Category Archives: Outdoor/Nature

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Damaged Trails, Wetland Restoration and New Boardwalk

Rendering of new boardwalk (part of greenway) across restored wetland. Courtesy Great Rivers Greenway.

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

As the waters slowly recede from a record 2019 flood – both in terms of duration and height of crests – hikers and bikers are coping with mud, sand, tree limbs, plastic bottles and other debris on some of their favorite trails.

In a few cases, asphalt has been washed out on trails posing a potential crash hazard for bikers. In other cases, cracked tree branches dangling above trails can present serious obstructions or danger to those daring to hike or bike underneath the large limbs.

“We are getting phone calls from trail users about debris and other issues,” said Anne Milford, communications coordinator for Great Rivers Greenway. “We welcome those calls, because our office cannot monitor what’s happening on all of our 125-plus miles of trail.

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Honeybee and Pollinator Numbers Suffer This Past Winter

Photo by Holly Shanks

A recent story in the Webster-Kirkwood Times by Joe Leicht highlighted a concerning amount of honeybees dying off this past winter. Please take a few minutes and read about what is happening to our important pollinators.

Excerpt below from the article, “What’s Happening To Our Honey Bees?

But those bees that once seemed to cover nearly every clover bud are far from ubiquitous these days. In fact, wildlife biologists have been tracking their steady decline over the past 10 years. Nicole Miller-Struttmann, a renowned expert on bees and a professor at Webster University, is one of those scientists. …

“I remember as a kid driving on vacation with my family and having to clean the dead insects off the windshield whenever we’d stop for gas. It isn’t just bees and butterflies — the pollinators — there is increasing evidence that insects in general are declining in numbers,” said Miller-Struttmann, a Webster Groves native.

This spring, Miller-struttmann and other academics were dismayed by studies that indicated the number of honeybees that survived the winter dropped precipitously.

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Don Corrigan Talks Squirrels With Jean Ponzi

Don Corrigan talks with Jean Ponzi on her popular KDHX radio/podcast “Earthworms.” Ponzi jumps into all things squirrels with Corrigan in this fun and informative interview.

 

KDHX Earthworms goes nuts as Don Corrigan talk Squirrels with host Jean Ponzi, proving that Pop Culture and enviro purpose can truly hole up together.

Hear the Earthworms radio/podcast interview HERE.

Check out the upcoming lectures and book signings by Don Corrigan below.

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Missouri Department of Agriculture Announces “Senior Farmers” Market Nutrition Program

Program details released by the Missouri Department of Agriculture will offer Low-income seniors in the Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield regions vouchers to purchase fresh produce from local farmer’s markets.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced that the Missouri Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is up and running for the summer. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services, the SFMNP assists low-income seniors in obtaining fresh, Missouri Grown produce and injects up to nearly $200,000 into the farmers’ market community. Through the program, more than 4,100 households may be touched.

Read more from the Missouri Department of Agriculture below, including where to apply for program vouchers.

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Help The Saint Louis Zoo – Drink More Beer!

Care about conservation? Care about the Saint Louis Zoo? If the answer is yes, then here is how you can help – DRINK MORE BEER!
The Saint Louis Zoo and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company have teamed up to create a new beer, Grizzly Ridge Kölsch, and $3 will be donated to the Zoo for every case sold.
Read more about the new beer and the collaboration from the Saint Louis Zoo below.

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105.7 FM – The Point Radio On-Air Personality Jeff Burton Takes Fans Hiking

105.7 The Point Radio personality Jeff Burton led a group of nearly 50 station listeners on a hike through Rockwoods Reservation last month. Burton cites hiking as helping him overcome some heath challenges he’s experienced. All photos courtesy MDC.

Jeff Burton, an on-air personality at 105.7-The Point radio station, went hiking with listeners of the Rizzuto Morning Show recently. The Missouri Department of Conservation posted a recap of the hiking event. See the MDC story below.

Burton is no stranger to Rockwoods Reservation. He treks the area’s trails regularly as one of his favorite hiking destinations. For him hiking is more than a recreation, however; it’s been pivotal to helping him turn the corner on a health crisis.

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Aerial Photographs of Flooded Infrastructure in the St. Louis Region

Ameren’s Sioux Power Station at the confluence between the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers | Photo taken on June 3, 2019 by Derek Hoeferlin. Courtesy Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper.

Dramatic photos of area infrastructure sites and information released by Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper. Everyone should be concerned about how the recent flooding events will affect the local region’s important infrastructure, such as our drinking water supply.

Informational release from the MCW starts below.

Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper Rachel Bartels and volunteer photographers captured aerial photos of the flooded Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in the St. Louis region during three flights taken between May 28, 2019 and June 3, 2019, where they surveyed the extent of the flooding and assessed how flooded infrastructure will impact the region’s clean water.

Flooded Mississippi River near downtown St. Louis, Missouri | Photo taken on June 3 by Derek Hoeferlin. Courtesy Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper.

“The majority of our drinking water is from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, so we wanted to get up in the air as quickly as possible to document the hazards and the potential risks to our community,” Bartels said.

Among the possible hazards are ponds storing highly toxic coal ash along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, as well as at the confluence of these two major rivers, which have seen seven major floods since 2008 and experienced three record-setting floods in the past three years alone.

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Saint Louis Zoo Debuts Plans for Primate Canopy Trails

The Saint Louis Zoo recently debuted its plans for the creation of Primate Canopy Trails, an $11.5 million, 35,000-square-foot outdoor expansion of the Primate House. Construction for Primate Canopy Trails will begin by late 2019 and is scheduled to open to the public in 2021. Primate Canopy Trails will consist of eight new outdoor homes for primates – lemurs, Old World monkeys and New World monkeys – adjacent to the Primate House.

“Most importantly, Primate Canopy Trails allows us to improve animal care, health and well-being by providing access to enriching outdoor habitats, sunlight and fresh air,” says Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President and CEO, Saint Louis Zoo. “It also will allow visitors to experience primates like never before.”

Read more about the Saint Louis Zoo’s planned Primate Canopy Trails exhibit below.

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St. Charles’ Riverfront Park Under Water

City of St. Charles’ Frontier Park. Photos by Holly Shanks.

Flooding is causing major damage in the local St. Louis region and City of St. Charles’ Frontier Park is under water. The flooding is slated to continue for the immediate future. The photos below were taken Monday, June 3, 2019.

Let’s hope by the July 4th weekend we will see the rivers back in their banks!

Want to know more about the flooding issues in the region? Follow Great Rivers Habitat Alliance on Facebook. The organization follows flood information, predictions, causes and solutions.

See more photos from St. Charles’ Frontier Park below.

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WGNSS Winning Photographs Displayed At Powder Valley

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

A ruby-throated hummingbird will be seen feeding her young at Powder Valley Nature Center starting June 1. The brightly-colored bird is part of a month-long exhibit of award-winning photos assembled by the Webster Groves Nature Study Society.

“Powder Valley is perfect for exhibiting our winning photographs,” said Bill Duncan, chairperson of the society’s Nature Photography Group. “The photos showcase the nature subjects and scenes that visitors can hope to see in their own outdoor excursions. They also provide a bit of education about the photo subjects.”

Read more below.

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