Photo by Holly Shanks
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is now accepting entries for its annual photo contest. Winning entries will be featured on the department’s social media platforms. The deadline to submit photos is Oct. 1.
Entries can include images from anywhere in Missouri, featuring beautiful natural resources, unique state parks and historic sites, natural phenomena, outdoor recreation, scenic landscapes, weather, wildlife and people enjoying the outdoors.
Contestants can submit entries in the following categories:
- Natural Resources: Photographs of Missouri’s air, landscapes and waterways.
- Unique Places: Photographs taken within one of Missouri’s state parks and historic sites. For a list of all parks and sites visit mostateparks.com.
- People Enjoying Missouri’s Outdoors: Photographs of people enjoying and exploring Missouri’s great outdoors.
Judges will choose first, second, third and honorable mention winners for each category. For more information or to submit photos, visit dnr.mo.gov/photocontest. Questions about to the photo contest can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation and its Grow Native! native program continue its popular online programming.
More than 6,000 live attendees have enjoyed the online programming offered by the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) and its 21-year-old Grow Native! program from January through March 2021. MPF continues its popular webinar and master class schedule in April.
During these virtual learning opportunities hosted each week at 4:00 p.m., participants can learn from a variety of speakers on topics such as native rock gardening, monarch butterflies, and native plants and water quality.
Gateway Greening’s Gardening 101 Webinar will be held Thursday, March 18th at 6:00pm.
New to gardening or just need a refresher? This class mainly covers vegetable gardening. Going into what crops work for different seasons, how to read seed packs, basic pest management, what crops do best in our region, and some specific tips on finicky crops such as tomatoes and squash.
This class will be virtual through Zoom. Registration is required. Participants will receive Zoom information via email immediately after registering.
Visit the Gateway Greening website for more events and information.
Photo: Gray tree frog By Michael Dawson, Saint Louis Zoo.
Saint Louis Zoo virtual training sessions set for March 5, 13
Jump in and become a FrogWatch USA™ volunteer with the Saint Louis Zoo! Members of the St. Louis-area community are needed to monitor frogs and toads from their backyards, parks, fields, creeks or just about anywhere. The information gathered can lead to practical and workable ways to stop amphibian decline.
You do not have to be an expert to be help with frog conservation. All you need is an interest in frogs and toads and a willingness to participate at the level of commitment that works for you.
“We will train you to distinguish the croaks, peeps, and various calls of the 10 most common frog and toad species around the St. Louis area,” says Michael Dawson, Conservation Education Liaison at the Zoo, and coordinator of the St. Louis Chapter of FrogWatch USA. “Breeding calls vary greatly and are often mistaken for birds or insects. Their volume ranges from a soft musical trill to a deafening chorus.”
Bluebirds of Happiness – Missouri Department of Conservation Virtual Program, Thursday, February 11, 1-2 p.m. Registration required. (CLICK HERE)
The Eastern bluebird is the state symbol and a symbol of conservation success in Missouri. Join us as we look at the bluebird’s history, success and future in Missouri. Plus, learn how you can attract these ‘patriotic’ birds to your backyard.
Photo courtesy MDC.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Dickerson Zoo in Springfield have teamed up to host MDC’s first online-only Eagle Days celebration Feb. 6. The event will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19 health concerns.
As part of this year’s Eagle Days events, Dickerson Park Zoo will provide participants with an up-close view of a live, rehabilitated eagle and peregrine falcon. Characteristics of these two birds will be discussed, and Q&A opportunities will follow each program.
Advanced registration for MDC Eagle Days is recommended: See below or (CLICK HERE).
The event is the latest example of the longstanding partnership between MDC and Dickerson Park Zoo. The program is known to raise awareness about bald eagles and is also credited with helping our national bird achieve a triumphant return to Missouri.
Missouri State Museum invites the public to attend a virtual program, Missouri’s Santa Fe Trail at 200, as part of its ongoing “Landing After Hours” series at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3 on the Missouri State Museum Facebook page: facebook.com/MissouriStateMuseum/
Pictured: Van McElwee
Artist Van McElwee’ “Time Fork” at Laumeier is part of the sculpture park’s thematic exploration – “The Future is Present: Art & Global Change” – which runs through the late spring. The theme covers such topics as environmental crisis, tech waste, deforestation and astronomical phenomena. In part, McElwee’s art piece invites us to think about past civilizations, including the Mississippian settlements such as Cahokia Mounds just across our major river.
Cahokia Mounds once had more than 30,000 inhabitants and in 1150 was larger than any European city, including London. It was the largest city in North America until Philadelphia surpassed it in the late 1700s. Anthropologists speculate that when the Cahokia Mounds was abandoned about 1350, it may have been because of environmental degradation. Wanton tree cutting and erosion hurt the sustainability of crop lands and increased vulnerability to catastrophic river floods. For more on this, check out author Martin W. Sandler’s, “Lost To Time.”
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.
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.