Katherine Golden with a giant tortoise.
By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)
IMAX Theatre presentations at the Saint Louis Science Center used to inspire Katherine Golden when she was younger to imagine herself as an explorer. Thanks to a National Geographic program for teachers, she no longer has to imagine.
Golden has returned from a trip to the Galápagos Islands, where she explored the islands’ marvels, courtesy of Linblad Expedition ships, including the National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endeavour II and the National Geographic Sea Lion.
She saw the incredible tortoises and the vast diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else in the world. She saw the creatures Charles Darwin discovered in 1835, which played a role in his formulations for the scientific theory of evolution.
“The trip taught me so much about seeing things as an explorer would, about the importance of place, and about the power of storytelling,” Golden said.
“Now I want to share my stories with other teachers, which is part of the responsibility for educators chosen for the National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher fellowships,” she explained.
Photo by Holly Shanks.
The city of St. Charles is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year! The Lewis and Clark Expedition will be the main focus of the celebrations taking place.
History runs deep on the shores of the Missouri River in St. Charles. Looks like 2019 will be a great year to visit St. Charles and learn about famous visitors in Missouri’s history. Did you know the first Missouri State Capital building was located in St. Charles? Want to learn more about the Lewis and Clark Expedition? Visit St. Charles and see the Lewis and Clark’s campsite, memorial statue and the Lewis & Clark Boathouse and Museum.
For more information, use the links below to find out more about this year’s celebrations. (At the end of this post see information for Don Corrigan’s new book – coming soon!)
There are over 80 public lakes comprising more than 1,200 acres of water in the St. Louis area. Photo provided by MDC.
UPDATE FROM MDC: “Fishin’ Hotspots of the St. Louis Area” program at Powder Valley Nature Center has been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances making the speaker unavailable. The program will be rescheduled at a later date. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your support of conservation.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) continues its 50th anniversary of St. Louis urban fishing celebration with a special presentation at Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood. The St. Louis lake fishing hotspots program will be held Friday, Feb. 22 starting at 7 p.m.
St. Louis has many quality lake and pond fishing opportunities, from rainbow and brown trout in winter months, to largemouth bass and channel catfish sure to give any angler’s line a workout in warmer months. Many St. Louis anglers may not know about them, however. There are more than 80 public lakes comprising more than 1,200 acres of water within a one-hour drive of the Gateway Arch.
MDC invites St. Louis-area anglers to learn about these overlooked St. Louis fishing holes with MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Kevin Meneau, who manages the urban fishing program.
Read more about the event and how to register below.
Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.
Read the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) story of how the Urban Fishing Program (UFP) began and how the positive influence of the outdoors was a resounding success in our urban communities.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the MDC Urban Fishing Program. MDC plans to spend 2019 celebrating and invites metro area anglers to join in.
The UFP was originally initiated in 1969 by the federal government during a time when civil unrest was causing tensions in many cities across the country. Their goal was to bring close-to-home fishing to people and infuse a positive influence into urban communities. The program launched in six cities, including St. Louis with the cooperation of MDC and the St. Louis Parks and Recreation Department. It was a resounding success in the Gateway City. MDC took over the UFP in 1972 and eventually expanded it into St. Louis County and Kansas City.
Photo: Webster-Kirkwood Times
By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)
Snow is not just for shoveling. Dr. Richard Walters of Webster Groves wants those who loathe the snow to take a new, close-up look at the white stuff. He makes it easy with his snowflake photography exhibit.
His prints on display at the Webster Groves Public Library this January offer an array of snow crystals, including needles, bullets, plates and rare capped columns. Of course, there also are the typical six-armed stellar forms that we all associate with snowflakes.“I’m into details and there’s a lot of work and care that goes into capturing the details of snowflakes,” explained Walters. “For one thing, you have to hold your breath to keep the crystals from melting and distorting when you are shooting them.”
The Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site has an exciting new exhibit on display. To protect Mark Twain’s first edition books from overexposure to light and stress on delicate spines, the museum is introducing a rotating display of Twain’s books. The plans are to spotlight just one of the author’s books at a time and to change the exhibit twice a year.
The new exhibit features the time-travel novel “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” published in 1889. This book is often called the last of Mark Twain’s best works. It features a man from 19th century New England (Mark Twain’s home at the time) traveling back in time to 6th century England. The hero confronts and tries to change a medieval world ruled by a king and his nobles and a wily magician named Merlin.
Read more from the Missouri State Parks information release below.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) continues to give Missouri residents new and different ways to learn and enjoy the outdoors. Check out information from the MDC about the new mobile app!
Finding places to discover nature and enjoy outdoor activities in Missouri has just gotten easier. The (MDC) now offers its new, free mobile app – MO Outdoors. MO Outdoors users can quickly and easily find MDC outdoor offerings based on the types of outdoor activities they want close to home, work, or even while traveling.
MO Outdoors can help users find MDC conservation areas, fishing accesses, hiking trails, shooting ranges, and nature centers around the state based on their desired types of outdoor activities including birdwatching, camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, or shooting. Users can also mark “favorite” locations to quickly find them in future searches.
MO Outdoors also connects users to area regulations and season information, hours of operation, images, area closings, and interactive maps of area boundaries and features. The map function also displays features such as parking lots, boat ramps, and wildlife viewing areas, and allows users to easily navigate to the features using their device’s GPS. Users can also download maps for offline use.
MO Outdoors and MDC’s other free apps — MO Hunting, MO Fishing, and MO Con Mag – are available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.
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.