Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center and its grounds will be closed Saturday, Nov. 3 through Monday, Nov. 5 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 again starting Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The goal of the three-day managed hunt is to help balance deer populations which have grown beyond what Powder Valley’s 112-acre habitat can provide for, according to MDC Urban Wildlife Biologist Erin Shank. Using data from winter survey counts, Shank estimates the deer population is approximately five times what can comfortably exist there, given the area’s size and proximity to residences and roadways.
While visitors enjoy seeing deer and the animals are an important part of the area’s wildlife population, excessive numbers cause negative impacts to other plants and animals, which also draw visitors and are equally important to the area’s biological diversity.
Each year, the Smokey Mountains website publishes an interactive “Fall Foliage Prediction Map.” The foliage map can help you plan the best weeks around the U.S. to see the peak fall colors!
To view the interactive map CLICK HERE.
Photo: Fran Mannino, West End Word
Forest Park Forever has released a fun bit of information! The organization has posted a few tips on where to view the best fall colors in the park. And there is even a guided tour of fall colors planned.
We all know Forest Park is a gorgeous place to visit any time of year, but the fall season is a colorful reminder of just how awesome nature can be. Forest Park provides a perfect environment to witness the splendor of Autumn no matter how you enjoy the park with activities, such as golfing, biking, jogging, playing tennis or visiting a museum or the Saint Louis Zoo!
Forest Park Forever’s tips and tour information is listed below.
“We’ve rounded up a list of smart tips for memorable foliage viewing in the Park. (Hint: Peak day will be November 5!) Plus: Join FPF Horticulturist and tree expert Jim Wagner on October 19 for a tour of fall colors in the Park.”
See more information about the guided tour and interactive tips about where to view fall colors in Forest Park HERE.
Photo: Saint Louis Zoo
St. Louisans love Forest Park and their Zoo! One of the zillion amazing things about our world-class Saint Louis Zoo is the fact that admission is still FREE! This allows everyone, from every background and walk in life, to enjoy the zoo and its many learning opportunities.
The editors at Environmental Echo have had the pleasure of meeting several of the zoo’s staff members over the years. And one thing always stands out – the talented and knowledgeable people working at the zoo love what they do and love to share what they know about the animals they love, the zoo’s outstanding operations and facilities, the serious environmental challenges we face and their continuous conservation efforts.
One way to stay informed on what’s happening at the Saint Louis Zoo is by reading their online blog. Did you know the zoo had a blog?
Well, they do, and it’s a variety of interesting topics filled with insights. Did you know that some of the zoo’s catering menu has food items grown right in their own culinary garden?
How about the partnership with Ameren to help feed the animals and create mulch from tree limbs that are trimmed and removed to help prevent storm damage?
Oh, and, if you happen to browse the gift shop and take home a soapstone statuette handmade in the village of Tabaka in Kenya, the purchase helps support the village’s people and their local conservation efforts.
And, of course, news and information about the animals, along with many more interesting tidbits directly from the staff members who work at the zoo.
The Valley Park levee has been a tense and bitter debate since historic flooding hit the area twice in 18 months during 2015 and 2017. With any major forecasted rain or storm event, the threat of flooding is always on the minds of local residents.
This weekend, heavy rain is predicted as the last of tropical storm Gordon pushes its way into the Midwest. (September 2018)
Environmental Echo has posted several stories and updates about the local flooding situations related to the Valley Park levee issue in the past and we wanted to share a comprehensive piece of investigative journalism we ran across from ProPublica.
Kathy Pszonka’s next exotic water tour will be on her 71st birthday — a trip on the Sepik River in New Guinea. All photos Webster-Kirkwood Times.
Kayak Crazy Kathy Pszonka plans to spend her 71st birthday this September on the waters of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. She will be lodging in grass huts on her trip, so candles on her cake will remain unlit.
None of Pszonka’s friends in the St. Louis Canoe and Kayak Club are at all surprised by Pszonka’s plans to float on a wily river a half world away. They know this Fenton septuagenarian’s motto is: “Just Do It!”
When it comes to getting in the water in a kayak, Pszonka has been “just doing it” for just about a score of years. She took her first kayak lesson at age 52 and fell in love with paddling low-to-the-water in these increasingly popular, eco-friendly, canoe-like boats.
Read more about Pszonka below.
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.
Canadian geese are a common sight around the St. Louis area. Many people enjoy watching and feeding them. Recent information released from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) says feeding the geese may be harming their health.
“We see it in more urban areas where the geese are fed bread or cereal by well-intentioned people,” said Nicole Walker, an MDC wildlife management biologist. “Unfortunately, bread doesn’t have the nutrients geese need, so they may develop drooping wings and can even lose their ability to fly.”
Read the full information release from the MDC below.
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently released information about efforts to bring changes to St. Louis City’s O’Fallon Park.
The MDC entered a partnership to restore natural habitat to O’Fallon Park through MDC’s Back to Nature St. Louis Grant. This grant provides funding for habitat restoration and/or reconstruction on a public park property in St. Louis County or City through a competitive application process.
The result of the agreement is the Back to Nature in O’Fallon Park project. The goal of the project is to revitalize and enhance the park to improve the visitor’s aesthetic experience, facilitate nature enjoyment, and enhance nature programming opportunities.
Read more details about the program from the MDC below.
In 2016, the Missouri Prairie Foundation established National Prairie Day—registered on the National Day Calendar as the first Saturday in June—to enhance public awareness of what prairie is, educate about its value, and motivate all who learn about prairie to be inspired to support prairie conservation, restoration, and enjoyment. This year, National Prairie Day is Saturday, June 2, 2018.
“All are invited to join us in celebration of National Prairie Day,” said Carol Davit, executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a 52-year-old non-profit prairie conservation organization and land trust. “National Prairie Day provides a day of focus across the United States to inspire learning, appreciation, exploration of our national prairie legacy, and success of national, regional, statewide, and local prairie conservation efforts from coast to coast.”
The Missouri Prairie Foundation will celebrate National Prairie Day by hosting its 9th annual Prairie BioBlitz at its Pleasant Run Creek Prairie near Nevada, MO on June 2 and 3—free of charge and open to all—with biologist leaders, a potluck dinner, after-dinner speaker Chris Crabtree on Native American history in Missouri, star-gazing with astronomers, and tent camping on the prairie. For details and to register for 9th Annual Prairie BioBlitz, and many other upcoming Missouri Prairie Foundation events, visit moprairie.org.
Find more about why maintaining prairie is important below.
Pictured: Catrina Adams. Photo by Diana Linsley.
Catrina Adams, who teaches a class in the Master Naturalist Program on the Meramec campus of St. Louis Community College in Kirkwood, has a timely message for you: “It’s OK to eat the weeds!”
In fact, that’s the actual name for her college continuing education class: “It’s OK to Eat the Weeds: Wild Edible Plants of Spring.” This past Saturday (5/4/18), she was hunting for weeds on campus with a dozen students who enrolled in the course.
“Plants I focus on in my Meramec class this time of year are the ones that people are pulling out of their yards and out of the garden,” said Adams.