Squirrels are pop culture icons, and the furry critters may actually save the planet.
That’s what author Don Corrigan told the ACORN Newspapers group of California when he was recently interviewed about his book, “Nuts About Squirrels.”
Environmental Echo is happy to share the ACORN squirrel article here.
Note Corrigan’s ACORN quote: “As we realize how much methane livestock is putting into the atmosphere, we will give up our hamburgers and Texas Roadhouse steaks,” he said. “We will be eating the new Chicken of the Trees—squirrels.
“The blessed squirrels are much easier to produce naturally, and Sammy the Squirrel does not fart methane near as much as Bessy the Cow!”
Courtesy of Magnificent Missouri
by Don Corrigan
Trail Blazers: The Free-Spirited and Extraordinary Lives of Ted and Pat Jones tells the story of the philanthropy and business savvy of an incredible couple. They also left an incredible natural legacy for Missourians.
I recommend reading this book from finish to start. That’s because once you realize the extent of what they have given us in Missouri (which is cataloged at the end of the book), then you will be more motivated to read how it all happened earlier in the book.
So, what did Ted and Pat Jones give us:
• A 240-mile long Katy Trail that attracts 400,000 hikers and cyclists annually. The beauty of this trail – whether in wine country, or the forests near Boonville, or the river cliffs of Rocheport – is simply astounding.
• Prairie Fork, the fabulous Jones Farm north of the Missouri River. The acreage has prairie, wetlands, slightly forested woodlands edged with beautiful wildflowers. Three different ecosystems can be enjoyed.
• The Ted and Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park, where visitors can witness where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet, and where westward expansion in the United States began.
By Don Corrigan
Lovers’ leaps, bluff areas where romance and intrigue once intertwined, are to be found all over the Midwest. However, it’s not necessary to drive 100 miles to capture the spirit of these places on Valentine’s Day.
In Webster-Kirkwood, happy couples can catch the spirit by visiting high points overlooking Deer Creek and Shady Creek in Webster Groves. A bluff trail at Emmenegger Park in Kirkwood can also offer romantic inspiration.
“Emmenegger Park is a good Valentine’s Day destination because it rises on its western side to a bluff overlooking the Meramec River,” said Bob Rubright. “There are some nice vistas and rocky outcroppings for sitting.
“People once referred to the area below as Chrysler Valley because of the car factory. That’s gone,” said Rubright. “In any case, it must have been a lovelier site before the factories and Interstate 44.”
Kirkwood resident Rubright has been to many of the more distant lovers’ leap sites in the region to research his books on hiking trails. His 2002 book is “Weekend Walks in St. Louis and Beyond.” A new one is in the works, titled, “Two Feet in St. Louis and Nearby.”
by Don Corrigan
Few St. Louisans realize that two of this season’s worst winter storms in succession began on 2/2/22. Surely Channel 2 News in St Louis must have taken note of this on “Twosday” when it all began.
A numerology anomaly will be repeated again this month on 2/22/22, and conspiracy theorists are already predicting two rounds of storms for the Gateway City in late February — around 2/22/22.
Here is another fear factor factoid for February: the weather service has released a spring forecast for the Midwest predicting twice as many tornadoes in spring 2022 – compared to 2021. This would mean a jump from about 72 to 142 twisters in year 2022.
The sequence of 2’s, which started two decades ago, will end this February 22, 2022. This month will witness three such dates altogether – February 2, 2022, February 20, 2022, and February 22, 2022.
Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels.
By Don Corrigan
There’s another issue with tissue. This time it’s not because of grocery shelves being raided of toilet paper in a pandemic panic. At issue this time is the loss of old-growth forests as humans appear to be on a roll consuming bathroom supplies.
Environmental Missouri reports that TP is disappearing before our eyes, in part because major companies are using valued trees to make toilet paper for retailers. The decline in forests across our planet is sharp with a loss of a third of our world’s forests in just a few decades.
According to Environmental Missouri, the culprit behind the deforestation in Canada is soft – retailers like Costco are lining their shelves with extra fluffy toilet paper made from the boreal — one of our last, great North American forests.
Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation
By Allison Hagene
Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation said she hopes for more cooperation in 2022, because “all of us –from individuals to communities and corporations – must make the health of the natural world, and the natural resources upon which all life depends, an automatic consideration of actions we take. We can no longer abuse nature and natural resources and defer the damage to the years ahead. Doing so destroys natural abundance and beauty that not only makes life possible, but also makes it worth living”
The Missouri Prairie Foundation had a good year, receiving news that “the Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded national accreditation to the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a designation earned by about 30% of the nation’s 1,360+ land trusts. Over the summer, MPF acquired four more original, unplowed prairies, including a rare sand prairie near the Bootheel; dedicated four other prairies we acquired prior to 2021; and have nearly reached our goal of raising $2.2 million for our Lordi Marker Prairie Missouri Bicentennial project.”
