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Celebrate National Prairie Day June 2

In 2016, the Missouri Prairie Foundation established National Prairie Day—registered on the National Day Calendar as the first Saturday in June—to enhance public awareness of what prairie is, educate about its value, and motivate all who learn about prairie to be inspired to support prairie conservation, restoration, and enjoyment. This year, National Prairie Day is Saturday, June 2, 2018.

“All are invited to join us in celebration of National Prairie Day,” said Carol Davit, executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a 52-year-old non-profit prairie conservation organization and land trust. “National Prairie Day provides a day of focus across the United States to inspire learning, appreciation, exploration of our national prairie legacy, and success of national, regional, statewide, and local prairie conservation efforts from coast to coast.”

The Missouri Prairie Foundation will celebrate National Prairie Day by hosting its 9th annual Prairie BioBlitz at its Pleasant Run Creek Prairie near Nevada, MO on June 2 and 3—free of charge and open to all—with biologist leaders, a potluck dinner, after-dinner speaker Chris Crabtree on Native American history in Missouri, star-gazing with astronomers, and tent camping on the prairie. For details and to register for 9th Annual Prairie BioBlitz, and many other upcoming Missouri Prairie Foundation events, visit moprairie.org.

Find more about why maintaining prairie is important below.

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Are Weeds Edible? Catrina Adams Says, Yes!

Pictured: Catrina Adams. Photo by Diana Linsley.

Catrina Adams, who teaches a class in the Master Naturalist Program on the Meramec campus of St. Louis Community College in Kirkwood, has a timely message for you: “It’s OK to eat the weeds!”

In fact, that’s the actual name for her college continuing education class: “It’s OK to Eat the Weeds: Wild Edible Plants of Spring.” This past Saturday (5/4/18), she was hunting for weeds on campus with a dozen students who enrolled in the course.

“Plants I focus on in my Meramec class this time of year are the ones that people are pulling out of their yards and out of the garden,” said Adams.

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West Lake Landfill Whistleblowers Honored

Pictured above: Dawn Chapman (Left) and Karen Nickel, co-founders of Just Moms STL.

Two brave ladies from North County were honored at the Gateway Journalism Review (GJR)annual First Amendment Celebration.

Dawn Chapman and Karen Nickel, founders of Just Moms STL, an advocacy group focused on the cleanup of nuclear waste contained in West Lake Landfill, were honored for “blowing the whistle” on the inept handling of atomic waste in the St. Louis region. Every day more St. Louis residents are becoming aware of our city’s role in the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb – and the deadly legacy left behind here.

Read more below about St. Louis’ nuclear waste issues and the people working to bring awareness to the public.

Check out Don Corrigan’s latest for the Gateway Journalism Review an informative article titled  “Activists draw national attention and EPA response to the atomic city” – Read the article HERE

Also, read Corrigan’s second article for the GJR –  “Documentary movies draw attention to the atomic city” – Read the article HERE.

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Become A Citizen Scientists At Powder Valley Nature Center Bioblitz May 11-12

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is holding a two-day Bioblitz event at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood May 11-12. The event is FREE and open to the public.

A bioblitz is an intense biological survey performed by scientists, naturalists and volunteers to document all the living species within a given area.  Participants conduct an intensive field study during a compressed time period which provides scientists and land managers a snapshot of the natural health and diversity of an area.

The Powder Valley Bioblitz will take place Friday, May 11, from 6:30 to 11 p.m., and Saturday, May 12, from 7 a.m.-2 p.m., enabling participants to sample both nocturnal and daytime creatures. Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road, near the intersection of I-44 and I-270.

Bioblitzers will become scientists for a day as they explore the diverse plants and animals around the nature center while providing helpful information to MDC naturalists.

Find out more about the bioblitz below.

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Public Voices Both Concern and Support For New Trail Extension Planned For I-44 Bridge

Photo by Diana Linsley/Webster-Kirkwood Times.

