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Nature/Photo Hike For Those With Disabilities at Busch Greenway Trail, Oct. 1, 2022

Photo: MDC

This free, guided outing on a paved trail is an ideal chance to explore nature regardless of mobility.

Enjoying nature and the great outdoors is for everybody, and mobility doesn’t have to be an obstacle.  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is leading a Nature Walk/Photo Hike for adults and children with disabilities Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., on the Busch Greenway Trail in St. Charles.  The event is open to all ages and mobility levels and family and support givers are welcome too.

The hike will be led by MDC volunteers and travel along an ADA-accessible paved trail toward the Katy Trial, then turn around and walk back.  The Busch Greenway travels near and through the August A. Busch Memorial and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas.

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Native Plant Sale at Roeslein & Associates, Sept. 30, 2022

Photo: celandine poppy by Mervin Wallace.

Four Grow Native!® professional members will sell a variety of native seeds, wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, trees, vines, and sedges.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation® (MPF) and host, Roeslein & Associates, will hold a native plant sale on Friday, September 30, 2022, at 9200 Watson Road, St. Louis, MO, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Gaylena’s Garden, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, Papillon Perennials, and River City Natives will supply a variety of native plants for your landscaping needs. These Grow Native! professional members will donate five percent of plant sale proceeds to support MPF’s conservation work, and Roeslein & Associates will match this amount.

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St. Louis Suburbs Hit: Hard One-in-1,000 Year Rains Make A “Summer of Flash Floods”

Kirkwood residents watched in amazement on July 26 when storms turned Sugar Creek into a raging river.

by Don Corrigan

St. Louis and its suburbs have been bombarded by extreme precipitation events. That includes record-shattering rains that delivered a “Summer of Flash Floods” for 2022.

Thunderstorms in July delivered devastating flooding, including one on July 26 and another on July 28. The storms hit especially hard in Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Rock Hill, Brentwood and University City.

Area waterways such as the River Des Peres, Shady Creek, Deer Creek and Gravois Creek “flashed” out of their banks. The water receded in a matter of hours, but left mud, trees, home debris and thousands of dollars in damage.

The one-in-1,000 year rain events prompted national news coverage. Sean Hadley, spokesman for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD), summed it up for the Washington Post: “It was just too much water.”

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Celebrate Monarch Butterflies with the MDC in September

Photo: MDC

Monarch butterflies migrate southward from northern states in early autumn, swelling their numbers for a time in the Kansas City region. To celebrate these beautiful orange and black butterflies and to promote their conservation, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host several programs for monarchs and other butterflies during September.

The monarch butterfly events will be hosted by MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs and the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City. A butterfly event will also be offered at Platte County’s Platte Ridge Park.

COVID-19 safety precautions will be observed. Some programs are walk-in for the whole family, others may require registration and have an age requirement. All events connect people with one of nature’s most visibly wondrous creatures.

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Dine & Discuss Webster at Cyrano’s on Sept. 16

Cyrano’s Café in Webster Groves will host a special Dine & Discuss panel on environment and the outdoors at noon on Friday, Sept. 16. The panel will be moderated by Don Corrigan, author of Amazing Webster Groves. The book covers topics to be discussed by panelists, who will include:

• Charles Hoessle, emeritus St. Louis Zoo Director, who will talk about zoologists from Webster Groves, larger-than-life personalities who changed the face of Zoos in America and across the world.

• Richard Thoma, past president of the Webster Groves Nature Study Society, who will talk about scientists and expert members of the 100-year-old society, such as Marshall Magner, renowned entomologist.

• Jean Ponzi of MoBot and Earthworms, who will talk about J.B. Lester, publisher of The Healthy Planet, and his magazine’s service in highlighting outdoor activists over the years.

The event will be in the Cyrano’s Private Room at 603 E. Lockwood Avenue. Space is limited for the Friday, Sept. 16 event. The restaurant is selling tickets at $40 each which will include a copy of the book, lunch and beverage.

Luncheon guests should call the restaurant at 314-963-3232 to purchase tickets. Ticket reservations are highly recommended, but tickets may be purchased at the door at 11:30 a.m., space permitting.

Author of Amazing Webster Groves, Don Corrigan, is professor emeritus of Webster University and editor emeritus of Webster-Kirkwood Times.

Local Event: ArborMeisters Homebrew + Craft Beer Festival, September 24, 2022

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri is excited to present the ArborMeisters Homebrew + Craft Beer Festival!

Each homebrew includes at least one ingredient sourced from a tree! Enjoy these unique brews while taking in the natural beauty of Forest ReLeaf’s Communitree Gardens nursery in Creve Coeur Park. All proceeds benefit Forest ReLeaf’s mission of “Planting Trees, Enriching Communities.” Attendees will have the opportunity to rate the various brews and vote for their favorites; may the best homebrewer win!

You will enjoy creative home brews, craft beer, live music, CommuniTree Gardens nursery tours, raffle prizes, food, and more.

For more information CLICK HERE.

Amazing WG Outdoors Discussions Slated Before Fall

EE journalist and author of Amazing Webster Groves will speak about his new book and outdoor champions at three locations before Fall arrives.

Author and Webster University professor emeritus Don Corrigan will speak at the Webster Groves Historical Society, also the Dine & Discuss program at Cyrano’s Café, and before Kirkwood’s Rotarians.