Read more below from The Missouri Prairie Foundation, Magnificent Missouri, Just Moms STL, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, the Sierra Club, the Open Space Council, Allison Hagene and Don Corrigan.
Karen Hood Simpson
By Don Corrigan
Sometimes a new friend crosses your path – the kind of friend who helps you out. You look forward to a lasting friendship. Then something tragic happens, and you realize you did not say “thank you” enough before they exited this life.
Such is the case for me with Karen Hood Simpson. She helped me explore Missouri caves, trails and waterways on a Missouri Outdoor Communicators’ (MOC) trip in June to the Pulaski County area and the Gasconade River watershed.
Karen, who worked with the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau for more than a dozen years, helped this city boy enjoy some Ozark nooks in the forest and on the river – and to breathe in a little fresh mountain air.
The MOC get-together was at Gasconade Hills Resort, located on a magnificent stretch of river showcasing amazing scenery, caverns and local wildlife including eagles, otters and deer.
She helped with arrangements for a canoe float not far from the cold spring waters that flow into the Gasconade and Big Piney rivers. It was a scenic on-the-water trip in the vicinity of Devil’s Elbow, a bluff area full of lore from a time when lumber men floated timber down the river.
In the evenings, there was time to relax at the Piney River Taproom. One eating and imbibing excursion involved time at the newly-opened Heritage Cultural Art Center on Route 66 in Waynesville.
Northern Ireland is in the news again as the implementation of Brexit by the United Kingdom brings worries that the strife of the past could be re-ignited by borders, economic upheaval and sectarian distrust.
Don Corrigan recently spoke on Ireland’s troubles, past and present, at the International Week sponsored by the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His Irish talk coincides with the much-praised movie, Belfast, recently opening in St. Louis.
Corrigan’s presentation focuses on his reporting of the Irish Troubles in Belfast and Derry at the time prior to the Easter Agreement to bring peace to Northern Ireland. He provides background on the surprises for an Irish American in covering the conflict and its emotional overtones.
He also touches on the film portrayals of the Irish Conflict and how those depictions have influenced perceptions in America. And, of course, he had a few things to say about Belfast.
Corrigan is professor emeritus of journalism and communications at Webster University in St. Louis and an editor of the Webster-Kirkwood Times newspaper group in suburban St. Louis.
He has reported from Ireland, Russia, Bosnia and Vietnam. He has taught global journalism at Webster campuses in Geneva and London and has presented papers on the Irish Troubles as portrayed in film at Trinity College in Dublin and in the United States.
Environmentalist Kay Drey will be honored at the First Amendment Celebration of the St. Louis Gateway Journalism Review. The event will be on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, from 7-8 p.m. Sign up for this virtual celebration at tinyurl.com/3rakxfet.
The celebration will benefit the nation’s only regional journalism review. Keynote Speaker is former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Kirkwood, Missouri.
By Don Corrigan
Kay Drey is an activist, environmentalist, a whistleblower, an Earth Mother. Who could argue that there is anyone more passionate than Kay Drey about protecting humanity from the dangers of the atomic age?
Humanity means mothers, fathers, children – it’s not just a word. She is the premier whistleblower because she has educated so many journalists to blow the whistle, to make some noise, to sound the alarm in defense of man, woman and child.
She is the Paul Revere of the Nuclear Age:
• “Mobile Chernobyls are coming!” she warned us.
• “Plutonium is coming!” she warned us.
• “Polonium is coming! Have you heard of it?” she asked us.
Who else but Kay Drey would have tritium3 as her email address? It is impossible to message her without wondering if this radioactive element might be contaminating the neighborhood.
By Holly Shanks
Well, I was looking forward to Fall this year. It happens to be my favorite time of year and the drive from St. Louis to Hannibal or Branson usually shows off the colors of nature.
CNN recently posted an online article, “Why autumn weather won’t be the same this year,” by Hannah Gard and Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologists.
The article offers several interesting updates, but I was certainly bummed about the colorful foliage I was looking forward to. Just another thing to add to the list of disappointment this year.
However, I will remain hopeful and look forward to the possibility of a few reds, golds, yellows and oranges this year. And, next year, as I remain hopeful for, will see me and my husband on the Fall color search road trip again!
Check out the CNN online article HERE.