The Beautiful, But Deadly, Meramec River At Castlewood

May 30 incident, a 19-year-old was standing on the banks of the river at Castlewood when he slipped into the Meramec at mid-afternoon. He was underwater for 10 minutes before two men were able to find him in the river and pull him out.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. This area has experienced an unusually high number of drownings. The surface of the water often may look calm, but there are strong currents and undertows just below.

Charlie Woodruff, a 22-year-old Webster University student, knows the Castlewood Park area well. The bluffs along the river offer excellent views. Trails above the river offer pretty walks past the ruins of a 1950s’ resort area.

Hikes on trails along the river offer nature rewards as well, but Charlie Woodruff says the park’s reputation for bucolic trails and natural beauty is being ruined and overwhelmed by the sheer number of fatalities among those who decide to take a dip in the Meramec River.

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Moth Night at Busch Memorial Conservation Area, July 23

Stars and Fireflies – Photo courtesy MDC.

Enjoy an evening of insects, stargazing, music, and more at August A. Busch Conservation Area after dark on July 23, 2022!

This program highlights the interesting world of moths and other night-flying insects, in celebration of National Moth Week.

Activities will include black light sheet insect ID by the Sofia M. Sachs Butterfly House staff, information from the International Dark-Sky Association, telescope stargazing, and a special musical performance by the Eco Tones. Bring the whole family and discover nature after dark!

This is a no registration, all-ages event, but please visit our information table to check-in and for a free sweet and cold treat. It is STRONGLY encouraged that you bring a flashlight or headlamp as lights on the area will be out.

No Registration Required
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2022

Time: 8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial Conservation Area


Mid-Missouri Weekend Travel Brings Pleasant Surprises

By Don Corrigan

Traveling Mid-Missouri, even for a day, can bring a lot of pleasant surprises. My day (Saturday, June 4) started at Fox Hollow, just west of Ashland. It went from there to festivities at Cooper’s Landing, then to the Rocheport trailhead for a bike ride on the Katy to McBaine and back.

Fox Hollow –  was the site of the Rural Land Stewardship Field Day. In addition to viewing on-site land preservation projects, visitors enjoyed exhibits, professional advice and takeaway information at five staffed, clustered resource stations on forest issues, wildlife preservation and organic food.

In addition to viewing on-site, in-progress land stewardship projects, I experienced nature exhibits; took in some professional nature advice; and gathered takeaway information at five staffed, clustered resource stations.


I most enjoyed the wildlife at Fox Hollow and the animals’ ability to get along when human beings seem to be having a hard time with peaceful co-existence in these times. I also enjoyed a long conversation with state Rep. Bruce Sassman and his efforts on behalf of the proposed Rock Island Trail and in advocating for his Legends of Conservation. The legends exhibit honors American leaders in the conservation movement.

Finally, I loved seeing the dozens of goats at Fox Hollow. They were busy eating massive quantities of invasive species. Also, it was interesting to learn all about them from the good folks with GOATS ON THE GO.


Cooper’s Landing – Next stop was Cooper’s Landing sandwiched between the Missouri River and the Katy Trail. Several hundred people were enjoying the BBQ, the drinks and the music of some kind of new wave Ozark music.

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Cool Your Brain, Warm Your Heart, and Set Your Soul on Fire: 7 Ways to Prevent Eco-Anxiety and Climate Doomerism

By Patrick Fleming

I recently asked a college professor friend what his students are like today. His answer was disturbing, “They are all depressed and hopeless.”

There is growing concern about the effect that global warming is having on our mental and even spiritual health. Studies are showing higher levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness in the general population, especially among young people. Research published in the Lancet, interviewed 10,000 people, 16-25, in 10 countries.

Researchers found “a startlingly high rate of pessimism:” 45% worry about climate disasters affecting their daily life; 75% say the future is frightening; 56% agree with the statement, “Humanity is doomed;” 40% report being hesitant to have children, not wanting to bring children into a hotter, harsher world.

Here are 7 ways to maintain your mental and spiritual health as our planet heats up. In short, these practices help you to keep your brain cool, your heart warm, and set your soul on fire.

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Creatures of Myth and Legend Featured at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park

Join team members at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park in welcoming the World Bird Sanctuary for a special Father’s Day program at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 19.

The World Bird Sanctuary will showcase creatures of myth and legend. Guests are invited to bring their own myth and legend – their father – to celebrate the special day. Participants will meet at the Henry Babler Enclosed Shelter at the Guy Park Trailhead. Signs will direct guests from there.

Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park is located at 800 Guy Park Drive in Wildwood, west of St. Louis.

For more information, please call 636-458-3813.


Don’t Miss Don Corrigan June 18!

Plant Man Blossoms Into A MoBot Rosarian

Photo by Ursula Ruhl

By Don Corrigan

As a youngster, Matthew Norman used to play – and work – in his grandmother’s garden in Kirkwood. She inspired his plant career, which blossomed in the decades since he was in the dirt at grandma’s house.

Norman started his plant career right out of Kirkwood High School when he took a job with the Kirkwood Parks & Recreation Department in 2014. Today, he cares for the Missouri Botanical Garden’s (MoBot) two extensive rose gardens.

“The rose gardens are true crowd pleasers,” noted MoBot spokesperson Catherine Martin. “Matthew Norman is the garden’s rosarian and he looks over more than 1,500 individual plants encompassing 250 varieties.”

Roses hold a historically special place at the Garden in Saint Louis. Founder Henry Shaw wrote a small book on the emblem of his native England, entitled “The Rose.”

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Missouri Bears On The Move – Be Bear Aware!

Photo: Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds St. Louis region residents that spring and early summer is the time when bears are on the move.

It’s common for MDC to receive reports of bears in counties like Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and Crawford.  However, it was just over a year ago when a male black bear wandered through St. Louis County and into Richmond Heights, were MDC biologists immobilized and safely relocated the bear to an area of suitable bear habitat outside the urban corridor.

Incidents like this remind us that black bears are becoming a growing part of the St. Louis regional landscape, even at times in highly populated areas.

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Missouri Scores Low Marks: Area Gets A Grim Environmental Report Card

By Don Corrigan

St. Louis and Missouri get low marks on a range of issues related to the region’s environmental health. That was a report given for an educational lecture series at the Parkway United Church of Christ in West County by the author of Environmental Missouri in May.

According to environmental writer Don Corrigan, the St. Louis region gets many failing grades once again for its failed efforts to clean up PCB and plastics pollution, as well as the West Lake landfill area in Bridgeton that has been contaminated with radiation for decades.

F – Area officials, including Rep. Ann Wagner, R-2nd Congressional District, settled for a flawed, partial cleanup plan in North County that is now in disarray – as experts have found more radioactive waste than anticipated. The plan is on hold.

D – Local officials have passed laws to limit the use of plastic ring holders and plastic bags. Their actions have been voided by the state legislature, controlled by people giving lip service to local control, but only lip service.

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KMOX Radio’s Nature Friend, Charlie Brennan, Will Be Missed Locally

Charlie Brennan at KMOX Radio. Photo: KSDK.

By Don Corrigan

A longtime friend of nature and the outdoors, broadcaster Charlie Brennan at KMOX Radio, stepped away from the microphone in May after doing his last morning show on the “Mighty MOX.”

Brennan hosted his final radio program on the Audacy station on May 12. He worked for more than 30 years with “News Radio 1120” KMOX-AM, which was once one of the flagship stations for the CBS Radio Network.

He joined KMOX to work evenings and weekends in 1998, after his early years at WNTN in Boston. Within two years, he began hosting the mid-morning shift where he has been heard ever since.

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