Hikers, bikers and joggers are gaga over the prospect of traveling over the Meramec River on a trail extension using a rebuilt Interstate 44 bridge complex. Bridge construction could begin later this year with a 2021 completion date.

“We’re looking at this as a once-in-a-50-year opportunity – to be able to use a new, major river bridge like this,” said Seth Treptow, communications manager for Great Rivers Greenway.
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Climate Change and Weather Predictability?

Picture courtesy James Kramper, National Weather Service.

As climate change continues to disrupt weather patterns and seasonality across the U.S. and the world, a new study from the University of Missouri suggests weather forecasts will remain predictable.

This is good news for those worried local weather news meteorologist will no longer be able to predict raging weather patterns that produce life and property-threatening issues, like tornados, blizzards, extreme flooding and severe lightning storms.

Take a few minutes and check out the MIZZU information and video on the new study HERE.

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Missouri Department of Conservation Donates Archery Equipment To Help Local School Kids and Encourage Police-Community Relations

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The St. Louis County Police Athletic League (PAL) is embracing the benefits of archery, which has been shown to improve school attendance, boost self-esteem, and increase physical activity.  They will soon begin teaching a competitive target archery program to St. Louis County kids, with the help of a donation from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation.

MDC presented a kit of archery equipment used to teach the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP) to the St. Louis County PAL April 13 at Hazelwood Middle School in Spanish Lake.

According to the St. Louis County PAL website, the program is volunteer-based with the goal of enabling members of the police department to coach young boys and girls in sports, help with homework and other school-related activities. The purpose is to build character, help strengthen police-community relations, and deter children from becoming involved in criminal activity.  The PAL also strives for youth enrichment with educational and youth leadership programs outside of sports.  The program has plans for members to train in and begin teaching MDC’s Discover Nature Fishing program in the future as well.

Read more from the MDC information release below.

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Local Citizens Organize To “Save Sugar Creek”

photo by Ursula Ruhl/Webster-Kirkwood Times.

Sugar Creek Valley in Kirkwood has been called a wildflower haven, painters’ paradise and architects’ alley. The verdant drive that descends on West Adams Avenue, past Ballas Road, is dotted with homes of distinguished architecture on large wooded lots.

Many admirers would love to reside there, and if area developers had their way, many more homes would find a place on the lovely sloping hillsides. Homeowners who now reside in Sugar Creek naturally are protective – and wary of residential encroachment.

A proposal to rezone a 1.98 acre lot on 1837 Bach Ave. to allow more homes has neighbors getting organized. They have formed “Save Sugar Creek” and already have shown up in numbers at a planning and zoning subcommittee meeting in Kirkwood.

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Tillman Ignite Spring Jamboree April 14

Don’t miss the SPRING JAMBOREE at Tillman, Saturday, April 14!

“Tillman will host an IGNITE community event from 4:00-8:00pm! We are inviting everyone from the surrounding community to join. No need to RSVP, just show up!”

Schedule of events:

4:00-6:00pm • Build! A variety of projects to enhance the new space, including the installation of rain barrels and birdhouses decorated by Tillman students, building raised beds and maybe doing some plant installation.

5:00-7:00pm • Learn! Student Led Tours will take place at 5:00 and 5:30 during the Jamboree. Look for the Tour Guides in the red shirts! 

Community Resources Expo–Exhibitors that have resources for schools engaged in outdoor education as well as some folks that offer resources for folks who live in the neighborhood and want to know more about ethical land care. View the list of organizations attending the event.

6:00-8:00pm • Party! Party! Listen to 3rd Floor (Kelly Judge’s band), visit food trucks, take tours of the new learning space, dance, and play!
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What Is The Future Of The STL Transit System? Join CMT & STL Regional Chamber On 4/27

Join Citizens for Modern Transit & the St. Louis Regional Chamber for an update on the Metro Reimagined Study underway looking at a redesign of the St. Louis transit system to meet the needs of the changing community.  Hear from Metro’s Director of Planning Jessica Mefford Miller on what the analysis is saying about possible changes needed to the St. Louis system on April 27 at the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

Find more information and registration details below.

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