Local canoeist and river guide recognized by Southern Living magazine

2012-02-14T18:04:00Z 2012-02-15T12:31:17Z Local canoeist and river guide recognized by Southern Living magazineBY DEB PETERSON • dpeterson@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8276 stltoday.com

ROLLIN' ON THE RIVER: Mike Clark, owner of Big Muddy Adventures and one of the most accomplished canoeists and guides in the country with more than 10,000 miles of big river experience to his credit, is a runner up for a "Hero of the New South" award from Southern Living magazine for his work to preserve local natural resources.

Clark, 52, of Richmond Heights, has been leading large and small groups on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers since 2001. The magazine said a panel of jurors chose honorees "whose stories inspire us and reflect the rich diversity of the Southern spirit. They are otherwise ordinary folks who have done extraordinary things."

Clark and his business partner, John Ruskey, 48, of Clarksdale, Miss., who also was awarded the runner-up status from Southern Living, own outfitting and tour companies on the Mississippi and volunteer to protect the river system, which is the largest in North America. They lead large-scale cleanups and canoe-building sessions and last year launched wildmiles.org to document and protect the river's remaining untouched wilderness areas.

Clark also teaches computer lab, science and history at St. Ann Catholic School in Normandy.

Clark and Ruskey will be recognized in next month's issue of the magazine, which will be on newstands Feb. 24. Portions of it are online now and available by clicking here.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about where Clark teaches. This version has been corrected.

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Deb Peterson

Deb Peterson dishes the scoop on the rich, the famous, the power elite and the little guys. From charity balls and tony restaurants to neighborhood parties and hometown affairs, she's got the goods -- and the gossip -- on them all.

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