Category Archives: Local Events
By Don Corrigan
Due to the pandemic, outside recreation has increased. The number of bikers and hikers on trails has accelerated. Safety experts are telling trail users now to be aware and to exercise caution to enjoy trail activities.
Kathy Schrenk of Kirkwood, who writes books for hikers and bikers, puts the emphasis on safety first. In fact, “Safety First” is a section title in her new book, “Katy Trail: A Guided Tour Through History.”
“Before I wrote about all the fun there is to bike on the Katy Trail, I wanted to point out essential safety tips,” said Schrenk. “After a trail user was shot by accident by a hunter recently, I’ve had even more questions about safety.
“I always advise wearing bright color clothing when biking and hiking for visibility,” said Schrenk. “I guess we can say that is especially true during a hunting season.”
The jogger shot on the Lewis And Clark Trail near Weldon Spring was hit by a shotgun blast on May 8. The hunter, who said he was attempting to shoot a turkey, hit the victim in the chest. State conservation officials said the hunter was too near the trail.
Schrenk said the trail incident was probably a freak accident, but it underlined the importance of wearing highly-visible, bright clothes. Also, brighter clothes offer better protection against damaging UV rays from the sun.
Schrenk, a mother of three, is an avid hiker and biker determined to instill a love of nature and safe outdoor adventures in kids. She has lived in Chicago and northern Illinois, the San Francisco Bay area, and now Missouri in Kirkwood.
What’s the next best thing to experiencing an adventure in person? Experiencing it live as it happens through modern, live stream technology. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is providing the opportunity for anyone to follow Missouri cave explorers virtually in real time using their computer or mobile device as the group prepares for a subterranean trek.
MDC will hold an Introduction to Caves and Caving virtual program Tuesday, June 15 from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages. This is a hybrid event, where 10 pre-scheduled participants will embark on a caving journey, while a virtual audience can follow along as they start their trip.
The event begins with an educational, in-classroom presentation that will cover many aspects of Missouri’s caves. Participants will learn about these unusual habitats, the life forms that live there, and why we need to protect this unique ecosystem.
“Missouri is known as the Cave State. It consists of over 7,500 natural caves and some contain unique animal life found nowhere else on earth, such as the Tumbling Creek cavesnail,” said MDC Naturalist, Shelly Colatskie.
Ask people what they feel the most amazing animal on Earth is, and many well tell you—birds. Humans have long been captivated by their seemingly magical ability to fly freely through the sky. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is teaming up with the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS) to present three free in-person World of Wings events in June to help participants learn more about these fascinating feathered creatures.
The World of Wings events will take place Sunday, June 6, at 11 a.m.; Friday, June 18 at 3 p.m.; and Sunday, June 27 at 3 p.m. Each presentation is open for ages 5 and up and will be conducted at the World Bird Sanctuary’s outdoor amphitheater, located at 125 Bald Eagle Ridge Road in Valley Park.
Participants will have the opportunity to see live hawks, eagles, owls, vultures and more up close and in person. WBS naturalists will share their experiences and expertise about the special traits, habits, and unique adaptations these birds possess. Learn about where birds live, what they eat, how they reproduce, and what sounds they make. Whether it’s flying, flapping, hopping, skipping, or singing, guests will discover how and why birds do it. They’ll also find out the many ways birds impact the world, from our daily lives to the entire ecosystems.
These programs are made possible by an education cooperative agreement between MDC and the World Bird Sanctuary and are free to attend. For over 40 years, the World Bird Sanctuary has helped restore the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and American barn owl from near extinction. They strive to support birds through education, conservation, and rehabilitation.
The World of Wings programs are free, but space is limited, and advanced online registration is required using the following links:
- Sunday June 6, 11 a.m.-noon: https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZKn
- Friday June 18, 3-4 p.m.: https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZKh
- Sunday June 27, 3-4 p.m.: https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZK7
Participants are reminded to dress for the weather as the program will be held outdoors. For the safety of participants and our staff, MDC asks all guests to observe social distancing guidelines and maintain at least six feet from others. Bringing and wearing face coverings are encouraged when indoors, or any time visitors are unable to maintain at least six feet from others.
MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.