— “Is Kirkwood as Amazing as Webster Groves?” That’s the luncheon topic for the Kirkwood Rotarians set for Friday, Sept. 1, at the Performing Arts Center at 210 E. Monroe in Kirkwood. Corrigan will solicit nominees for amazing Kirkwood history figures in areas as nature, the outdoors, politics, sports, entertainment, science and more. This Event Is Now Closed And Not Taking Reservations.

Cyrano’s Café in Webster Groves will host a special Dine & Discuss panel on environment & outdoors at noon on Friday, Sept. 16. The panel will be moderated by Don Corrigan, author of Amazing Webster Groves. The book covers topics to be discussed by panelists, who will include:

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The 10,000th Hellbender Released by Missouri Department of Conservation and Saint Louis Zoo

Hellbender released in the MO Ozarks. Photo: MDC

The Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are celebrating a historic milestone in hellbender conservation in Missouri. As of August 2022, the total Saint Louis Zoo-raised endangered Ozark and eastern hellbenders released into the wild since 2008 now numbers over 10,000 individuals.

“This is the largest number of animals the Saint Louis Zoo has ever raised in human care and released to the wild and is one of the largest amphibian reintroduction programs in the world,” said Justin Elden, Curator of Herpetology, Saint Louis Zoo, and Director of the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Ron and Karen Goellner Center for Hellbender Conservation. “To date, this is the most successful hellbender release program in the country and it would not be possible without collaborative efforts between the Zoo, MDC and other partners over the last 15 years.”

“When we began the hellbender conservation program over 20 years ago the idea of returning this many hellbenders into native rivers was a dream goal and almost impossible to imagine at the time,” said Jeff Briggler, Ph.D., MDC State Herpetologist. “It has been a lot of hard work and dedication from many people and partner conservation organizations, and while we recognize the significance of this milestone, the work is far from over. We will continue to help protect this species from extinction.”

The 10,000th hellbender, which was one of 235 hellbenders released into a Missouri Ozark river on August 10, 2022, by MDC and Zoo team members, was a nearly 4-year-old Ozark hellbender. This hellbender was returned to the same river where it was collected as an egg in 2018 by MDC to be hatched and raised at the Zoo.

MDC and Zoo staff release Ozark hellbender. Photo: MDC

“This particular river means a lot to those of us involved in the conservation of this species, as it’s the same river where the first release occurred in 2008,” said Briggler. River locations are not identified for animal safety reasons.

By the end of summer 2022, 811 Ozark and eastern hellbenders raised from eggs at the Zoo will have been released into their native Missouri Ozark rivers by MDC this year, in cooperation with the Zoo and other federal partners.

Since 2008, 10,206 Saint Louis Zoo-raised endangered hellbenders (9,034 Ozark hellbenders and 1,172 eastern hellbenders), including first- and second-generation Zoo-bred animals, have been reintroduced to the wild in Missouri.

“Our Zoo animal care professionals are dedicated to caring for this endangered salamander and doing everything we can to help preserve this species,” said Elden.

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Cool As A Beatles’ Song: Kirkwood Sojourners Rally At Unique Artesian Spring

Karl Kruse, Don Corrigan, Ila Irl, Bill Spradley and Kyle Moylan celebrate the cold, clear waters of the Sycamore Valley Artesian Well in the Missouri Ozarks. All photos by Bill Ruppert.

by Don Corrigan

Just as four Beatles looked for “Norwegian Wood” in a cooler clime in 1965, some area residents looked for an artesian well recently in sizzling 2022 heat. Ozark wells offer cool, flowing water, even when its 100+ degrees.

“I love taking people to see the artesian well at Sycamore Valley,” said Bill Spradley, a Kirkwood  businessman who owns a farm near the well in the Ozark country. “The water is cold, pure, refreshing and it flows constantly.

“It gets a lot of visitors from the locals, but also from all over the country,” added Spradley. “It even gets travel reviews on Google.”

Indeed, the artesian well east of Fredericktown and south of Highway 72 has a gaggle of Google reviews. One advises visitors to take “all kinds of jugs” because the waters are “just a thing you’ll have to experience.”

Spradley, who works during the week in Kirkwood at his Trees, Forests and Landscapes, Inc., will retreat to his Ozark hideaway on weekends. At an intersection of roads just south of his homestead is an amazing water flow that never, ever goes quiet.

It started in the late 1940s, when a shaft was sunk more than 1,200 feet below ground. However, it was not black gold that erupted from the depths. It was clear, cold water under natural pressure and gushing at 50 gallons per minute.

An artesian well releases spring water and requires no pumps. The most famous artesian wells are located in Artois, France. Artois was known as the “Roman City of Wells” in the Middle Ages.

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Discover Nature at The Missouri State Fair

Photo: MDC/Dickerson Park Zoo

Discover nature with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia Aug. 11-21.

Visit MDC’s Conservation building from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and the kid’s Xplor Zone from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. to see MDC’s mobile snake exhibit, a new macroinvertebrate exhibit, and more. Ask MDC staff conservation-related questions, get educational materials, and have fun!

Fairgoers can once again take part in MDC’s Agents of Discovery mission at the fair. Agents of Discovery is a mobile gaming app that uses augmented reality to help connect people to nature. Download the State Fair mission and earn a special badge for exploring nature in and around the MDC building. Agents of Discovery is available for download through the App Store for Apple products or Google Play for Android devices.

Don’t forget to visit MDC’s Community and Private Lands staff in the Agriculture Building to learn how to manage your property to increase wildlife habitat and attract pollinators.

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