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Grand Opening For Bridge at Bayless Avenue Celebrated at “2020 Life Outside Challenge”

Photo courtesy Great Rivers Greenway.

by Don Corrigan

Saturday, Oct. 10, was a big day for  Great Rivers Greenway. In Kirkwood, a “2020  Life Outside Challenge” was underway.  About 10 miles east on the trail network, a grand opening for a bridge at Bayless Avenue was celebrated.
 
“We had 20 challenge activities at the Kirkwood Trailhead in the categories of nature creativity and healthy play,” said Anne Milford, communications coordinator for the GRG. “The parking lot was filled with cars the whole time and there was a lot of buzz about heading east to the new bridge.”
 
Indeed, a sizable number of hikers, bikers and in-line skaters made the trip from Kirkwood to a new connector bridge over the River Des Peres. The new bridge connects the Gravois Greenway and the River Des Peres Greenway.

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NOW OPEN: MDC’s Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood!

Photo courtesy MDC.

Building admittance is currently limited to the front desk, but trails and grounds remain fully accessible to the public.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is now open for limited public access, following a COVID-19-related closure. The building’s operating hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., until further notice.

Powder Valley’s front desk is available to the public for information or gift shop and permit sales. Due to ongoing public health and safety concerns, the rest of the building, including the exhibit galleries and classrooms, are currently not accessible. To help minimize person-to-person contact, one person or family will be allowed into the building at a time.

The nature center’s outdoor spaces, including all trails, remain open and fully accessible to the public.

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Boo at the Zoo!

2019 Boo at The Zoo.
Photo By Micah Usher, courtesy Saint Louis Zoo.

What: Boo at the Zoo presented by SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

When: 5 to 8:30 p.m. nightly, Oct. 16-30, 2020
Where: Saint Louis Zoo
Tickets: Members: $7.95 (ages 2-12) and $8.95 (ages 13+); Non-members: $8.95 (ages 2-12) and $9.95 (ages 13+). Children under age 2 are free.
Families can enjoy festive decorations, strolling entertainers, special food and drink menus, and more at the Saint Louis Zoo’s nighttime, non-scary Halloween experience, Boo at the Zoo presented by SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. The event runs from 5 to 8:30 p.m. every night Oct. 16 to 30. Please note, this is not a trick-or-treating event.
Find more information about Boo at the Zoo below.

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PANDEMIC CAN’T STOP HELLBENDER CONSERVATIONISTS FROM SAVING AN ENDANGERED SPECIES

Over 1,000 hellbenders from Saint Louis Zoo released into native Ozark rivers by Missouri Department of Conservation this summer

Hellbender at the Saint Louis Zoo. Photo by Ray Meibaum, Saint Louis Zoo

Over 1,000 Ozark and eastern hellbenders raised from eggs at the Saint Louis Zoo were released into their native Missouri Ozark rivers this summer by Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) State Herpetologist Jeff Briggler, Ph.D., in cooperation with the Zoo and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Since 2008, more than 8,600 Saint Louis Zoo-raised endangered hellbenders (664 eastern and 7,977 Ozark) have been reintroduced to the wild in Missouri.

The successful 2020 reintroductions almost didn’t happen, though, due to COVID-19. The team of scientists from MDC and the Zoo collaborated on a detailed plan that focused on personal safety of team members, while also providing the best care for the hellbenders and conservation of this species.

“The process was quite a bit different this year, with a lot of careful coordination on everyone’s part,” said Briggler. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the restoration team’s priority was to reduce contact and maintain social distancing among individuals. To achieve this, animal transfers from the Zoo staff to the state herpetologist occurred in open air parking lots. Crews releasing hellbenders also were reduced and limited to two individuals per boat. “Even with these safety precautions, release quotas of hellbenders were achieved and successfully conducted,” said Briggler.