It seems bears are getting around lately. Bear sightings in several counties in the St. Louis region, and one even making rounds recently in Webster Groves, Richmond Heights, and Brentwood, show that Missouri’s largest mammals aren’t just confined to the deep Ozarks anymore.
Given that appearances by bears are becoming more common each year, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wildlife biologists anticipate that they will only increase with time as Missouri’s bear population continues to grow. This makes learning about bears more relevant than ever.
MDC is offering a virtual Bear Aware program Wednesday, June 2, from 6:30-8 p.m. to help participants become more acquainted with these remarkable animals. The event is open to all ages.
Black bears are Missouri’s biggest omnivore and are making a comeback in our state. Join MDC naturalists as they offer practical tips and measures that will help homeowners, hikers, and campers share bear country with bears safely.
“We will talk about how to prevent attracting bears to your home and how to avoid bear conflicts while camping,” said MDC Naturalist Nicki Wheaton. Wheaton also said that the program will delve into the lives and natural history of bears and will take a look at the first ever Missouri black bear hunting season coming this fall.
Bear Aware is a free program; however, advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zrp. This is a virtual event through WebEx. Participants will receive an email invitation from Nichole.firstname.lastname@example.org with the link approximately 24 hours prior to the event. Please check junk mail/spam folders if you do not receive the invitation.
MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis regional events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation® invites all to recognize and celebrate prairies in Missouri and throughout the nation on National Prairie Day. Learn about and enjoy Missouri Prairie Foundation prairies at several free events planned for this special day.
Prairie is a defining landscape of the United States. From the prairies of the Great Plains and Midwest to the glades, coastal grasslands, and other related communities throughout the country, grasslands have benefited Americans in countless ways.
Today, our native grassland legacy has been dramatically reduced to scattered remnants of its once vast 160-million-acre domain across North America. These remnants, from pocket prairies with their beauty and diversity of plants, insects, birds, and other grassland wildlife, to the larger tracts that support cattle ranching, antelope, bison, and other large animals, remain vitally important to people for their contributions to water quality, soil health, carbon storage, forage protection in drought, and wildlife and pollinator habitat.
In 2016, the Missouri Prairie Foundation established National Prairie Day, registered on the National Day Calendar as the first Saturday in June. The goals of this special day are to enhance public awareness of what prairie is, educate about its value, and motivate and inspire all to support prairie conservation, restoration, and enjoyment. This year, National Prairie Day is Saturday, June 5, 2021.
“All are invited to join us in recognizing National Prairie Day,” said Carol Davit, executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a 55-year-old non-profit prairie conservation organization and nationally accredited land trust.
“National Prairie Day provides a day of focus across the United States to inspire learning, appreciation, and exploration of our national prairie legacy. We have educational events planned at several Missouri Prairie Foundation prairies to help Missourians enjoy these rare and beautiful resources.”
Spend National Prairie Day in a Missouri Prairie Foundation Prairie with one or more of our field trips on June 5:
- Herpetology and native plant hike at Golden Prairie with MPF board member Brian Edmond, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Missouri Bumble Bee Atlas survey at Drovers’ Prairie and Lordi Marker Prairie with MPF board member Doug Helmers, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Birding and iNaturalist walk at Runge Prairie with Missouri River Bird Observatory’s Zeb Yoko, 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
- Bird walk at Drovers’ Prairie with Missouri River Bird Observatory’s Paige Witek, 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.
Learn more about National Prairie Day and how you can be a part of this special day across the nation at nationalprairieday.org.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation is a 55-year-old conservation organization and nationally accredited land trust that protects and restores prairie and other native grasslands through acquisition, management, education, and support of prairie research. The organization owns 25 properties totaling 3,700 acres of prairie across the state and works with partners to inspire conservation of thousands more. The Missouri Prairie Foundation is also home to the 21-year-old Grow Native! native plant education and marketing program and administers the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force.
Enjoy browsing for beautiful and functional native trees, shrubs, and plants at this sale organized by the Missouri Prairie Foundation® and hosted by the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, MO on Saturday, May 15 at 125 Bald Eagle Ridge Rd. 63088 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity to purchase native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses, and more from three vendors from Missouri, to beautify your surroundings and support nature’s web of life in your yard or on your property,” said Carol Davit, MPF Executive Director. Vendors of this sale are Gaylena’s Garden, River City Natives, and Ozark Soul Native Plants. Some vendors accept cash, check, or credit cards; some only cash or checks. Please consider bringing your own boxes or crates to carry out your plants.
