Category Archives: Local Events

Ride The Rivers Century Ride Set For October 9, 2021

Information from Trailnet for The Ride the Rivers Century. (August Newsletter)

The Ride the Rivers Century presented by Streets of St. Charles is the best 100 mile ride in the midwest. Challenge yourself on Trailnet’s flagship ride of the year. Ride the Rivers brings together all of the best elements of biking across the region.

The route is the experience. From an early morning in Old Town St. Charles, to ferry crossings*, cruising along the Mississippi, cutting through the City, rolling through Forest Park, winding down the Katy Trail and ending with a party at the Streets St. Charles; this supported ride gives you a unique chance to crush 100 miles.

Want to join in on the century fun but don’t want to knock out a full 100 miles? Enjoy a very European 100 km (62 mi) metric century that explores the Missouri and Mississippi River valleys before returning to St. Charles for the street party.

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Squirrel Photo Winners To Be Awarded At Magnificent Missouri Event On Oct. 17

Squirrels are frantically flipping out and burying acorns. It’s their pre-winter thing. Which makes squirrels great photo subjects this time of year.

A squirrel photography contest is now frantically underway.

Send your best squirrel images to the Missouri Nature Blog, EnvironmentalEcho.com. Limit of three photos per photographer, please. Deadline is October 15.

Squirrel photograph images should be sent on the worldly squirrel wide web to the email address: environmentalecho@gmail.com. Photograph winners will receive Squirrel Baskets packed with plenty of squirrel goodies.

Three winners will be announced at the Squirrel Day Table at Magnificent Missouri’s Elevator Days on Sunday, Oct. 17 at Treloar on the Katy Trial. Shuttle will be available to take visitors to the Peers Store just east of Treloar on the Katy Trail.

Professor Don Corrigan will give a Powerpoint lecture on his book, “Nuts About Squirrels” at the Peers Store at 1 p.m. The lecture and his book detail the importance of squirrel characters in our American popular culture.

Some tips about photographing live squirrels: Good squirrel photos should be close-up showing their character. Action photos are best.

Squirrels make good subjects because they are just plain cute. They are very cunning and will work very hard to get to a food source, i.e., your bird feeder. They offer endless opportunities for great photos with their gymnastic abilities.

They can be difficult at times to photograph because they are constantly on the move and you have to anticipate what they are going to do next. This is what makes photographing them so much fun.

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ZOOFARI 2021: Biennial Fundraiser To Benefit the Saint Louis Zoo

Enjoy dinner, drinks and music under the night sky at the Saint Louis Zoo’s most-anticipated fundraiser! Proceeds support the Saint Louis Zoo and its conservation efforts here and around the world.
When: 7 p.m. until midnight on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021
On Sept. 10, the Zoo is open to the public from 9 a.m. until noon, when it will close for preparations.
Where: Saint Louis Zoo
Event Information: The biennial creative black-tie party for ages 21+ includes:
  • Live music by local bands and DJs on multiple stages, including the Fabulous Motown Revue, Miss Jubilee, Mo Egestion, The Usual Suspects, Wax Museum, DJ Chris Brown and DJ Micro
  • Food stations throughout the Zoo offering unlimited sweet and savory dishes with catering provided by the Zoo’s executive chef and culinary team.
  • The 2021 event format has changed and does not include local restaurant vendors this year.
  • Premium open bars with beer, wine, and specialty cocktails
  • Special fundraising activities to benefit the Zoo, including a wine and spirits pull, local restaurant gift card pull, and Kendra Scott Color Bar™ experience
  • Take a ride on the Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel and the Emerson Zooline Railroad
Tickets: Advance tickets are required. Purchase tickets online at stlzoo.org/zoofari.
  • General Admission tickets available at stlzoo.org/zoofari:
    • $200 per person for Zoo Members
    • $250 per person for non-members
  •  Sponsorship-level tickets available at stlzoo.org/zoofari:
    • $1,000: 2 tickets, access to VIP reception, table accommodations and program listing
    • $3,500: 10 tickets, early admission, reserved table and program listing
    • See stlzoo.org/zoofari for additional sponsorship levels and benefits

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The Plants of Creve Coeur Park: Walk & Learn

Pictured: Mitch Leachman.

Mitch Leachman will lead a tour of the bottomland forest, prairie restoration and lake edge at Creve Coeur Park on September 11, starting at 8 a.m., located at Creve Coeur Park Lake, 2160 Creve Coeur Mill Rd., Maryland Heights, MO 63146. The tour is free and registration is required.

 

Find more information about the event below from the Sustainable Backyard Network.

