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MDC Marks 50th Anniversary With Year Long Celebration of St. Louis’ Urban Fishing Program

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Read the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) story of how the Urban Fishing Program (UFP) began and how the positive influence of the outdoors was a resounding success in our urban communities.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the MDC Urban Fishing Program. MDC plans to spend 2019 celebrating and invites metro area anglers to join in.

The UFP was originally initiated in 1969 by the federal government during a time when civil unrest was causing tensions in many cities across the country. Their goal was to bring close-to-home fishing to people and infuse a positive influence into urban communities. The program launched in six cities, including St. Louis with the cooperation of MDC and the St. Louis Parks and Recreation Department. It was a resounding success in the Gateway City. MDC took over the UFP in 1972 and eventually expanded it into St. Louis County and Kansas City.

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Asian Carp Invasion: Time To Build A Wall?

Don Corrigan has an opinion on “The Wall.” No, not the wall proposed along the Mexico border, but a wall proposed in Illinois.

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

It’s time to seize the day and build the wall. Not the wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for at our southern border, but a wall to stop invading Asian Carp from traveling up our Mississippi and Illinois rivers into the Great Lakes.

The multi-million dollar wall would be built underwater near Joliet, Illinois, to keep the Asian carp from swimming into Lake Michigan near Chicago. There are fears the invading carp would make a home in the Great Lakes, including that big lake they call Gitche Gumee.

Around these parts, I have seen Asian carp establish themselves in the lakes we call Simpson, Unger, Creve Coeur, as well as in the Meramec River. During our annual 500-year floods, I have seen hordes of Asian carp kissing the surface scum in the Meramec River tributaries at lovely Emmenegger Park.

Asian carp take over wherever they invade. It’s estimated that they now make up more than 60 percent of the fish bio-mass in the Illinois River. Scientists say if these voracious fish enter our Great Lakes, they could ruin prized fresh water angling and wipe out the region’s $7 billion fishing industry.

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Snow Crystals – Close Up & Personal At The Webster Groves Public Library

Photo: Webster-Kirkwood Times

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

Snow is not just for shoveling. Dr. Richard Walters of Webster Groves wants those who loathe the snow to take a new, close-up look at the white stuff. He makes it easy with his snowflake photography exhibit.

His prints on display at the Webster Groves Public Library this January offer an array of snow crystals, including needles, bullets, plates and rare capped columns. Of course, there also are the typical six-armed stellar forms that we all associate with snowflakes.“I’m into details and there’s a lot of work and care that goes into capturing the details of snowflakes,” explained Walters. “For one thing, you have to hold your breath to keep the crystals from melting and distorting when you are shooting them.”

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Winter In The Woods Festival Featuring Maple Sugar

The 2015 Maple Sugar Festival.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has announced Rockwoods Reservation’s Maple Sugar Festival!

Just because the temperatures drop, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside! There are many fun activities to do during winter, like maple sugaring, hiking, camping, bird-watching, outdoor photography, and fishing to name a few.

MDC and local partnering organizations will help uncover the many different outdoor activities you can do in winter, along with information about how animals weather the season as well. It’s a day your whole family will enjoy!

Read more about the event from the MDC below.

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Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site Opens New Exhibit

The Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site has an exciting new exhibit on display. To protect Mark Twain’s first edition books from overexposure to light and stress on delicate spines, the museum is introducing a rotating display of Twain’s books. The plans are to spotlight just one of the author’s books at a time and to change the exhibit twice a year.

The new exhibit features the time-travel novel “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” published in 1889. This book is often called the last of Mark Twain’s best works. It features a man from 19th century New England (Mark Twain’s home at the time) traveling back in time to 6th century England. The hero confronts and tries to change a medieval world ruled by a king and his nobles and a wily magician named Merlin.

Read more from the Missouri State Parks information release below.

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Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Festival

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and its partners offer the chance to discover a close connection with the bald eagle. The Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge Festival takes place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, and Sunday, Jan. 20.