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Missouri Women Cited for Environmental Work

Women have always been in the forefront of the fight to protect the outdoors and the environment in St. Louis and nationally. That was part of the message that Environmental Echo Editor Don Corrigan emphasized in a prepared statement for his induction into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame on Oct. 3.

“It  seems fitting that in this ‘Century Year of the Suffragettes’ and strong women, that there should be mention the many good women who helped the Webster-Kirkwood Times as advocates and, indeed, as mentors and sources,” declared Corrigan, who also has served as editor-in-chief for Times Newspapers. “These women put hours of energy into protecting the outdoors and for environmental safety.”

 

Dwight Bitikofer and Don Corrigan of Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc., will be inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame on Oct. 3 to honor more than 40 years of community journalism. In his prepared remarks, Corrigan will cite the many women who have supported local journalism on the environment and the outdoors.

Click continue reading below to see the rest of the article.

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We wanted to thank everyone for the feedback about a few ads that have been viewed on the Environmental Echo site. We currently have no control over the WordPress ads placed on this webpage and have no affiliation with any source the ads are purchased by. We are not a campaign site for anybody. And our mission remains to report on the outdoors and the environment.
 
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Take The Mystery Out of Making Great Meals In The Wild!

Photo courtesy MDC.

LEARN HOW TO EAT WELL OUTDOORS AT MDC VIRTUAL COOKING FOR CAMPING AND HIKING CLASS SEPT. 30

Having food when venturing outdoors might be essential for survival. Having good food is certainly essential for fun. What’s the best way to prepare food when away from the comforts and conveniences of a modern kitchen? What will you need to bring? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering an online class that can help take the mystery out of making great meals in the wild.

Outdoor Cooking for Camping and Hiking is a free virtual class which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 6-6:45 p.m. The class will include an interactive Q&A session via online chat. (Online registration is required.)

Participants will learn how to cook outdoors whether they’re camping in one place for an extended period, or they need to keep things light while on the move. Heat is crucial for cooking, and the program will cover various ways to start a fire. It will look at different types of heat delivery options, including portable hiking and camping stoves. Tools and utensils needed for cooking and baking in the field will also be addressed, along with other special considerations when prepping food outdoors.

For more information and registration details see below.

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Enjoy a Missouri Autumn With MDC’s Fall Color Forecast

Missouri will continue to offer beautiful views for outdoor social distancing as the fall season gets underway. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers weekly online fall color updates from agency foresters all over the state at mdc.mo.gov/fallcolor.

“The fall color report is a great resource for those wanting to enjoy the changing foliage,” said MDC Community Forester Ann Koenig. “It shows users where trees are beginning to turn and also suggests the best places to view the changing leaves.”

Generally, the changing of the leaves is predictable, but it can vary from year to year depending on the weather. Koenig explained that a windy fall or early hard freeze can dampen the fall color in trees due to the fact the leaves blow off the trees or freeze.

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Have A Large Evergreen That Needs To Be Removed?

Photo courtesy MDC.

Donate the tree to The Missouri Department of Conservation to be used as the governor’s mansion Christmas tree.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is conducting its annual search for a large Christmas tree for use on the governor’s mansion lawn in Jefferson City. MDC is asking landowners, homeowners, businesses, and communities that may have possible candidate trees to contact the Department.

To qualify, the donated tree must be about 40-feet tall and be an eastern red cedar, Norway spruce, or white pine that is fully branched on all sides and accessible by large equipment.

The right tree may either be near the end of its life or may need to be removed for other reasons. Once a tree is selected, MDC staff will coordinate the cutting and delivery of the tree to the governor’s mansion at no cost to the owner. The donor will receive a thank-you from the governor and an invitation to the lighting ceremony, which usually occurs the first week of December.

“Sometimes there are beautiful evergreens that need to be removed for home expansion, utility work, or they’ve grown too large for the space,” says MDC Community Forestry Coordinator Russell Hinnah. “Having your tree displayed at the governor’s mansion is a great way to share its beauty with thousands of Missourians who visit the mansion during the holidays.”

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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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