Don’t miss our first in-person gathering since the 2019 Shindig! In this outdoor lesson in biodiversity, Mitch Leachman will lead a tour of the bottomland forest, prairie restoration and lake edge at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park’s Mallard Lake. Both native and non-native plants will be highlighted as the group traverses a 2.5 mile loop trail. Commentary will be offered on plant behavior, wildlife value and suitability for landscaping projects.

Group size is limited to 20 and advance registration is required. Please note: All are welcome to attend, regardless of vaccination status. Should you not be fully vaccinated, we do ask that you wear a mask at all times out of consideration for the presenter and each other.

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Grow Native! Master Class: Stormwater Management Design August 4

Photo courtesy of Missouri Prairie Foundation.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program will host a Zoom webinar on stormwater management practices with native plants.

 

The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s (MPF) Grow Native! program  is hosting a master class on Wednesday, August 4 at 4:00 p.m. with Ronda Burnett, Community Conservation Planner with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Titled “Stormwater Management Design” the master class will provide an advanced overview of the design considerations associated with stormwater management practices.

In addition to hydrology, the class will touch on soil composition and health, karst topography, and treatment strategies for pollution when it is found in either rainwater runoff or in the soil. Case studies from Missouri will be used throughout the presentation and highlight the role native plants play in stormwater management.

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MDC Partners With Foundry Art Centre In St. Charles To Create Eco Art Native Garden

Foundry Art 2021 MDCPhoto: MDC

Art and nature unite to form an education experience for kids and native habitat for pollinators.

Please read below about the project from the MDC.

Nobody even seemed to notice temperatures approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit as they made short work of creating a haven for native pollinators at the entrance of the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles. A diversified group of 10 people gathered at the Foundry June 18 to plant Missouri native plants in the facility’s newly minted native garden.  The effort was given an assist from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

This team of assorted planters included four young members of the Foundry Summer Art Camp for kids age 6-14, City of St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer, Jenny Kettler, Head of Education and Programming at the Foundry Art Centre, Foundry Executive Director Sean FitzGibbons, MDC Conservation Educator Becky Robertson, Bill Mees of the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, and Tom Claus, Operations Assistant Manager at The Home Depot.

Leonardo DaVinci’s once said “the artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.” Earlier this year Kettler, an artist herself, saw a potential native garden in a space beside the Foundry’s front entrance.  At the time it was choked by non-native plants.  But what if that space could be transformed into a flourishing plot of eco-friendly natives that would support pollinators?

Kettler reached out to MDC Conservation Educator, Becky Robertson, for help in making that vision a reality.

“It was exciting for them to reach out to us, and it was nice for us to partner with somebody who’s trying to make a difference in conservation and the environment,” Robertson said.  She helped Kettler organize a workday in April where MDC staff and members of the Confluence Chapter of the St. Charles County Master Gardeners joined Kettler to clear the ground of the less desirable non-native plants—the first step in making way for the conversion. MDC offered technical assistance to help determine good native replacements for the spot. 

Robertson also connected the Foundry Art Centre with other partners and funding to help bring the project to life.  Kettler said with Robertson’s assistance and her own efforts, the partnership soon blossomed into an impressive conservation coalition.

St. Louis Compost donated the mulch to prep the garden.  Native plants were sourced through donations from Missouri Wildflower Nursery.  Grants from the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative and the Missouri Prairie Foundation helped fund the entire project.  The Home Depot also stepped forward to supply shovels, concrete for creating garden stones, and wood to put birdhouses on.

Kettler wanted to go one step further though.  She envisioned creating an educational and inspirational connection for young people too, so she integrated the native garden project into the Foundry’s kids Summer Art Camp.

“It’s really Important now more than ever for children to learn about the natural world and to develop a close relationship with it because they will become the stewards of the Earth,” Kettler said.

Each weeklong session of the camp focuses on a different part of the natural world.  The theme for the week of the planting was “Monet’s Magical Monarchs”.  During the five days leading up to the planting event, the young campers created eco-art, including butterflies fashioned from plastic bottles, and watched real painted lady butterflies emerge from their chrysalises.  They also made decorative garden stones both to take home and to install in the Foundry Art Centre’s new garden.

The camp culminated in the Friday press event where the campers helped plant 16 native flower species in the new garden space.  These included gray, purple and yellow coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, shining blue star, milkweeds, St. John’s wort, and beauty berry.  Despite the heat, everyone involved seemed enthusiastic about the effort and the team of 10 was able to complete the task in short order.  The kids also released the newly emerged painted lady butterflies into the garden.

From a conservation perspective, Robertson emphasized that native plantings like these not only offer beauty, but they are important for the environment as well.  These plants provide a real boost to the wildlife and insect pollinators that rely on them.  Collectively, small native oases like this can add up to meaningful habitat in the big picture.

