Category Archives: Local Events

Earth Day Special Panel Webinar: Keeping Our Water Healthy: Native Plants & Watersheds April 22


The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s (MPF) Grow Native! program is hosting a free special Zoom webinar for Earth Day on Thursday, April 22 at 4:00 p.m. with Grow Native! professional member Stream Teams United. Titled “Keeping our Water Healthy” the panel webinar will feature seasoned professionals discussing the importance of native plants for a healthy watershed. Registration is required for this free webinar at or CLICK HERE to register. Registrants will receive a link to a recording of the webinar.

The webinar will be moderated by Stream Teams United Executive Director Mary Culler, with panelists Ronda Burnett with the Missouri Department of Conservation;, Dale Blevins, a U.S. Geological Survey emeritus hydrologist and MPF past president; and Dr. Lisa Shulte Moore of Iowa State University. The webinar will begin with Stream Teams United’s new educational video “Keeping our water healthy – it starts with you,” and the panelists will break down how native plants play an important role in providing clean water for people. There will be a question and answer session for registrants.

Learn about actions to keep watersheds healthy by watching Stream Teams United’s video on YouTube at and find more resources on Grow Native!’s website at

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

Sign Up For ‘Forest & Farms’ Earth Day Special For April 22

The Missouri Humanities Council and Heritage Programs recently volunteered to plant native trees to help replenish tree populations along the Katy Trail.  It’s all to kick-off a virtual program, “Forest & Farms: Explore the Historical Transformation of the Missouri River Valley,” to air April 22.

Panelists, Dan Burkhardt (Co-founder, Magnificent Missouri), Meridith McAvoy Perkins (Executive Director, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri), and Ken McCarty (Natural Resource Management Program Director, Missouri State Parks), will present on the historical transformation of the Missouri River Valley from lush bottom land forest to fertile farmland. They will explore how Missourians have shaped and been shaped by this landscape.

The program will showcase the “Trees of Treloar” conservation project of Magnificent Missouri, a mini-native tree arboretum at the Treloar Trailhead on the Katy Trail. Forest ReLeaf members and others will discuss finding a balance between reforesting the land and preserving the region’s cultural and agricultural heritage.

“Forest & Farms” will take place on Earth Day, April 22, 2021 at 6:30 P.M. (CST), and invites participants to discover the history of forests and farms along the Katy Trail. Today’s trail bikers and hikers can better appreciate what the landscape was — and what it can be! Participant Q&A to follow the panel discussion.

This virtual free event will be presented on Zoom and FB Live. To register CLICK HERE.

The program is a part of “Missouri’s Natural Environment: 200 Years and Beyond” series. This is a year-long series that coincides with the state’s bicentennial to explore Missouri’s natural landscapes. To learn more CLICK HERE.

Missouri State Museum and Daniel Boone Regional Library Present “Missouri Trailblazer: Thomas Hart Benton” Virtual Program April 20

MO State Parks Generic         

 Missouri State Museum and Daniel Boone Regional Library invite the public to a virtual program titled, “Missouri Trailblazer: Thomas Hart Benton,” at 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 20.

Viewing the mural, A Social History of the State of Missouri, is one of the most exciting parts of a visit to the Missouri Capitol. Painted by Thomas Hart Benton in 1936, the mural tells the story of the state from its pioneer beginnings to the industrial 20th century. Join Dr. Sarah Jones, art historian and museum interpreter, to discuss Benton’s life and career including the story of his Missouri mural and his role in the rise of American Regionalism. 

Adults and teens are welcome. Those interested in attending must register online to receive a Zoom link to the program at The event will be recorded for later viewing.

This program is a monthly series in honor of Missouri’s bicentennial, highlighting Missouri’s most significant trailblazers who have had an impact on our culture through major events, leadership, innovation and more.

For more information about the event, call the Missouri State Museum at 573-751-2854.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.comMissouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Tree Book Inspires “Men and Women Who Plant Trees”


By Don Corrigan

Both Kirkwood and Webster Groves have been designated individually as a Tree City USA. That classification reflects citizen appreciation for large leafy wonders. Now some local folks are extending their love of trees to the Katy Trail and the Missouri River Valley.

Among those involved are Bill Spradley of Kirkwood’s Trees, Forests and Landscapes and Mike Rood of Pea Ridge Forest. They are extending their arbor expertise to an area of the Katy Trail in eastern Missouri. Hikers and bikers will enjoy new trees in trail locations such as Marthasville, Peers and Treloar. In addition to beautifying the sites, the tree canopy will protect trail users from summer sun and stave off trail erosion problems. It’s all part of a partnership between Forest Releaf of Missouri and Magnificent Missouri to plant hundreds of trees along the trail over three years.

“The trees we are planting were grown in our Missouri River bottom nursery in Creve Coeur Park and will find permanent homes near the Missouri River,” said Meridith Perkins, executive director of Forest ReLeaf. She said the project covers the Katy Trail “between Hermann and St. Charles to provide habitat, erosion control and shade for generations of Katy Trail user.” To celebrate the launch of this effort, a special edition of the conservation book, “The Man Who Planted Trees,” has been printed. The celebrated fable captures how planting trees can transform a landscape. It has sold more than 250,000 copies.

The book is now available at Pedego Electric Bikes in Oakland near the north trailhead of Grant’s Trail. It also can be ordered at

“We hope that this project, and our special edition of ‘The Man Who Planted Trees,’ will inspire Katy Trail riders and others to become acquainted with the benefits of tree planting, especially Missouri native trees, and the many wonderful species that Forest ReLeaf grows,” said Dan Burkhardt of Magnificent Missouri.

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Department of Natural Resources Annual Photo Contest Now Open

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
  • 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 Questions about to the photo contest can be sent to

Missouri Prairie Foundation & Grow Native! Offer Weekly Webinars & Master Classes in April 2021


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.

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Gateway Greening’s Gardening 101, March 18

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.

Register HERE.

Visit the Gateway Greening website for more events and information.


Community Science Volunteers Needed For FrogWatch USA

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.”

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Bluebirds of Happiness Virtual Program Feb. 11

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.


MDC, Dickerson Park Zoo to Host First-Ever Virtual Eagle Days

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.

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