Branson, MO – September 6, 2012 – The Ozark Mountain Legacy initiative recognizes the unique “Ozark Mountain Spirit” that permeates life in our community. This spirit flows from the area’s unique core values – Family, Faith, Friends, Flag, and ensuring a preferred Future. It has defined our area since its beginnings and continues to influence the way we live today.

“For over 100 years, Stone and Taney counties have been a ‘special place,’ both to live and visit. Our Ozark Mountain Legacy simply describes what makes us ‘special,’” said Jack Herschend, co-founder of Herschend Family Entertainment. “It also defines what we want to be in the future.”

Ozark Mountain Legacy acknowledges, however, that in order to preserve this ‘special place,’ we must be intentional. “The decisions that we make today in our local governments, businesses, schools, organizations, and families, will determine what this area looks like years from now,” said Dean Kruithof, Branson City Administrator. “The Legacy is a positive statement of our community’s values on which we can choose to build our future.”

Recently, several “catalyst” teams have been meeting in both Stone and Taney Counties. The goals of these teams are to help connect fellow passionate citizens who want to preserve the values of our culture and to create hands-on opportunities for community-wide engagement in passing on those values to the next generations.

Taney County Legacy Catalyst members have championed the Legacy Youth Institute, which is designed to equip young leaders to “shape the culture” as they position themselves to influence the future of Ozark Mountain Country. Starting this fall, ten Taney and Stone County high schools will send junior representatives to participate in the six-session program.

Stone County Legacy Catalyst members have developed EarthWise Recycling Center by partnering with Reeds Spring Schools and students, area businesses, and passionate volunteers. EarthWise will initially be open on Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. until noon at their location on the Reeds Spring High School campus. Both the EarthWise Recycling Center and the Legacy Youth Institute will kick off on Saturday, September 22nd.

“We hope that these opportunities will train and equip our youth to preserve and pass on the values of our community,” said Jory Rolf, Executive Director of Ozark Mountain Legacy. “When the youth become passionate about our area’s legacy, we can be sure that the Ozark Mountain Spirit will be transferred to the next generation.”

For more information about the Ozark Mountain Legacy initiative or either of these catalyst projects, please contact Ozark Mountain Legacy at (417) 598-1314, or visit

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