“I hope the kids will leave here with an understanding and appreciation for not only art but the natural world.  And that is priceless,” said Kettler.

Perhaps it’s this connection that 19th Century French artist Paul Cézanne realized when he observed, “Art is a harmony parallel with nature.

Enjoy Walking the Waterway In Forest Park

 
IMG_3741Photo by Holly Shanks

 

Can you name any of the water birds native to Saint Louis? Do you like to birdwatch or simply enjoy getting outdoors and observing nature? Well, here is a chance to get outside and enjoy a beautiful part of Forest Park in its natural setting. 

Join the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for a hike along the waterway in Forest Park to observe the water birds native to the city. No experience required, dress for the weather, and bring water, snacks, and binoculars. Please meet at the fish hatchery.  

Event Date/Time: Friday, August 6, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Event Location: Forest Park Hatchery, St. Louis, MO 63110

Registration Required: CLICK HERE

MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines.? Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate.

Forest Park Hatchery Information: Originally established in 1879, the Forest Park Hatchery was the first fish culture activity in Missouri. Today this fish hatchery is no longer operated for fish farming but rather for educational programming.

Cancellation Policies: You must cancel your registration before Friday, August 6, 2021.
Age Policy: All registrants for this event must be between 12 and 99 years of age by 8/6/2021.

Learn To backpack With The MDC July 30 at Warrenton Pool Park

MDC Backpack July 21

There’s no better way to become one with nature than to live in it.  For those who enjoy the basics and revel in self-reliance, backpacking and backcountry camping is an excellent way to experience an intimate encounter with nature.  But for those just starting out, it’s important to get some good guidance.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will hold a Backpacking Preparation 101 class Friday, July 30 from 9-11 a.m.  The program is free and open to all ages and will be held at the Warrenton Pool Park Aquatic Center.

Backpacking overnight is an excellent way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.  It does take a bit more preparation and planning than casual day hiking or camping from a car.  Backpackers carry everything they need for hiking, cooking, eating, shelter, and sleeping on their backs.  That provides an unparalleled sense of independence and freedom.

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Sappington African American Cemetery In Arrow Rock Dedicated As New State Historic Site

Sappingtion Negro Histoirc DNR 2

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources recently dedicated Sappington African American Cemetery State Historic Site as the 92nd facility in the Missouri State Parks system.

“This is a very exciting day for Missouri State Parks as we dedicate the 92nd facility,” said Mike Sutherland, Missouri State Parks director. “Our mission of preserving and interpreting Missouri’s finest examples of cultural landmarks continues and wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many of you here today.”

Sappington African American Cemetery State Historic Site now joins other significant African American sites in Missouri, including Scott Joplin House State Historic Site in St. Louis; the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site in Butler; the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center in Kansas City; and the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond. Each tells its own unique story in Missouri history.

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Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails Opens at the Saint Louis Zoo on July 12, 2021

Primate Canopy Trails during construction.

Primate Canopy Trails, under construction since late 2019, is a 35,000-square-foot outdoor expansion connected to the Primate House. The $13 million exhibit consists of eight new outdoor homes for primates — lemurs, Old World monkeys and New World monkeys. The first-of-its-kind primate habitat and guest experience includes climbing structures that allow guests to explore the forest canopy next to the animals, while learning through play and exploration about conservation challenges primates are facing in the wild — and discovering solutions to help.

This exhibit was made possible by the generosity of many donors, including a meaningful leadership gift from Michael and Quirsis Riney.

Primate Canopy Trails during construction.

“We are deeply appreciative of the Rineys’ charitable support, which will greatly impact both the animals in our care and the experiences of our guests,” said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. “This is an amazing and unique exhibit that will help us connect people to animals like never before.”

About the Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails

At Primate Canopy Trails, Zoo guests take a journey from the forest floor, through a see-through tunnel, and up into the treetops on an elevated boardwalk to see monkeys and lemurs in their enriching and engaging state-of-the-art homes and play areas. Expansive climbing structures take guests through the animals’ habitats, mimicking the life of a primate in the tree canopy of a forest.

The new exhibit allows the Zoo to improve animal care, health and well-being of primates by providing access to enriching outdoor habitats, sunlight and fresh air. The 1925 Primate House, which was renovated in 1977 and will continue to be used, had few outdoor habitats available for use by only some of the species over the years. Many of the primates living at the Primate House have never had access to the outdoors until now.

“Being outside is critical for primates’ well-being, and this new habitat is a demonstration of the Zoo’s commitment to providing quality animal care,” says Heidi Hellmuth, Curator of Primates, Saint Louis Zoo.

Find more information below.

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