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Wetland Restoration Along Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail

Great Rivers Greenway posted a video detailing plans for the Gravois Greenway. Please take a moment to learn about the upcoming plans.

Construction to connect the Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail and River des Peres Greenway continues despite heavy rains and historic flooding throughout the region. While work in certain areas of the project has been put on pause due to conditions, work in other areas is set to begin. Work to restore a wetland area near Gravois Creek and to construct a raised greenway through this flood prone area will soon get underway! We caught up with the project’s architect – Vern Remiger of DGRE Studio – to learn more about the wetland area and the restoration project.

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Don Corrigan Takes Flight On New ZipTour At Hidden Valley!

Don Corrigan takes the ZipTour at Hidden Valley in Wildwood. Photo WKT.

It was an uphill climb to get Wildwood city officials to approve the new recreational zip lines for Hidden Valley, but now the $2.5 million ZipTour project is complete. Outdoor adventurers will be riding high this summer at a site best known for winter ski fun.

Tim Boyd, a 1971 graduate of Lindbergh High School, is used to uphill climbs. Boyd came up with the idea for a ski resort at the 250 acres of Hidden Valley back in the early 1980s. All of the business people he approached for financial backing for his plan were skeptics.

A ski resort in Missouri? Really?

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Damaged Trails, Wetland Restoration and New Boardwalk

Rendering of new boardwalk (part of greenway) across restored wetland. Courtesy Great Rivers Greenway.

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

As the waters slowly recede from a record 2019 flood – both in terms of duration and height of crests – hikers and bikers are coping with mud, sand, tree limbs, plastic bottles and other debris on some of their favorite trails.

In a few cases, asphalt has been washed out on trails posing a potential crash hazard for bikers. In other cases, cracked tree branches dangling above trails can present serious obstructions or danger to those daring to hike or bike underneath the large limbs.

“We are getting phone calls from trail users about debris and other issues,” said Anne Milford, communications coordinator for Great Rivers Greenway. “We welcome those calls, because our office cannot monitor what’s happening on all of our 125-plus miles of trail.

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Are Squirrels Our Friends or Our Foes? Your Thoughts?

Photo by Ursula Ruhl.

Survey research by Don Corrigan released in his July 12 Webster-Kirkwood Times column, “Squirrels: Friends Or Foes?reveals that almost 70% of survey respondents think squirrels are our friends. Of note, all these people relate to mass-mediated squirrels. They are infatuated with Rocket J. Squirrel, Rally Squirrel, Squirrel Nutkin and Surly the Squirrel from the movie, The Nut Job.

Here are some research results not covered in the column: More the 70% of respondents believe that squirrels will be thriving on our Earth long after human beings have vanished from the planet.

Climate change is causing some squirrels to give birth earlier, to migrate north, to move to different elevations in mountain areas. Should humans bear any responsibility for the disruption of the habitat for squirrels? Are squirrels better equipped than humans to deal with such disruption? Respondents were mostly undecided on these two questions.

If you would like to give your two cents on the issue of whether squirrels are our friends or our foes, please leave a comment on this post below. (At the end of this post.)

If you would like to complete a squirrel research survey, open and/or print the following attachment. You can either send your answers via email to corrigan@timesnewspapers.com or mail the completed survey form attention to Don Corrigan at 122 W. Lockwood Ave., 2nd floor, Webster Groves, Mo 63119.

Squirrel Survey2019

See the Calendar of Squirrel events for the month of July below. Squirrel research surveys will also be distributed to audiences attending the events.

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Honeybee and Pollinator Numbers Suffer This Past Winter

Photo by Holly Shanks

A recent story in the Webster-Kirkwood Times by Joe Leicht highlighted a concerning amount of honeybees dying off this past winter. Please take a few minutes and read about what is happening to our important pollinators.

Excerpt below from the article, “What’s Happening To Our Honey Bees?

But those bees that once seemed to cover nearly every clover bud are far from ubiquitous these days. In fact, wildlife biologists have been tracking their steady decline over the past 10 years. Nicole Miller-Struttmann, a renowned expert on bees and a professor at Webster University, is one of those scientists. …

“I remember as a kid driving on vacation with my family and having to clean the dead insects off the windshield whenever we’d stop for gas. It isn’t just bees and butterflies — the pollinators — there is increasing evidence that insects in general are declining in numbers,” said Miller-Struttmann, a Webster Groves native.

This spring, Miller-struttmann and other academics were dismayed by studies that indicated the number of honeybees that survived the winter dropped precipitously.

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Don Corrigan Talks Squirrels With Jean Ponzi

Don Corrigan talks with Jean Ponzi on her popular KDHX radio/podcast “Earthworms.” Ponzi jumps into all things squirrels with Corrigan in this fun and informative interview.

 

KDHX Earthworms goes nuts as Don Corrigan talk Squirrels with host Jean Ponzi, proving that Pop Culture and enviro purpose can truly hole up together.

Hear the Earthworms radio/podcast interview HERE.

Check out the upcoming lectures and book signings by Don Corrigan below.

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More Trees Create Cooler Urban Areas

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Missouri Department of Agriculture Announces “Senior Farmers” Market Nutrition Program

Program details released by the Missouri Department of Agriculture will offer Low-income seniors in the Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield regions vouchers to purchase fresh produce from local farmer’s markets.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced that the Missouri Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is up and running for the summer. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services, the SFMNP assists low-income seniors in obtaining fresh, Missouri Grown produce and injects up to nearly $200,000 into the farmers’ market community. Through the program, more than 4,100 households may be touched.

Read more from the Missouri Department of Agriculture below, including where to apply for program vouchers.

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Felix Valle State Historic Site hosts Colonial Chocolate-Making demonstration June 29

Experience the sights and scents of colonial chocolate-making at Felix Valle House State Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 29. Discover the art of chocolate making, from its Mayan roots to the French innovations of the 19th century. Visitors will observe each step of the process from cacao pod to flavored chocolate. Join us for this fun-filled program on chocolate!

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Nuts About Squirrels: July Calendar of Squirrel Events 

Pictured: Don Corrigan

Don Corrigan continues his crusade to give squirrels their due and to put Mickey Mouse in his place.

“Everyone thinks Mickey Mouse is the most important anthropomorphic rodent in our popular culture. No question that Walt Disney’s mouse is formidable, but taken in the aggregate, squirrels have much more of a presence in our popular culture,” said Corrigan.

Corrigan points out that squirrels are in our children’s books, newspaper headlines, TV news, radio shows, movies, public relations and advertising. Corrigan will bring his squirrel-centric message to the following venues in July:

On Thursday July 4th, Jean Ponzi of KDHX Radio and the show, “Earthworms,” will post a podcast of her interview with Don Corrigan, author of “Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodents That Conquered Popular Culture.” The show will cover the environmental aspects of squirrels, from their mass migrations prompted by climate change and food supply disruptions to the gray squirrels’ history in England as an invasive species that is driving out the red squirrels.

Don Corrigan is editor of the West End Word, Webster-Kirkwood Times and South County Times, as well as a professor of journalism at Webster University.

See a full listing of July 2019 event dates below.

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