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Peanut the Turtle Doing Well After Recent Surgery

Photo of Peanut the Turtle courtesy MDC.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) says Peanut the Turtle is back at Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood after undergoing a recent surgery at the Saint Louis Zoo.

The procedure was performed by the Zoo’s assistant director of animal health, Dr. Chris Hanley, and veterinary resident, Dr. Kari Musgrave. Due to a condition known as follicular stasis, Peanut had to have both of her ovaries surgically removed. Peanut is in the process of recovering and doing well.

Peanut the Turtle has attracted attention all over Missouri, along with national and worldwide fame, as an anti-littering mascot. At a young age, the red-eared slider wandered into a plastic six-pack ring and it stuck around her shell.

Photo of Peanut the Turtle courtesy MDC.

As her shell grew, it was constricted by the plastic ring and developed an unusual, figure-eight shape. In 1993, when she was about nine years old, someone found her and brought her to the Saint Louis Zoo where the ring was removed.

They named her Peanut because of her shell’s shape and gave her to staff at MDC. Peanut has been under the care of MDC since then, where she has served as a popular ambassador for litter awareness.

Earlier this year, staff at MDC’s Powder Valley Nature Center, where Peanut lives, began noticing that something was “off” about her behavior.

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Is use of Bathroom Tissue an Environmental Issue?

by Don Corrigan

“I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.” Several readers sent this piece of humor to me about a month ago. Unfortunately, it’s still relevant in the continuing age of the 2020 Pandemic.

I shopped at several grocery stores just in the last week. The squeeze on Charmin supplies is still ongoing. The cupboards were bare at several stores, except for a sign about rationing – only one package of Charmin, Angel, Coronet or Cottonelle per customer.

Toilet paper is still one of the most coveted items for care packages being assembled at local food banks and beyond. Rolls of paper are gladly accepted at Webster-Rock Hill Ministries. State Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, has put out a call for this essential commodity for those in need on so many levels.

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Flood Recovery Advisory Working Group to Meet May 13: Public Comment Period Included

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

The Flood Recovery Advisory Working Group will meet at 1 p.m. on May 13. Out of caution surrounding the spread of COVID-19, participation in this meeting will be online only at dnr.mo.gov/videos/live.htm. When the public comment period begins, which will take place near the end of the meeting, the host will announce the call-in number individuals should use to comment.

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All Gassed Up — Nowhere To Go

BP station at the corner of Big Bend Boulevard and South Elm Avenue in Webster Groves. Photo by Ursula Ruhl (WKT)

Carl Campbell, editor of Carl’s Climate Letters, tells Don Corrigan that gas prices will continue to nosedive. He says the era of fracking is over due to the collapse of oil prices. 

 

By Don Corrigan

All gassed up, and nowhere to go. That’s a common refrain right now. Gasoline is cheap, but concert sites, sports stadiums, and amusement parks across the country are shuttered, thanks to the worst pandemic in America in over 100 years.

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St. Louis Cardinals Recognized For Sustainable Food Management

Cardinal Nation’s Kenny Chang, a 2008 Lindbergh High School grad in St. Louis, shows off some fan wear for the sustainable-conscious St. Louis Cards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2019 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award.

“Food Recovery Challenge participants are leaders in showing how preventing food waste and diverting excess wholesome food to people is an environmental win and a cost-saving business decision,”said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Their accomplishments serve as excellent examples to other companies, governments, organizations and communities.”

As part of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, organizations pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results.

“We applaud the St. Louis Cardinals for their continued commitment and success in reducing food waste from their operations, said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford.“Thanks to their initiative and innovation, the St. Louis Cardinals have helped the greater community reduce hunger, while also protecting our environment by diverting food waste from landfills.”

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Q&A: How COVID-19 Is Impacting The Food Supply Chain and Animal Welfare

Graphic courtesy Purdue University

Purdue University’s College of Agriculture offers the following questions and answers to provide background and insight into how COVID-19 is impacting the food supply chain and animal welfare. The information is provided by Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, and Candace Croney, professor, animal behavior and well-being, and director, Center for Animal Welfare Science, Purdue University.

If there’s a surplus at the farm, why is there a shortage in the grocery store?

See answer and more below.

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Mo State Parks Implement Reopening Measures

Missouri State Parks, a division of the Department of Natural Resources, announced phase one of a phased approach to resuming normal operations.
While the vast majority of Missouri state parks and historic sites have remained open for day use, Missouri State Parks has implemented a number of measures designed to maintain required social distancing and protect visitors and team members.  
Based on current conditions, Missouri State Parks is implementing the following measures in phase one of the return to normal operations:
  • On May 4, concession-operated lodging, dining, marina and retail operations will begin reopening at the discretion of the individual concessionaires and following Governor Parson’s recommended guidelines.
  • On May 11, Castlewood State Park, Elephant Rocks State Park, Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site and State Park and Weston Bend State Park will reopen for day use only.

See more below.

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St. Louis County To Reopen Several Public Parks

St. Louis County will reopen some public parks effective April 28. For a listing of what parks will be open and the parks that will remain closed CLICK HERE.

For a map of the open and continued closures of St. Louis County parks CLICK HERE.

Continue reading below for additional information from St. Louis County Parks and Recreation.

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How Do You Feel About Squirrels? Friend or Foe?

Check out the latest squirrel debate with Don Corrigan and Rebecca Now, host of What’s Up With Business (on Radio 63119, 92.9 FM), with the Webster Groves/Shrewsbury/Rock Hill Area Chamber of Commerce.

The discussion, and a few chuckles, stem from Don Corrigan’s latest book, “Nuts about Squirrels.” Corrigan, is a longtime journalism professor at Webster University, Editor-in-Chief of the Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc. newspaper group and the author of noted outdoor and environmental books.

“Bee-Friend” Native Pollinators, MDC

Photo courtesy MDC
Bee House
 

Spring and summer months bring both the buzz of lawnmowers and bees. These fuzzy flyers are important pollinators, playing a crucial role in the production of many favorite fruits and vegetables. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages the public to “bee-friend” these valuable native pollinators.

“Missouri is home to around 450 species of native bees, but it’s not uncommon for more to be identified each year,” said MDC Urban Wildlife Biologist Erin Shank. “There are several common bees Missourians will encounter, including the bumblebee, carpenter bees, sweat bees, and the leafcutter bee.”

Most native bees only live about one year. They emerge in the spring as adults, visiting flowers and buildings nests. Many species, such as bumblebees, make their nests underground, while others, such as leafcutter and mason bees, will set up shop in small cavities found in wood or in the pith of plant stems.

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