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.
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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.
- Feb. 6, from noon – 1 p.m., register at: https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/175584
- Feb. 6, from 1 – 2 p.m., register at: https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/175586
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/
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
2020 Event Dates
Friday-Sunday, Nov. 27-29
Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 2-6
Nightly, Dec. 9-23
Nightly, Dec. 26-Jan. 2
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.
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.