and develop new and exciting outreach strategies consistent with MRN’s overall strategy and grant deliverables
  • Write and produce all 1 Mississippi campaign materials and communications to River Citizens, including blog posts, newsletters, action alerts, and all event materials
  • Develop and manage current content on the 1 Mississippi website, regularly track its progress and promote it through online media
  • Research and cultivate outreach techniques via social networking tools
  • Recruit, train and manage regional Outreach Assistants (located throughout the ten mainstem states) including planning a yearly training
  • Oversee each region’s implementation of the 1 Mississippi campaign, providing guidance and support when necessary to coordinate engagement and recruitment events
  • Collect and track data on campaign activities such as events held, River Citizens recruited, advocacy actions taken, letters/articles published; design and distribute annual River Citizen survey and report findings
  • Manage the 1 Mississippi Campaign Funding Program.
  • Attend and participate in all appropriate internal MRN planning meetings
  • Assist with creation of MRN Campaign Committee meetings and attend and participate in other MRN committee meetings (Steering and Policy) as needed
  • Research, draft and submit grant proposals that contribute to 1 Mississippi campaign funding
  • Assist MRN Director in planning and conducting large meetings, including the MRN Annual Meeting
  • Other duties as needed

Requirements for this position:

  • College degree
  • 3 to 5 years experience with managing and implementing a public engagement campaign
  • Organizing experience with a particular understanding of event planning
  • Marketing knowledge with specific experience in social media and public communications
  • Understanding of conservation-related environmental issues and advocacy
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate and communicate with internal and external stakeholders; friendly and outgoing manner
  • Strong leadership skills, ability to direct and motivate others
  • Strong organizational, planning, and time management skills; excellent attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
  • Willingness to travel in 10 state region of Mississippi River
  • Motivated self-starter who will eventually require little guidance
  • Innovative and strategic thinker who is continually developing ways to improve campaign
  • Experience working on teams
  • Current, valid Driver's License

Ideal candidates possess the above and are:

  • Experienced with Salsa Labs, Adobe and Drupel
  • Quick learners eager to take on new tasks

The location of this position is in Chicago or at a location near the Mississippi River and a large airport, as travel to and from Chicago and the ten main-stem Mississippi River states is expected.


This is a salaried, full-time position. This position requires overnight travel approximately once to twice a month and at times requires weekend work for outreach/campaign events.

Salary and Benefits

  • Salary $40,000- $45,000 - commensurate with experience
  • Health insurance, paid time off, 403 (b)

Application Instructions

Interested individuals can apply by sending their resume, cover letter, and three professional references to No phone calls please. The position will remain open until filled.


The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch "Voice of the Lower Mississippi River" is published by the Quapaw Canoe Company, which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary Year in 2018. Photos and writing by John Ruskey, Mark River and others. Please write for re-publishing. Feel free to share with friends or family, but also credit appropriately. Go to and click on "Quapaw Dispatch" for viewing back issues of the LMRD.