Category Archives: Local Events

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Raja’s Virtual Birthday Celebration

Photo by Robin Winkelman, Saint Louis Zoo.

Virtual celebration for Raja the Asian elephant’s 28th birthday

When: 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020

Where: Online only at stlzoo.org/raja  

How do you celebrate a birthday in 2020? You decorate your lawn with birthday signs and gather virtually, of course! Over the last 27 years, the Saint Louis Zoo has celebrated male Asian elephant Raja’s (pronounced RAH zhä) birthday with huge signs in the form of enrichment-filled birthday presents decorating his habitat for the big day. This year, for the safety of Zoo guests, staff and the animals, Raja’s celebration is going virtual-only and everyone can join in to watch together online. There will be no birthday celebration activities at River’s Edge.

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Celebrate Missouri’s Bicentennial!

Linden’s Prairie, by R.S. Kinnerson.

By Don Corrigan

Missouri’s Bicentennial is just weeks away. The Show-Me State has a lot to celebrate since it gained statehood in 1821, but Carol Davit says the state would be wise to do a little inventory of natural losses over its last two centuries.

“Up until the time of statehood in 1821, 15 million acres of prairie enriched our beautiful state,” noted Davit, executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF). “Today, in only 200 years, that figure has been reduced to fewer than 60,000 acres, or less than half of one percent.

“Our New Year’s wish at the foundation is that more Missourians join us in supporting our mission to save as much remaining original prairie as possible, and to help us reconstruct more prairie habitat through plantings,” Davit said.

The Columbia-based Missouri Prairie Foundation recently posted a new video on its website to share the sheer beauty and diversity of Missouri’s prairies, and to help people understand the importance of prairies. Residents can get involved in helping protect what prairie remains, and can help MPF reconstruct prairie habitat through plantings.

Davit believes Missourians will understand the imperative to save prairie lands after visiting some of the beautiful locations around the state.

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COOKING WILD FOR THE HOLIDAYS? (MDC Virtual cooking class, Dec. 15)

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

For many, an important part of the Christmas holiday season is reconnecting with traditions of the past. Before the modern era of frozen turkeys, boxed stuffing, and canned vegetables, there was food from nature. It was a time when the outdoors provided the feast, rather than the grocery store.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is providing the opportunity to re-instill the food-from-nature connection by offering a Cooking Wild for the Holidays virtual class Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 7-8 p.m. The class is free and open to all ages.

The program will benefit anyone wanting to add Missouri wild game or other wild edibles found in the Show-Me-State to their winter holiday parties.   It will provide helpful ideas for those interested in eating more organic or locally-sourced foods.

“Come and join us as we discuss various recipes you can use to add a taste of Missouri to your dinner parties. We will also discuss how to go about collecting and processing some of the wild edibles,” said MDC Naturalist Shelly Colatskie.

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U.S. BANK WILD LIGHTS STARTS NOV. 27 AT THE SAINT LOUIS ZOO

Photo by Roger Brandt. All photos courtesy of the Saint Louis Zoo

A wild, arctic wonderland with over 1 million twinkling holiday lights and festive family fun awaits you at U.S. Bank Wild Lights at the Saint Louis Zoo!

Photo by Robin Winkelman.

2020 Event Dates

Wild Lights is open from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on the following select dates:
  • Friday-Sunday, Nov. 27-29
  • Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 2-6
  • Nightly, Dec. 9-23
  • Nightly, Dec. 26-Jan. 2

 

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Powder Valley Nature Center Closed Nov. 7-9 For Managed Deer Hunt

Photo courtesy MDC.

Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center and its grounds will be closed Saturday, Nov. 7 through Monday, Nov. 9 to accommodate a managed archery deer hunt on the area. During this time, the nature center building and grounds, including the surrounding trails, will not be accessible to the general public. Powder Valley will resume normal operational hours starting Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Visitors should note that while the trails will be fully accessible after the hunt, the nature center building will continue to be available for front desk access for information, gift shop sales and permit purchases only.

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Spring 2021 Anticipated Opening of the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape In Forest Park

Forest Park Forever recently published an update on the construction of Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape  in Forest Park. Please continue below for the full announcement.

