Category Archives: Local Events


“A Sewer Runs Through It: A History of the River des Peres” Film and Discussion, March 22

In the 1920s, wide sloping plains by the River des Peres absorbed flood
water, resulting in minimal damage. What changed to make the floods
of July 26 & 29, 2022 so destructive?

The event is NO COST but you need an EVENTBRITE ticket. Get tickets by clicking HERE.


Registration Is Open for 2023 Callery Pear “Buyback”

Photo: MDC, David Stonner.

The Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP), in partnership with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Forrest Keeling Nursery, and the Missouri Department of Conservation, will host a Callery pear “buyback” program in locations around the state on April 18.

Registration is open March 15 – April 13 for participants to choose their location, register with EventBrite, select a native tree, and upload a photo of the cut-down Callery pear tree. One free, non-invasive, native tree is provided to registered participants at the selected location on the day of the event, April 18, from 3–6 p.m. (Note: Kansas City has different dates and times.)

Invasive Tree Causes Ecological Concern: Native to China, Callery pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) include 26 cultivars that present significant ecological concerns in Missouri. Some of the most common cultivars offered commercially include Aristocrat, Autumn Blaze, Bradford, Capital, Cleveland, Chanticleer, Red-spire, and Whitehouse.

Continue reading


Powder Valley Nature Center Presents An Evening with Raptors Friday, Jan. 27

Meagan Duffee-Yeates trains her Merlin to hunt for blackbird during a winter months in Missouri.

Bird buffs, falcon fanciers, and anyone enraptured by raptors is invited to meet the objects of their admiration during this year’s An Evening with Raptors event—and explore a collaboration between humans and animals first forged thousands of years ago.

The annual An Evening with Raptors hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center will be held on Friday, Jan. 27 from 7-9 p.m.  The event is free and is open to all ages.

Falconry is the ultimate partnership between human and bird.  The sport goes back thousands of years, and you can learn about it at An Evening with Raptors event.  “Several area falconers will gather to offer the rare chance to observe and learn about these fascinating feathered hunters,” said MDC Assistant Nature Center Manager, Robyn Parker.  “They will also explain how viewers can get started in this age-old sport themselves,” she added.

Continue reading


MDC Announces Opening of Howard Wood Urban Outreach Office in the City of St. Louis

The new Howard Wood Urban Outreach office will be available for walk-in service and connect urban residents directly with conservation resources.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has opened a public outreach office in the City of St. Louis.  The MDC Howard Wood Urban Outreach Office at 4640 Shenandoah Ave, St. Louis MO 63110, just east of the Vandeventer Ave./South Kingshighway Blvd. intersection, is now open to the public. The office can be reached by phone at: 314-301-1504. The new facility is in the Brightside-St. Louis Building.

“The Howard Wood Urban Outreach Office is a collaboration space that will serve as a central hub for MDC staff with expertise in urban wildlife, fish, forestry, and conservation education. We want to provide opportunities for urban residents to enjoy and conserve nature close to where they live, including access to new communities who may not have a lot of conservation exposure or a connection to nature,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley.

The new MDC Howard Wood Urban Outreach Office will provide a staffed facility and walk-in service for the public, along with conservation-related information and free publications.  The office will also offer hunting and fishing permits for sale, as well as MDC Natural Events Calendars.  It will not carry other MDC Nature Shop items.

The new facility will be open to the public ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday 4 p.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and closed Sunday and Monday.

“We are very excited to be returning to the City of St. Louis after eight years.  The new office will make it easier to bring urban community conservation best practices, resources, and information to City and inner-ring St. Louis County residents, schools, and partner organizations,” said Julianne Stone, MDC St. Louis Regional Administrator.

Continue reading


Celebrate Peanut the Turtle’s 38th Birthday Party At Powder Valley Nature Center Nov. 19

Peanut the Turtle swims in a pond at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center.

Peanut the Turtle is turning 38, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is throwing her a birthday celebration.  The birthday partying takes place at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.  It’s a free event and open to all ages.

Peanut the Turtle has attracted attention all over Missouri, along with national and worldwide fame, as an anti-littering mascot.  At a young age, the red-eared slider wandered into a discarded plastic six-pack ring, and it stuck around her shell.  As her shell grew, it was constricted by the plastic ring and developed an unusual, figure-eight shape.  In 1993, when she was about nine years old, she was found in the St. Louis area and brought to the Saint Louis Zoo, where the ring was removed.

They named her Peanut because of her shell’s shape and gave her to staff at MDC. Peanut has been under the care of MDC since, where she has served as a popular ambassador for litter awareness.  Peanut’s permanent home is now at the nature center.

In the spirit of Peanut’s message, participants can help with litter pickups in and around Powder Valley during her birthday celebration event.  “We’ll provide MoDOT NoMOre trash bags for participants, and for each bag of trash they collect, they can enter a raffle to win prizes,” said MDC Naturalist Shelly Colatskie.  She added that participants can also qualify for the raffle by sending photos of themselves picking up litter at other places in the area.

The nature center will also serve birthday cake in honor of Peanut’s big day.  Educational programs will help make visitors aware of the environmental challenges that plastics pose and inform them about ways they can help prevent Peanut’s fate from happening to other wildlife.  Activities will also include information on Missouri Stream Teams, crafts, a chance to see live animals, and meet and greet Peanut herself.

