Mark Thomas Dean

Vice President | Director

Mark is a charter member of the Mill Creek Watershed Coalition. He started the Friends of Mill Creek group Facebook page which now has over 900 members.

Growing up near Rolla, Missouri, Mark’s appreciation for the Mill Creek and Kaintuck Valleys began in 1970 while attending Boy Scout events. Thanks to that organization, he spent countless hours visiting the trails, caves, and springs of the area, learning to live in the outdoors. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout along this journey and later became a Scout Master for local troops.

An advocate of art and photography, Mark earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Missouri State University, Springfield, and spent time working in printing, signs, advertising, and marketing. He earned a Master of Arts in Educational Technologies degree from Drury University and has been employed by the U.S. Army as a civilian for 26 years in various media-related positions. Today, he is an Instructional Systems Developer with a strong emphasis in video production and editing. Rare as an artist employed by the Army, he has a wide outlook as a “liberal ultra-conservative”, a hunter, fisher, outdoorsman, and conservationist.

In 1990, Mark achieved the goal of moving into the Mill Creek Valley and assimilated into the Newburg community. He built a home in 2000 and has been there with his family since.

After his first visit to Mill Creek over half a century ago, Mark can see what is changed and what remains the same. He is also aware that he is still seen by some neighbors as a newcomer. Mark continues his passion of creating multi-media of the area, finding stories and photos to post on Friends of Mill Creek, recording oral histories from the old-timers, and sharing the area with others on occasional hikes. Several years ago, Mark organized an annual cleanup of the Mill Creek watershed where over 150 community volunteers pick up trash on over 65 miles of roads in one day, typically yielding 12,000 pounds of trash. Mark’s ultimate goal is to influence people in the area to appreciate the beauty of Mill Creek and to care for it.

Always happy to meet new friends and visit about the Mill Creek Valley, you can contact him at

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