Category Archives: Outdoor/Nature

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Here’s How You Can Help Reverse Declining Bird Numbers

Eastern Meadowlark Photo: MDC

A recent study from prominent bird researchers in the U.S. and Canada, including Cornell Lab of Ornithology, found that North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds in the last 50 years, and those declines are also occurring in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is partnering with other conservation agencies and organizations to address population declines in the state and offer solutions.

“It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of these widespread bird declines because many birds are migratory and they breed here but winter out of the country,” said MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick. “But one of the threats birds are facing is loss of breeding habitat and managers of public and private land can help reverse these declines.”

Eastern meadowlark, prairie warbler, field sparrow, cerulean warbler, and red-headed woodpecker among threatened species.

See details below with information about what you can do to help!

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Out Of The Classrooms & Into Nature

Lesli Moylan, director of the Missouri Environmental Education Association, works with children during a program several years ago in conjunction with the YMCA. Photo courtesy of Lesli Moylan.

Missouri Environmental Education Association helps educators inspire youth people to care about, understand and act for environment.

Nature and outdoor teachers all over the state are psyched about the Missouri Environmental Education Association conference coming to St. Louis on Nov. 1-3. Lesli Moylan of Kirkwood is the new executive director of MEEA, and she’s a busy bee these days.

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Jiminy Cricket! Where’s The Beef?

Holy cow! Jiminy Cricket! Sarah Schlafly of Des Peres wants us to kick the red meat burger habit in favor of incorporating a little more cricket into our daily diet. She is issuing a “Cricket Challenge” in the Gateway City.

“The idea behind the exciting Cricket Challenge is to dare St. Louisans to try a dish or beverage made with powdered crickets,” said Schlafly, CEO of her company named Mighty Cricket. “The idea is to put St. Louis on the map for innovation in sustainable food choices.”

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Boeing Aviation Field At Forest Park Is Now Open!

The $33 million improvement project is now complete and the space has been upgraded to a premier visitor and player-friendly baseball/softball complex. Improvements include elements, such as LED lighting, improved irrigation, path and parking upgrades, additional trees and landscaping and a new pedestrian entry plaza.

Check it out: (video posted by Forest Park Forever.)

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Columbia Bottom Conservation Area Opens After Flooding To Limited Access

Photo courtesy MDC.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) has re-opened Columbia Bottom Conservation Area for public access. However, that access will be restricted for the immediate future.

Due to extensive flood damage, public vehicle access and parking on the area will be limited and public access will mainly be walk-in. The public will only be able to enter the area in the following locations:

– Park in the visitor’s center parking lot and walk into the area

– Drive on the main area road up to Parking Lot C, approximately 0.3 miles from the main entrance, and walk into the area

– Park in Parking Lot V, located near the area maintenance shop just south of the main entrance, and walk into the area

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New Book Gives Refreshing Look At Solution To The Asian Carp Crisis

Picture yourself out for a celebration dinner at an upscale seafood restaurant. So many choices on the menu: Orange Roughy, Chilean Seabass, fresh lobster – Asian Carp? Hang on, wait just a second, the last item must be a mistake! Who would put a “trash fish” like the Asian Carp on the menu? Joseph Classen, that’s who.

Classen’s new book, “Eat the Enemy!” explains why the invasive Asian carp should be on every menu and family dining table around the country. The outdoorsman, author and photographer is working to spread the word about a clean, healthy, undervalued and an entirely wasted resource that also happens to be environmentally devastating our rivers.

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Climate Change Chases Armadillos North

Photo courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation.

 

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

Possums on the half-shell, otherwise known as nine-banded armadillos, are no longer just showing up as roadkill on Missouri roadways. The critters are finding their way onto golf courses, lawns and backyard gardens.

Missouri Department of Conservation officials recently sent out an advisory that these visitors from Texas are now here to stay. And residents need to be aware of their “strange skills” and the problems they pose for highway drivers, gardeners and residents seeking to trap and dispose of the unusual, bacteria-laden animals.

“I’ve been seeing more and more of them dead along the highways on my Missouri travels,” said Kirkwood’s Bill Ruppert, president of Ruppert Gardens & Chicken Ranch.

“I recently saw one that was hit in the middle of the road and I stopped to get a look before the turkey vultures – what I call nature’s undertakers – had a chance to take care of him. Armadillos really are some odd-looking little animals.”

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“Climate Change Was On My Mind…”

Don Corrigan at Rocky Falls. Photo by Emery Styron

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

After three major floods in four years, a lot of Missourians living in flood plains are throwing in the towel — and a very wet one at that. They also have become believers in climate change, because seeing is believing.

Climate change was on my mind a few weeks ago when riding my bike on the Meramec Greenway. Actually, there was very little greenway left to ride. Most of the trail was under water. So I rode on top of the Valley Park Levee and a stretch of Marshall Road between flood barricades and the flood waters.

“This seems to be happening every year now,” I said to myself, while swatting mosquitoes; watching tadpoles swim over the roadway; and enjoying herons in flight over the waves of Tree Court Industrial Park and the fields of the Kirkwood Athletic Association.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about climate change in this space, but it’s not for a lack of material. Among the materials on my desk for reviewing:

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Wetland Restoration Along Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail

Great Rivers Greenway posted a video detailing plans for the Gravois Greenway. Please take a moment to learn about the upcoming plans.

Construction to connect the Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail and River des Peres Greenway continues despite heavy rains and historic flooding throughout the region. While work in certain areas of the project has been put on pause due to conditions, work in other areas is set to begin. Work to restore a wetland area near Gravois Creek and to construct a raised greenway through this flood prone area will soon get underway! We caught up with the project’s architect – Vern Remiger of DGRE Studio – to learn more about the wetland area and the restoration project.

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Don Corrigan Takes Flight On New ZipTour At Hidden Valley!

Don Corrigan takes the ZipTour at Hidden Valley in Wildwood. Photo WKT.

It was an uphill climb to get Wildwood city officials to approve the new recreational zip lines for Hidden Valley, but now the $2.5 million ZipTour project is complete. Outdoor adventurers will be riding high this summer at a site best known for winter ski fun.

Tim Boyd, a 1971 graduate of Lindbergh High School, is used to uphill climbs. Boyd came up with the idea for a ski resort at the 250 acres of Hidden Valley back in the early 1980s. All of the business people he approached for financial backing for his plan were skeptics.

A ski resort in Missouri? Really?

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