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Spread the Word! Missouri Green Schools looking for AmeriCorps VISTAs

Read more about this program below. Also, visit the Missouri Environmental Education Association on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

To apply for the open positions CLICK HERE for the application link.

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The Myth About African-Americans and the Outdoors

Pictured: Carolyn Finney.

America and St. Louis are having conversations about race after the tragic incidents in Minneapolis, Louisville and Atlanta. These conversations may seem tangential to environmental concerns, but we at Environmental Echo have decided to dive back into our archives and re-post an interview with Carolyn Finney, Ph.D.

Originally published in February 2016, the podcast interview (below) is an in-depth conversation about African-Americans who connect with nature and the outdoors. There are damaging “myths” and a lack of appreciation for the contributions Black Americans have made in environmental history.

(From the 2016 Environmental Echo post)
Carolyn Finney, Ph.D., is the guest on this edition of “Behind the Editor’s Curtain” with Don Corrigan. Finney is the author of “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors.”

Speaking about the absence of African-Americans engaging in outdoor activities portrayed in popular culture, such as in movies and magazines, Dr. Finney notes:

“Just because we don’t see any (African-Americans) doesn’t mean there aren’t any. That’s myth number one,” Finney said. “Actually, Black people, like everybody else, have been around doing everything like everybody else since the beginning of the time. You have Black mariners, you have Black hikers, you have Black people camping — I mean, Black people have been doing it, too.”

The topic of discussion is the relationship between the Black community and outdoor spaces and related activities, like national parks, hiking, and mountain climbing.

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Saint Louis Zoo penguins

STL Zoo Bier raises funds and awareness for the Saint Louis Zoo’s conservation work and animal-care efforts

To raise awareness about the importance of animal welfare and conservation, the Saint Louis Zoo teamed up with Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (UCBC) in 2019 to create STL Zoo Bier, the first official beer of the Saint Louis Zoo. The seasonal release for 2020 features a new label with the king penguin, a large, majestic-looking bird native to sub-Antarctic islands. Penguin & Puffin Coast is home to king penguins at the Zoo.

The Kölsch-style beer is available at the Zoo starting this weekend and is coming soon to grocery stores and beer retailers in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, and the Metro East area. For every case of STL Zoo Bier sold at area retailers, Urban Chestnut will donate $3 to the Saint Louis Zoo to support its animal care and conservation work. *

“We appreciate the generous support of Urban Chestnut in this collaboration that brings together a great quality local beer for adults to enjoy and the Zoo’s mission-focused work to care for animals at the Zoo and in the wild,” said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo.

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The Legends of Conservation tour!

Check out the video below about how the Legends of Conservation came to live and how you can have the exhibit come to your next gathering or event.

You can also visit the Legends of Conservation website or Facebook page.


MDC reminds people to celebrate safely!

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

As people celebrate this summer, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds everyone to be careful with fireworks, campfires, and other sources of fire that could cause a wildfire.

FIREWORKS: Don’t light fireworks in any areas where the sparks could ignite dry grass, leaves, or other potential fire fuel. Always have an approved fire extinguisher and an available water supply to douse sparks or flames. Wet the area around where fireworks are being discharged. Check with local ordinances and authorities for bans on fireworks and open burning.

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#EatGreenSTL Virtual Symposium: Celebrating the Local Food Movement

The Green Dining Alliance is hosting a day of programs geared towards sustainable practices related to food called the #EatGreenSTL Virtual Symposium: Celebrating the Local Food Movement.

The day will include programs featuring Victoria Donaldson (The Green Dining Alliance Program Manager), Jenn DeRose (Known & Grown STL Program Manager), a cooking demonstration with a GDA chef and more! There will be panels discussing food justice advocacy and how the community can support the local food system during this time.

The Green Dining Alliance is a year-round program of earthday365. The restaurant sustainability certification program helps over 120+ restaurants in St. Louis reduce their environmental impact.

Participate in the movement by joining us on Monday, June 15th from 1-4 p.m.


SHSMO Center for Missouri Studies Receives LEED Gold Certification for Environmental Sustainability

Center for Missouri Studies. Credit line: SHSMO/Notley Hawkins.

The State Historical Society of Missouri recently received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for its new building that opened in August 2019. Gold is one of the highest certification levels awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council to measure the environmental sustainability and performance of a building.

“The initial planning stages of our new facility included design and materials that would prioritize efficiency, be a healthy building for staff and patrons and decrease operational costs,” said Gerald Hirsch, senior associate executive director of the State Historical Society. “We are very proud that Missouri’s history and art is housed in a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient building that used materials sourced from our state.”

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Environmental Echo Gets Notice In Statehouse Resolution

Missouri State Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, presents Don Corrigan with Missouri House Resolution #5355 recognizing his contributions to journalism, including the founding of the blog, Environmental Echo. 

Environmental Echo, which has been publishing since October 2014, received recognition in a Missouri Statehouse Resolution in the one-hundredth session of the General Assembly of Missouri in Jefferson City. The 2020 Resolution was presented in June by Missouri State Rep. Deb Lavender, 90th District, at Kirkwood City Hall.

Don Corrigan accepted the resolution which was prompted by his recent induction into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. Corrigan, along with Holly Shanks, founded Environmental Echo as an outlet for journalism focused on nature, wildlife, sustainability and environmental protection.

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Just Moms Question EPA Award for Atomic Site Remediation

West Lake Landfill

By Don Corrigan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the winners of the third annual National Federal Facility Excellence in Site Reuse awards. The Weldon Spring atomic site, located in St. Charles, Missouri, receives one of three awards given nationally.

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

Dawn Chapman, a leader of Just Moms STL, which has been battling for the remediation of the West Lake atomic site in the Bridgeton area across from St. Charles, is not so impressed by the award for Weldon Spring.

“If we are being honest, the federal government polluted the hell out of this area during the atomic bomb production era,” said Chapman. “Then it let everything just sit around leaking for decades — some of it sitting next to a high school. The government let radioactive waste get into ponds and streams, then knowingly allowed and even encouraged people to hunt and fish there.”

The Weldon Spring DOE LM Site, comprised of a former Chemical Plant and Quarry, has a complex history, according to the EPA. It played a pivotal role in the success of World War II and the Cold War, according to EPA, and the 228-acre site,  located about 25 miles west of St. Louis, has been revitalized for beneficial reuse as a community educational center and recreational site.

EPA officials said new Weldon Spring Interpretive Center features exhibits designed to fulfill DOE’s post-closure responsibilities. The center informs and educates the public about long-term stewardship and the site’s historical legacy. An important educational focus is on risk communication, showing how cleanup activities made the site safe for public use. Other redevelopment highlights include community use facilities and a natural prairie habitat, which promotes wildlife conservation.

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MDC Extends Program Cancellations To June 30  

With concerns about COVID-19 continuing, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces it has extended its cancellation of programs and events at nature centers and other Department locations through June 30.

To help continue to connect people with nature, MDC will be offering more of its nature-focused programs through online formats. According to MDC, the online offerings will make it more convenient and comfortable for people to attend the programs virtually from wherever they are in the state — and beyond.

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