Category Archives: Outdoor/Nature

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The American Burying Beetle: Back From The Dead?

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The American burying beetle disappeared from Missouri decades ago. Once found in 35 states, the federally-endangered beetle is now struggling to hang on in less than seven. The dead flesh eating beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) is the largest class of carrion beetles.

In 2012, MDC entered into a partnership with the St. Louis Zoo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Nature Conservancy (TNC) to bring the beetle back from extirpation within the Show-Me-State.

“It’s not every day you get to work with federally-endangered species.  It’s really exciting to have a role in the nation-wide conservation of this animal,” MDC’s St. Louis Regional Natural History Biologist Andrea Schuhmann said.

See more from the MDC update below.

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Get Ready – The Historic 2017 Solar Eclipse Is Here!

Click on the Webster-Kirkwood Times eclipse image to read the article “Get Out & Enjoy The Solar Eclipse”

The 2017 solar eclipse is set to be a once-in-a-lifetime event! Several local watch events have been scheduled. Check out the article from the Webster-Kirkwood Times about where to find an event and a few eclipse tips. Find article HERE.

NASA’s website also has a large amount of interactive data to explore, such as eclipse path maps, eclipse history, and eclipse safety. Find the NASA Eclipse 101 information HERE.

 

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Forest Park: The Wild Spaces

Pictured: Jean Turney, education coordinator at Forest Park Forever. Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Nearly everyone in the St. Louis area knows about the great institutions in Forest Park, like the Saint Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, and The Muny. However, many may not know about the natural wild spaces in Forest Park. From old growth forests, bird watching, fishing, nature walking trails, to outdoor learning and educational opportunities – it’s all there just waiting to be discovered.

Jean Turney, the education coordinator at Forest Park Forever, shares her insights of the wild spaces available to everyone who visits the park.

Click on the podcast interview below to hear Don Corrigan and Turney discuss the abundance of opportunities to explore nature in Forest Park.

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On The Wide Mizzourah!

Pictured: (Left to right) Robb Heineman, Clay Hartman, Kyle Hartman and Craig Hartman.

Wow! Was I proud to witness my nephews paddling into the St. Charles Landing. They were part of the flotilla that took on the “Wide Mizzourah” this week in the 340-mile endurance race across Missouri from Kansas City, known as Missouri River 340.

Read more below from Don Corrigan’s tale about his nephews and their river race tribulations before finally landing close to the Lewis and Clark statue in St. Charles.

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St. Louis Historic Flooding: “Something Needs To Be Done”

Dave Stokes, director of Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, just outside the flood gate on Marshall Road in Valley Park. By Diana Linsley, South County Times.

Dave Stokes, the director of Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, said we’re in a lull before the next “water bomb” hits the region. Stokes said local leaders must address flood concerns after two major rain events since 2015 caused millions in damages to the area.

“Residents and businesses want some answers,” said Stokes. “They want some solutions. They built in areas that are not supposed to be in a floodplain, and yet they had several feet of Meramec River in their homes and businesses.

“When the first water bomb hit in late 2015, their reaction was, ‘Okay, we had a freak storm, we’ll deal with it,’” said Stokes. “Then another 500-year flood event happens this year and they are saying, ‘Something needs to be done. This is not normal.’”

Read more of the story and hear a podcast interview with David Stokes below.

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Flooding In St. Louis: When will We Learn From Our Mistakes?

Photo: Great Rivers Habitat Alliance

Are you concerned the historic flooding in the Fenton, Pacific, Eureka, Valley Park, Sunset Hills, and the St. Louis area will happen again? You should be. Flood plain development and levee construction are major issues that can no longer be ignored. Great Rivers Habitat Alliance (GRHA) is an organization focused on finding long-term solutions to the issues that continue to be ignored by local officials.

Great Rivers Habitat Alliance is an organization focused on finding long-term solutions to the issues that continue to be ignored by local officials. Residents and business owners are suffering consequences that are devastating people’s lives, livelihoods, and properties.

David Stokes, the executive director of GRHA, offers insights into what lessons are not being learned from repeated mistakes, the hardships, the choices local areas face, and a few common sense solutions.

Click below to hear the informative podcast interview with David Stokes.

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Oh, Deer!

Tony Tasset’s “Deer,” 2015. photo by Tim Johnson; courtesy of Kavi Gupta and the artist.

They stand accused of devouring farm crops and vegetable gardens, consuming precious landscaping, killing motorists, ravaging ecosystems, spreading Lyme disease and other maladies across America.

Sounds like Godzilla and the gnarly monster’s horrible progeny, but we are actually talking about white-tailed deer. Given all these scary attributes of deer, I was taken aback on a recent visit to Laumeier Sculpture Park in Sunset Hills when I happened upon an eight-foot deer.

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A New Champion Tree Recognized In The City of Clayton

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The State Champion Tree Program, administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), recently certified an Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) tree located in the City of Clayton. The program recognizes Missouri’s largest native trees by species.

The new champion in the contest for the Show-Me-State’s finest trees is an excellent specimen. The tree resides on private land and measures 153 inches in circumference at 4.5 feet off the ground, 81 feet tall and has a whopping spread of 56 feet.

See more from the MDC notification below.

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Celebrating 80 Years of Conservation!

Graphic: MDC

(The events start in August and end in October of 2017.)

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June Hutson: St. Louis Horticulture Legend

Photo by Diana Linsley/South County Times

After spending more than 40 years working at the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT), one might think, June Hutson, a master gardener and horticulturist, retired this past January for some much-deserved leisure time. Nope. She says she retired to do the exact opposite. She wants to spend as much time as possible feeding her passion – getting her hands dirty in the garden.

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