Young Conservation Area is located in north-central Jefferson County, about five miles south of Eureka. The original 1221-acre tract was acquired in 1986 from the Hilda Young Family with part of the funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. Edward D. Jones, Jr. Additional tracts were added in subsequent years with a 6-acre donation from Richard and Janet Gleb, utilization of Stream Stewardship Trust Funds and a contribution from the USDA Forest Service Forest Legacy Program.
This property helps to maintain and enhance the ecological and recreational values of the LaBarque Creek Watershed, which supports a high quality stream system and diverse plant communities. The watershed lies in northwest Jefferson County and consists of 13 square miles of land with 44% being publicly owned and over 86% of the area remaining forested. As a result of the low level of development in the watershed and the protection efforts, the creek continues to support 52 species of fish, which is a diverse population that can be found no closer to the St. Louis area.
The area lies in the Ozark border region with soils derived from limestone and dolomite on the upper slopes and St. Peter sandstone in the valleys. As a result, there is a variety of plant communities, including upland dolomite/limestone woodlands and glades, limestone/dolomite and sandstone forests, and bottomland forests along with pine and bottomland tree plantings, warm season grass plantings and old fields on the lower slopes. The woods are dominated by oak, hickory, maple, and cedar with an understory of flowering dogwood and redbud.
The area is mostly forested and there are several intermittent streams, over 2 miles of LaBarque Creek, and two fishing ponds are present on the area. Currently, there are 6 miles of trails open to hiking through much of the area.