Peanut’s 38th Birthday Celebration is free, but MDC asks visitors to preregister online at

Continue reading


Amazing Event: Webster Groves Nature/Zoo Champions Honored At Luncheon

Earlier this fall, a “Dine & Discuss Luncheon” at Cyranos Restaurant in St. Louis took up the subject of nature and outdoors champions covered in author Don Corrigan’s book, Amazing Webster Groves.

The book covers such Webster notables as Jack Lorenz of the Izaak Walton League and celebrated outdoor photographer Joseph Sohm.

At the luncheon, St. Louis Zoo Director Emeritus Charlie Hoessle talked about the contributions to world zoos by George Schaller and William Conway, both WGHS graduates. Rich Thoma talked about the legacy of the Webster Groves Nature Study Society.

For a full rundown on the discussion, check out the coverage of the luncheon in the Webster University Journal. Click on the link below:


‘Dine & Discuss’ at Cyrano’s Cafe shines light on Webster Groves


An Introduction To Nature’s Musician Kevin Renick

Kevin Renick is a music teacher, songwriter, nature lover, and it all comes together in his performance work. He credits his interest in birding walks for many of his music successes.
“Wandering around in remote woodlands, vast fields, marshlands and river edges looking for birds gave me a very early appreciation for the diversity of the natural world and the notion of landscapes,” said Renick. “My interest as a youngster shaped my aesthetic in profound ways.
“When I turned 12, my interest in birds became so intense that my mom started looking for an organization I could join. She found the Webster Groves Nature Study Society,” said Renick. “I was the youngest kid to participate and I started going on their regular birding trips, an activity that changed the way I viewed the world, nature as a whole, and yes, music.
Renick said he loves walking in the woods and his birding expeditions. All of this gets sprinkled into his music, and it inspired his most famous song, “Up In The Air,” which was used for the 2009 George Clooney movie by the same name.  It spells out a key influence for him:
“I’m out in the woods
Something here does my heart so good
I breathe the air and I know that I’m alive
And I stare at all the birds as they fly by
I guess it all comes down to them
Cause they’re up in the air.”
To Learn More About Kevin Renick, check out this story that appeared recently in the Webster-Kirkwood Times:
Fulfilling Their Dream
Songwriters at Meramec Produce Their Greatest Hits Album
by Don Corrigan
Okay. So what if it hasn’t taken off like the “Eagles’ Greatest Hits” – a group of Meramec students are still flying high with their CD entitled, “Time To Write A Song.” It’s billed as a music album about love, death, bad drivers and existential issues.
The CD is the brainchild of Kevin Renick. His continuing education class at St. Louis Community College at Meramec in Kirkwood is titled: “Songwriting: The Art and Discipline.” Students learn that songwriting is an art, but it only happens with a little discipline.
“I start by telling my classes that to write songs you have to have something to say,” declared Renick. “Tell us lyrically and musically, why we should care. Don’t tell us you just found a new girlfriend.

Continue reading


Fall Color Tram Tour of the Katy Trail, Oct. 19-20, 2022

Experience the dramatic scenery and fall colors along the Missouri River bluffs during the Fall Colors Tram Tours on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022.

The two-hour, round-trip tours will take visitors on the Katy Trail between Rocheport and McBaine in the comfort of an open-air tram coach. This 9-mile section of the trail is known for its fall colors along the bluffs and striking views of the Missouri River. As riders enjoy the scenery, interpretive guides will explain the natural history and cultural features along the trail. The tours are free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children age 12 and under.

Tours will depart from Rocheport at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on both days. Advance registration is required. To register, please call the Katy Trail State Park office at 573-449-7422 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or register online HERE.

Each tour consists of six trams, with each tram providing seating for 20 people. In the event of inclement weather, the tours will be canceled.

The tours are cosponsored by Missouri State Parks and Boone Electric Cooperative.


Native Plant Sale at Roeslein & Associates, Sept. 30, 2022

Photo: celandine poppy by Mervin Wallace.

Four Grow Native!® professional members will sell a variety of native seeds, wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, trees, vines, and sedges.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation® (MPF) and host, Roeslein & Associates, will hold a native plant sale on Friday, September 30, 2022, at 9200 Watson Road, St. Louis, MO, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Gaylena’s Garden, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, Papillon Perennials, and River City Natives will supply a variety of native plants for your landscaping needs. These Grow Native! professional members will donate five percent of plant sale proceeds to support MPF’s conservation work, and Roeslein & Associates will match this amount.

Continue reading


Protecting our Pollinators Event at Powder Valley Nature Center, event Sept. 17

Photo: MDC

Nature’s pollinating insects have our backs every day.  Scientists estimate at one out of every three bites of food we eat is there thanks to pollinating insects and other animals.  Did you know approximately 35% of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce?  That also includes the peppers and tomatoes we grow in our own gardens, or the blackberries we might enjoy collecting in nature.  Without our pollinators, we would be starving.

Since pollinators do so much for us, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites you to help them out too.  MDC’s Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is hosting the Protecting our Pollinators event, on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s a special event to celebrate these silent, but essential heroes of the insect and animal world.  Some of Missouri’s most important pollinators include bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and moths.  The event is free and welcomes people of all ages and will include educational booths, presentations, and activities to help the whole family appreciate pollinators.

The presentations during the event will take place in the nature center’s auditorium and will include the following topics:

Continue reading