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Nature Experienced In The Classroom

Photo: Courtesy MDC

By Don Corrigan (South County Times)

It’s not exactly a dog-eat-dog world out there, but it certainly is competitive. Plants compete for sunlight. Songbirds compete for nesting sites. Predators compete for prey. And teachers compete to be the best educators they can be.

Recently, some highly-motivated teachers from across the St. Louis region convened on Powder Valley Nature Conservation Center to sharpen their skills and knowledge for teaching ecology.

The Discover Nature Schools Workshop was led by David Bruns, conservation education consultant with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Bruns encouraged teachers to get outside with their students and become familiar with the natural world.

“This is a fabulous opportunity to help teachers enable their students to experience authentic conservation practices first hand within a Missouri context,” explained Bruns, prior to the workshop on Jan. 6.

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Spend An Evening With Raptors At Powder Valley

Photo: Courtesy MDC

Bird buffs, falcon fanciers, and anyone enraptured by raptors are invited to meet the objects of their admiration close up at An Evening with Raptors.

An Evening with Raptors is a free event hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood. It takes place Friday, Jan. 31 from 7-9 p.m. and is open to all ages.  The event will be joined this year by long-time MDC partner, St. Louis Sprout and About.

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The Rich Histories Of Our River Towns

Photo: Ursula Ruhl

By Don Corrigan (South County Times)

On wintry days with cold rain, ice and snow, most people of sound mind and body are warming by the gas fire and flat screen or doing yoga at the rec center. They are not thinking about their Meramec River heritage.

Sunset Hills and Fenton residents should think twice before turning their backs on the river. The muddy Meramec borders parts of each city and it’s a part of each city’s rich history.

To know a little bit about that history, it’s not at all necessary to scour library book shelves or to pound the right search words on a keyboard to find archival material on the World Wide Web. Actually, you can just put on your mukluks, a coat and ear muffs – and hit the trails on each side of the river.

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Rockwoods Reservation Hosts Winter in the Woods Festival (Formerly known as the Maple Sugar Festival)

The popular annual Maple Sugar Festival has expanded to embrace even more aspects of winter to become the Rockwoods Reservation Winter in the Woods Festival. The free, family event takes place Saturday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The dead of winter is anything but dead. Just because the temperatures drop, doesn’t mean it’s time to stay inside. Anyone willing to put on an extra layer and venture out can experience nature in a whole new way.

Leaf-free trees offer breathtaking vistas hidden other times, trails and natural areas are decorated with snow and ice, local fishing spots have just as many fish and fewer anglers, bird feeders explode to life with cardinals, juncos and woodpeckers, and sap flows through sugar maple trees that can tapped into sweet treats.

To celebrate everything wintertime offers, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is holding the Winter in the Woods Festival again this year. This free family event takes place Saturday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood.

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Rock Island Line Corridor One Step Closer

Pictured: A portion of Grant’s Trail. This newly signed agreement opens the door for another classic trail, like the Great Rivers Greenway trail system in the St. Louis area.

Department of Natural Resources and Ameren Missouri’s Missouri Central Railroad sign agreement on Rock Island Line Corridor.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources recently signed an Interim Trail Use Agreement with Missouri Central Railroad Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameren Missouri, paving the way for the future railbanking of 144 miles of the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad corridor, which stretches from Windsor to Beaufort, Missouri. The Interim Trail Use Agreement ensures the preservation of the former railroad corridor for future transportation use and facilitates the eventual donation of the property to the department for recreational trail use.

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An Evening With Award-Winning Nature Photographer Noppadol Paothong


Reservations are now open to see MDC’s award-winning photographer as he shares stunning images of Missouri’s wildlife and landscapes.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) presents an evening with award-winning MDC photographer Noppadol Paothong at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood Friday, Jan. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Paothong’s photography has been featured in the Missouri Conservationist and Xplor magazines, and many other publications including National Audubon, Ranger Rick, BBC, and the Nature Conservancy.

Paothong is a nature/conservation photographer and an associate fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). The iLCP is an elite group of the world’s top wildlife, nature, and culture photographers around the globe.

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St. Louis County To Allow Controlled Deer Hunts In Parks

Photo by Diana Linsley, Webster-Kirkwood Times.

“Our goal is not to eliminate the deer population – just to control their numbers,” said Fitch. “The MDC has been having managed deer archery hunts in state parks within St. Louis County for many years. What we want to do in county parks is no different.”

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood had a successful deer hunt this November to thin the population. St. Louis County officials have been consulting with the center for advice on addressing deer issues in county parks.

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Gateway Greening’s Annual Seed Packet Sale, January 25

Gateway Greening’s annual Seed Packet Sale will be held Saturday, January 25, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, located at the Gateway Greening Offices, 2211 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63103.

Seed packets will be available for sale for just $0.25 each. We will also have seed starting kits and jiffy pots on sale for discounted prices. While you’re here, pick up pest management supplies and more at the Gateway Greening Store.

Gateway Greening branded seed packets will be available for purchase for $1.00 each.

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Photo Exhibit Featuring Sights From The Underground Railroad On Display At Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City

Art photography exhibit by Jeanine Michna-Bales -Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad. Photo courtesy Jeanine Michna-Bales

Nature’s outdoor settings have a unique mystery at night. Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales has captured the images of trees, fields and rivers that freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad would have seen as they journeyed at night before the Civil War. A free exhibit of her art entitled Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad, will be on display now through Jan. 4 at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City.

An estimated 100,000 slaves fled to freedom between 1830 and the end of the Civil War in 1865. They usually traveled at night often in rugged terrain away from roads where they could be easily pursued. Michna-Bales took photographs along 2,000 miles of one Underground Railroad route that ran from Louisiana to Canada. The viewer sees scenes and shadows as the slaves may have seen them as they walked by night toward freedom. ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, helped organize the display.

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Forest Park Forever Receives 2019 Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award

Jeffery P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President & CEO, Saint Louis Zoo (left) next to Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President & Executive Director, Forest Park Forever (center) and Lisa Kelley, Ph.D., Executive Director, Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute (right). Accepting the 2019 Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award for Forest Park Forever was Hoffarth. The Conservation Award and three community awards were presented at the Zoo’s 28th Annual Marlin Perkins Society Celebration on Nov. 13, 2019. Photo courtesy S. Carmody Photography.

The Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award was recently presented to Forest Park Forever. For over 30 years, the nonprofit conservancy has worked to enhance the ecological diversity of Forest Park and create the recreational and educational opportunities for students and adults that make Forest Park the number one city park in the country.

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