To the Forest Park community:

Forest Park Forever and our City of St. Louis partners are thrilled to share a special update about the 17-acre Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape under construction in Forest Park.

Since spring 2019, the site has transformed from just mowed grass into natural landscapes with native and diverse plant species, water-based activity areas and more. The destination features nine distinct activity areas — including Mounds, a Spring, a Meadow, a Wetland and more — and a series of accessible paths and boardwalks between them. Visitors, especially children, will connect with nature and engage their senses as they explore, discover and learn.

Forest Park Forever and our City partners are anticipating a late spring 2021 opening of this remarkable new destination. Our teams will work together to ensure that the site opens to visitors with the proper health and safety protocols and guidelines in place.

Continue reading below for more details included in the project.

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Corrigan Comments On Recent Induction Into The St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Media Hall of Fame Foundation recently posted on YouTube all of this year’s inductees, including Environmental Echo’s Don Corrigan.  A professor of journalism and long-time newspaper editor, Corrigan is introduced here by the Webster University School of Communications Dean Eric Rothenbuhler.

In his acceptance speech, Corrigan recalls his early years of journalism in grade school with his neighborhood newspaper. He ends his remarks with his interest in covering outdoor and environmental issues, from Times Beach to TMI radioactive rail shipments, to the radioactive waste problems such as those at West Lake and Coldwater Creek in the St. Louis region.

Corrigan also thanks the many inspirational women who have helped with his journalism projects over four decades.

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Grand Opening For Bridge at Bayless Avenue Celebrated at “2020 Life Outside Challenge”

Photo courtesy Great Rivers Greenway.

by Don Corrigan

Saturday, Oct. 10, was a big day for  Great Rivers Greenway. In Kirkwood, a “2020  Life Outside Challenge” was underway.  About 10 miles east on the trail network, a grand opening for a bridge at Bayless Avenue was celebrated.
 
“We had 20 challenge activities at the Kirkwood Trailhead in the categories of nature creativity and healthy play,” said Anne Milford, communications coordinator for the GRG. “The parking lot was filled with cars the whole time and there was a lot of buzz about heading east to the new bridge.”
 
Indeed, a sizable number of hikers, bikers and in-line skaters made the trip from Kirkwood to a new connector bridge over the River Des Peres. The new bridge connects the Gravois Greenway and the River Des Peres Greenway.

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Boo at the Zoo!

2019 Boo at The Zoo.
Photo By Micah Usher, courtesy Saint Louis Zoo.

What: Boo at the Zoo presented by SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

When: 5 to 8:30 p.m. nightly, Oct. 16-30, 2020
Where: Saint Louis Zoo
Tickets: Members: $7.95 (ages 2-12) and $8.95 (ages 13+); Non-members: $8.95 (ages 2-12) and $9.95 (ages 13+). Children under age 2 are free.
Families can enjoy festive decorations, strolling entertainers, special food and drink menus, and more at the Saint Louis Zoo’s nighttime, non-scary Halloween experience, Boo at the Zoo presented by SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. The event runs from 5 to 8:30 p.m. every night Oct. 16 to 30. Please note, this is not a trick-or-treating event.
Find more information about Boo at the Zoo below.

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Take The Mystery Out of Making Great Meals In The Wild!

Photo courtesy MDC.

LEARN HOW TO EAT WELL OUTDOORS AT MDC VIRTUAL COOKING FOR CAMPING AND HIKING CLASS SEPT. 30

Having food when venturing outdoors might be essential for survival. Having good food is certainly essential for fun. What’s the best way to prepare food when away from the comforts and conveniences of a modern kitchen? What will you need to bring? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering an online class that can help take the mystery out of making great meals in the wild.

Outdoor Cooking for Camping and Hiking is a free virtual class which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 6-6:45 p.m. The class will include an interactive Q&A session via online chat. (Online registration is required.)

Participants will learn how to cook outdoors whether they’re camping in one place for an extended period, or they need to keep things light while on the move. Heat is crucial for cooking, and the program will cover various ways to start a fire. It will look at different types of heat delivery options, including portable hiking and camping stoves. Tools and utensils needed for cooking and baking in the field will also be addressed, along with other special considerations when prepping food outdoors.

For more information and registration details see below.

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