Category Archives: Local Events

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New Solar Surges in Gateway Region Despite Pandemic

Region’s Solar Group Buy Programs Provides Additional Discount for Program Participants 

The pandemic has prompted many people to make their households more efficient and for some St. Louis area residents that means investing in solar powerTwin programs, Grow Solar St. Louis and Grow Solar Metro East, make this process easier and more affordable. 

In 2020, more than 60 property owners have already committed to go solar through the programs. All are expected to be producing electricity before the end of the year. The 500 kW of new capacity will offset more than 700,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in their first year of operation. It will save solar homeowners roughly $40,000 on electricity bills, collectively, in that same time period. 

“Another 60 households are actively considering their own commitments, and hundreds of people are joining us to learn all about solar,”  said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Director for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, which is co-facilitating the programs with local sponsors. “It’s really exciting to see how much interest there is in solar in the Gateway Region as we approach the September 30 program deadline.” 

Continue reading below for more information about the program.

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Dark Secrets of Earthworms Unearthed at Free MDC Online Program Sept. 11

Earthworm photo courtesy MDC.

Many people think of them as helpful little critters, but you might be surprised to learn they’re not so beneficial after all.

Invaders can come in many forms. Just like the plot of a horror movie, some of them might even seem benign and helpful, while they secretly wreak havoc. You might be surprised to discover that earthworms are just such creatures.

The Truth about Earthworms is a free online program presented by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and takes place Friday, Sept. 11 from 12-1 p.m. The presentation is free and open to all ages.

“Most earthworms are not actually native to the United States and were brought here by European settlers,” said MDC Naturalist Rena Schmidt. “They may be known to be great for gardens and fishing bait, but they can have enormous negative effects on our forest ecosystems,” she said.

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Night at the Zoo Event For Adults (Ages 21 and Over)

What: Night at the Zoo presented by Mid America Chevy Dealers — Adults ages 21+ are invited to spend an exclusive, limited-attendance evening among the animals at the Saint Louis Zoo. Enjoy Zoo exhibits and complimentary admission to special attractions, two complimentary drink tickets, a free animal-themed mask, and special discounts at food outlets and gift shops.
When:  Two scheduled dates:
  • 5-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27
  • 5-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17
(Zoo closes to the public at 4:30 p.m. on these dates.)
Where: Saint Louis Zoo
Tickets: Advance tickets are required. No tickets available at the door. Tickets available online at stlzoo.org/nightatthezoo.
  • $25/Zoo Member; $30/Non-member
  • Free parking on Zoo lots after 4:30 p.m.
More Details:  

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MDC Online Beginning Camping Class Aug. 13

Photo courtesy MDC.

Learn everything you’ll need to create the ultimate family nature outing at this free, virtual program.

There’s never been a better time to take a “staycation” than now. One very accessible, inexpensive, and fun family outing is a camping trip. But for those new to camping, the initial startup might seem intimidating.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is presenting a free online program to make getting a start with camping easy. MDC naturalists will present Beginning Camping Thursday, Aug. 13 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. for ages 10 and up. It’s especially tailored for novice campers and designed to take the mystery out of spending a night in the woods.

Find more information about the program and registration below.

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Learn About St. Louis Urban Fishing Opportunities on July 20 With The MDC

Photo courtesy MDC.

Learn what, when and where to fish for in the many fishing lakes in the St. Louis Urban Fishing program during this free presentation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Urban Fishing Program (UFP) is one of the largest and oldest in the country. Started in 1969 to bring great fishing home to St. Louis residents, it has steadily grown and expanded over the decades to encompass St. Louis County, as well as the lakes located at August. A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles. Today, there are more angling opportunities year-round than ever before.

St. Louis area anglers will have the chance to learn more about the UFP at a free online program, Introduction to Urban Fishing in St. Louis. It will be held Mon., July 20, from 6:00-6:45 p.m. This virtual program will provide an opportunity to learn and ask questions about urban fishing in the metro area.

More details about the free online seminar below.

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Sunflowers, Sunflowers and More Sunflowers!

Photo courtesy MDC.

MDC plants sunflowers at Columbia Bottom for viewing and photo opportunities! Visitors should be able to enjoy impressive golden displays continuously through mid-August.

Sunflower fans should have the opportunity again this summer to view and photograph spectacular sunflower displays at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in North St. Louis County. Due to popular demand, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff have planted additional sunflower plots again this year.

MDC staff were unable to plant last year because flood waters lingered on the area. However, conditions have been more favorable this season, so staff utilized a similar planting strategy to the one from 2018, which proved highly popular with visitors.

Spectacular sunflower fields have been an annual tradition at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake. MDC staff have been planting sunflowers for years as part of their management for mourning doves. The area is known as an excellent dove hunting destination each September. The large flowers supply seeds that entice the doves, and their lofty stalks create cover for the hunters who pursue them. Sunflowers also benefit a wide variety of other birds and pollinators.

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Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site Hosts A Celebration of Independence July 4

Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site invites the public to attend Four Fourths and a Fifth, a patriotic-themed reenactment, at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, July 4. Local writer and historian Dr. Eric “Rick” Mansfield brings to the stage a one-man production that celebrates our independence over the past two-plus centuries.

The reenactment features five characters, all in historical costume. Characters will give their perspectives of significant historical milestones in our country’s history and what they experienced on July Fourths of the past. Character changes are accomplished with different shirts, waistcoats, hats and accessories. The base layer of pants and undershirts keeps this a modest display and quite family-friendly. Mansfield never leaves the stage during the performance and provides narrative between historical periods as he changes into appropriate attire.

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URBAN CHESTNUT RELEASES 2020 STL ZOO BIER

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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Learn About Attracting Backyard Wildlife On July 1

Photo courtesy MDC.

Interested in attracting birds, bees, and other wildlife to your backyard?

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites the public to join its free live Wild Webcast on Attracting Backyard Wildlife on Wednesday, July 1, at noon.

MDC Urban Wildlife Biologist Erin Shank of Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center will explain the basics of creating backyard wildlife habitat; the importance of native plants and insects for pollination, wildlife food, and other benefits: planning and designing native plantings; attracting birds; supporting pollinators such as butterflies and bees; and more.

Register in advance for the free live MDC Wild Webcast on Attracting Backyard Wildlife at short.mdc.mo.gov/Zht and then join the webcast live on July 1 at noon.

Learn more about property improvements to attract wildlife from MDC at mdc.mo.gov/property/improve-my-property/wildlife-management.

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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.