The festival will offer spotting scopes for eagle viewing, a live bald eagle educational program with hands-on exhibits, activities, children’s crafts, and Lewis and Clark living history demonstrations.

Read more from the MDC informational release for detailed information and directions.

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New MDC Mobile App Offers Outdoor Activities At Your Fingertips

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) continues to give Missouri residents new and different ways to learn and enjoy the outdoors. Check out information from the MDC about the new mobile app!

Finding places to discover nature and enjoy outdoor activities in Missouri has just gotten easier. The (MDC) now offers its new, free mobile app – MO Outdoors. MO Outdoors users can quickly and easily find MDC outdoor offerings based on the types of outdoor activities they want close to home, work, or even while traveling.

MO Outdoors can help users find MDC conservation areas, fishing accesses, hiking trails, shooting ranges, and nature centers around the state based on their desired types of outdoor activities including birdwatching, camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, or shooting. Users can also mark “favorite” locations to quickly find them in future searches.

MO Outdoors also connects users to area regulations and season information, hours of operation, images, area closings, and interactive maps of area boundaries and features. The map function also displays features such as parking lots, boat ramps, and wildlife viewing areas, and allows users to easily navigate to the features using their device’s GPS. Users can also download maps for offline use.

MO Outdoors and MDC’s other free apps — MO Hunting, MO Fishing, and MO Con Mag – are available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

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China’s Plastic Waste Ban Causes Recycling Issues For Local Communities

Check out this article, “The Disappearing Recycling Bins: Recent disruption of the US recycling industry and the path ahead – A Deep Ripple,” from Harvard University Blog – Science In The News (SITN), written by Zhen Dai. The article describes the reasons why China’s ban on plastic waste has affected recycling across the US.

Cities like Kirkwood, Mo, were forced to re-evaluate curbside recycling pick up when Resource Management shut down single-stream recycling processes due to the ban. Republic, for the time being, will handle Kirkwood’s single-stream recycling. Read the full story from the Webster-Kirkwood Times HERE.

“The Disappearing Recycling Bins: Recent disruption of the US recycling industry and the path ahead – A Deep Ripple” is a quick read and has informative links at the end to help better understand how China’s plastic waste ban is currently impacting local recycling efforts. Read the full article HERE.

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Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site hosts Christmas Candlelight Tours Dec. 14 and 15

The public is invited to enjoy an 1860s Victorian Christmas during candlelight tours of the Hunter-Dawson home. The house, aglow with the warmth of oil lamps and candles, will be decorated with fresh greenery, Christmas trees and 1860s style ornaments. Site staff will be wearing Victorian era fashions, and refreshments will be served. Daytime tours will be given Dec. 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with candlelight tours from 6 to 8:30 p.m. each evening. This event is free and open to the public.

Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site is located at 312 Dawson Road in New Madrid, in southeast Missouri. For more information, contact the site at 573-748-5340.

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WebU Panel: “What did the Nov. 6 Election Mean for the Environment?”

by Don Corrigan

Democrats’ takeover of the U.S. House on Nov. 6 means that environmental issues will come to the fore, but that does not mean policies coming out of Washington, D.C., will be any greener. That is because climate change skeptics will still be in charge of the White House and the U.S. Senate where they will present roadblocks to environmental initiatives.

That assessment of post-election environmental politics came from Professor Amanda Rosen, who teaches political science at Webster University. She was on a panel entitled “What did the Nov. 6 Election Mean for the Environment?” at the university on Nov. 14. Other panelists included newly-elected St. Louis County Councilwoman Lisa Clancy and Missouri Sierra Club Director John Hickey.

Clancy said that most environmental progress is going to take place at the local level, not in Jefferson City or Washington, D.C., which remain in control by politicians who are hostile to most environmental initiatives. Locally, the City of St. Louis has resolved to become a city powered by renewable energy and St. Louis County voters passed a measure on Nov. 6 to protect their parks and to prevent them from being sold without voter approval.

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