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CHIMPANZEE BORN AT THE SAINT LOUIS ZOO: Important addition to the population of this critically endangered species

Photo and video: Helen Boostrom and Kim Emerson, Saint Louis Zoo

Utamu (pronounced oo-TAH-moo), an 18-year-old chimpanzee at the Saint Louis Zoo, gave birth to a yet-to-be-named female baby around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at Jungle of the Apes.

“We are all very happy to have a new baby in the troop and it is so great to see Utamu become a mother,” said Heidi Hellmuth, Curator of Primates, Saint Louis Zoo.

The baby appears to be healthy and is clinging to mom well, according to the Zoo’s primate care team and veterinarians. The team will watch the mother and infant closely during the coming days and weeks, monitoring for nursing and observing the behavior of Utamu and the baby.

“We are hopeful that everything will continue to go well for both mom and baby. The next couple of months are critical,” said Helen Boostrom, Zoological Manager of Primates, Saint Louis Zoo. “Our highly skilled, experienced primate care team has built strong, trusting relationships with the chimpanzees, which are integral to providing the high level of care and training involved in preparing Utamu for birth and rearing her infant.”

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Spring 2021 Anticipated Opening of the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape In Forest Park

Forest Park Forever recently published an update on the construction of Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape  in Forest Park. Please continue below for the full announcement.

To the Forest Park community:

Forest Park Forever and our City of St. Louis partners are thrilled to share a special update about the 17-acre Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape under construction in Forest Park.

Since spring 2019, the site has transformed from just mowed grass into natural landscapes with native and diverse plant species, water-based activity areas and more. The destination features nine distinct activity areas — including Mounds, a Spring, a Meadow, a Wetland and more — and a series of accessible paths and boardwalks between them. Visitors, especially children, will connect with nature and engage their senses as they explore, discover and learn.

Forest Park Forever and our City partners are anticipating a late spring 2021 opening of this remarkable new destination. Our teams will work together to ensure that the site opens to visitors with the proper health and safety protocols and guidelines in place.

Continue reading below for more details included in the project.

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Corrigan Comments On Recent Induction Into The St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Media Hall of Fame Foundation recently posted on YouTube all of this year’s inductees, including Environmental Echo’s Don Corrigan.  A professor of journalism and long-time newspaper editor, Corrigan is introduced here by the Webster University School of Communications Dean Eric Rothenbuhler.

In his acceptance speech, Corrigan recalls his early years of journalism in grade school with his neighborhood newspaper. He ends his remarks with his interest in covering outdoor and environmental issues, from Times Beach to TMI radioactive rail shipments, to the radioactive waste problems such as those at West Lake and Coldwater Creek in the St. Louis region.

Corrigan also thanks the many inspirational women who have helped with his journalism projects over four decades.

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New Solar Surges in Gateway Region Despite Pandemic

Region’s Solar Group Buy Programs Provides Additional Discount for Program Participants 

The pandemic has prompted many people to make their households more efficient and for some St. Louis area residents that means investing in solar powerTwin programs, Grow Solar St. Louis and Grow Solar Metro East, make this process easier and more affordable. 

In 2020, more than 60 property owners have already committed to go solar through the programs. All are expected to be producing electricity before the end of the year. The 500 kW of new capacity will offset more than 700,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in their first year of operation. It will save solar homeowners roughly $40,000 on electricity bills, collectively, in that same time period. 

“Another 60 households are actively considering their own commitments, and hundreds of people are joining us to learn all about solar,”  said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Director for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, which is co-facilitating the programs with local sponsors. “It’s really exciting to see how much interest there is in solar in the Gateway Region as we approach the September 30 program deadline.” 

Continue reading below for more information about the program.

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The Legends of Conservation tour!

Check out the video below about how the Legends of Conservation came to live and how you can have the exhibit come to your next gathering or event.

You can also visit the Legends of Conservation website or Facebook page.

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Boeing Aviation Field At Forest Park Is Now Open!

The $33 million improvement project is now complete and the space has been upgraded to a premier visitor and player-friendly baseball/softball complex. Improvements include elements, such as LED lighting, improved irrigation, path and parking upgrades, additional trees and landscaping and a new pedestrian entry plaza.

Check it out: (video posted by Forest Park Forever.)

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Wetland Restoration Along Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail

Great Rivers Greenway posted a video detailing plans for the Gravois Greenway. Please take a moment to learn about the upcoming plans.

Construction to connect the Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail and River des Peres Greenway continues despite heavy rains and historic flooding throughout the region. While work in certain areas of the project has been put on pause due to conditions, work in other areas is set to begin. Work to restore a wetland area near Gravois Creek and to construct a raised greenway through this flood prone area will soon get underway! We caught up with the project’s architect – Vern Remiger of DGRE Studio – to learn more about the wetland area and the restoration project.