Enjoy the grounds and magnificent live birds while at the World Bird Sanctuary. There is no entrance fee, but there is a suggested $8 donation per vehicle. The World Bird Sanctuary has a mask mandate and requires that all visitors over the age of 5 wear a mask at all times.
While this is a walk-through sale, shoppers can also pre-order plants from the vendors and have orders ready to pick up at the sale. Please contact the vendors below to order and pre-pay for your plants. Note that each vendor is a separate business and may have different arrangements and requirements for ordering. Volunteers will be available to load plants into your car if you need assistance.
River City Natives
Order at rivercitynatives.com by May 13, 2021.
Order via email or phone by noon on Friday, May 14: email@example.com; 816-809-4062
Visit https://www.ozarksoul.com/availability.php for a current availability list. In your email or voicemail, include your phone number and note the date and location of sale.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation is a 55-year-old conservation organization and nationally accredited land trust. Its mission is to protect and restore prairie and other native grasslands through acquisition, management, education, and research. The Missouri Prairie Foundation also runs the 21-year-old Grow Native! program (www.grownative.org) and administers the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (www.moinvasives.org).
The Missouri Prairie Foundation and its Grow Native! native program continue its popular online programming.
Nearly 7,000 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 April 2021. MPF continues its popular webinar and master class schedule in May.
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 bumble bees, prairie mammals, prairie history, and pollinator gardening.
Speakers will include Katie Lamke, a conservation biologist for the Xerces Society; Doug Helmers, retired USFW private lands coordinator and MPF board member; Dr. Sean Maher, Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Missouri State University; Doug Ladd, retired director of conservation for The Nature Conservancy; and Paula Diaz, with GardeNerd Consultations.
Webinars are free, 30-minute programs, with time for questions after the presentations. Master classes are more specialized, with presenters sharing 50-minutes of material, with time for questions after the presentations. Master classes are free to MPF members and Grow Native! professional members, and $15 for non-members.
Not a member? Join at moprairie.org/membership/ and attend all master class programming as a benefit of membership. Landscape architect continuing education credits are available for master classes and most webinars.
May Webinars and Master Class Schedule:
Wednesday, May 5: MPF Master Class: Bumble Bees of Missouri with Katie Lamke
Wednesday, May 12: MPF Webinar: Small Mammal Ecology in a Fragmented Landscape with Dr. Sean Maher
Thursday, May 19: MPF Webinar: We did This – How Humans Created, Destroyed, and are Resurrecting America’s Tallgrass Prairies with Doug Ladd
Wednesday, May 26: Grow Native! Webinar: 10 Steps to Moving Beyond Monarchs with Paula Diaz
Register online for each webinar and master class, and a Zoom link will be emailed to you the week of the event. Recordings of the programming will be sent to all registrants. The free webinars will be posted publicly at the MPF YouTube Channel.
The nonprofit Missouri Prairie Foundation is a 55-year-old prairie conservation organization and nationally accredited land trust. Grow Native! is MPF’s 21-year-old native plant marketing and education program serving the lower Midwest. For more information about webinars and master classes, the Grow Native! program, or the Missouri Prairie Foundation, call 888-843-6739 or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring is here! Join us as we search for migrating and nesting birds throughout Columbia Bottom Conservation Area.
Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021 – 7:30am to 11:00am (Register by May 5)
Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area
We will meet at the parking lot next to the visitor’s center. Then do some birding around the visitor’s center before making our way to the confluence point. We will caravan with stops at various habitat locations in search for birds such as bobolink, dickcissels, lesser and greater yellow legs, prothonotary, northern parula, and more.
The birding adventure will end by the parking area near the confluence trail (parking lot N) with walking the road to the confluence (assuming it is not flooded – Some areas may not be accessible if the rivers are high, so we may not be able to go as far as intended.)
If you have them, please bring binoculars and spotting scopes. We can provide binoculars and guidebooks if you need to borrow one. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing as we may get muddy.
All ages are welcome. Please register each individual attending before or by May 5 as spaces will be limited to 30 individuals. Social distancing will be practiced and please bring a mask.