World Renowned Botanist Peter Raven To Speak At Powder Valley Nature Center In Kirkwood May 23

Missouri Botanical Garden President Emeritus Peter Raven will give a presentation at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 23. Dr. Raven one of the world’s leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity.

The man who helped mold the Missouri Botanical Garden (MoBOT) into the world-class institution it is today will speak at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center located at 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood, near the intersection of I-44 and I-270.

Dr. Raven’s presentation will explore the challenges of maintaining sustainable natural resources on a planet with an ever-growing population.   He will address stewardship and conservation for the long-term success of our natural world.

The free event will be held Tuesday, May 23, at 7 p.m., but seating is limited. Advanced reservations are required by calling 314-301-1500.

Read more from the MDC below.

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Celebrate The Great Missouri Birding Trail at Powder Valley Nature Center May 18

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center will host the St. Louis area celebration of the Great Missouri Birding Trail Thursday, May 18. This virtual birding path is driven by a website that includes an interactive map of the best birding sites around the Show-Me State.

Celebrate the completion of the Great Missouri Birding Trail at Powder Valley Nature Center on Thursday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to Noon. The nature center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood, near the intersection of I-270 and I-44. The free event is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation.

The events will include a brief opening ceremony with Birding Trail signage unveiled followed by short birding walks on Powder Valley trails. The first 25 people at each event will receive a Great Missouri Birding Trail tote bag or water bottle. Attendees will also get Trail bumper stickers and lens cloths for cameras and binoculars.

Missouri has close to 1.5 million birders, age 16 and older, according to Mike Doyen, president of the Missouri Bird Conservation Foundation.

“Birding is the fastest growing activity in Missouri, the nation, and around the world,” he said. “Our estimated economic impact in Missouri is close to $1 billion annually.”

Read more about the new birding trail from the continued MDC release below.

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Powder Valley Nature Center Children’s Event: “YOU AND ME UNDER THE CANOPY: OH, DEER!”

Photo by Diana Linsley, Webster-Kirkwood Times.









Wondering what topic story time at the Powder Valley Nature Center will be this month? Find out by attending “You & Me Under The Canopy: Oh, Deer!”

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 10 – 11 a.m.
Ages: 2 – 6

Meet in the nature center lobby for a “nature” adventure. Everyone will hike with the naturalist to a special place in the forest and enjoy a nature story under the tree canopy. Siblings are welcome.

(Reservations required by calling 314-301-1500. Reserve by May 16, 2017) MDC website event link – HERE.



Flooding Once Again Spotlights Levees: “We Knew Better”

Photo by Ursula Ruhl, South County Times.

The issue of building levees to hold back the local rivers is again in the spotlight due to the latest round of flooding in areas, such as Fenton, Pacific, Eureka, Valley Park and Kirkwood. (Look for more coverage about the current flooding soon on Environmental Echo.)

Last year, Don Corrigan interviewed Professor Bob Criss, with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University. The interview contains some valuable insight into what could be a continuing flooding situation.

This was Criss’s comment last January about the December 2015 round of flooding – “Our flood problems in St. Louis and St. Louis County have been hugely magnified by what I would call idiotic decisions since 1993 especially,” Bob Criss said. “And we knew better.”

Check out the interview from last January below. We’ve come full circle back to where we were last year and Criss’s observations are still relevant today.


Earth Day & Beyond

by Don Corrigan (South County Times)

This has been an Earth Day Month. From the very beginning to the very end of April, there have been so many notable events to remind us how to become better stewards of the planet.

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Kirkwood’s Earth Day RESCHEDULED To May 6


Bees Take Up Residence In Florissant Parking Lot

This was the scene in a Florissant parking lot on April 24 – Bees swarming in a tree outside several businesses. The sight created quite a stir. People were taking photos, and gathering outside business entries to watch the spectacle. Watchers wondered what the bees were doing and why they decided to do it in that spot.

We don’t have answers to those questions, but it was an unusual and interesting sight to see.

Photos by Holly Shanks.


Redear Sunfish: New State Record Caught By O’Fallon Resident

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports James Lucas of O’Fallon became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri after catching a redear sunfish from a private pond in Lincoln County.

The “alternative method” record fish was caught by Lucas on March 24 and weighed 1 pound, 1 ounce. The previous state record was 6-ounces, caught in 1996.
Read more from the MDC release below.

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Outdoor Passion & Beauty Meet In The Night Sky

Pictured: Dan Zarlenga, the St. Louis Regional Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Dan Zarlenga is the guest on this week’s Environmental Echo podcast series.

Zarlenga, the St. Louis Regional Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, has a unique hobby – he photographs the star filled night sky while incorporating night-time landscapes. The photographs are stunning!

In the podcast interview, Zarlenga shares his technique, how long it took to learn the craft of nighttime photography, and his passion for the outdoors.

All photos courtesy Dan Zarlenga.


The topic of light pollution and how it affects wildlife and the environment is also briefly discussed. Find out more about light pollution at the International Dark Sky Association – HERE.

To hear the interview with Dan Zarlenga and Holly Shanks click continue reading below.



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New Weekly Missouri Weather Podcast

Photo courtesy James Kramper, NWS.

Starting the week of May 22, Environmental Echo will begin a series of weekly podcasts about the most destructive tornadoes to ever hit Missouri. The stories will be based on the research by Don Corrigan for his book, “Show Me … Nature’s Wrath,” and he will be interviewed by Holly Shanks of Environmental Echo. Stay Tuned.

The first tornado covered will be the half-minute hurricane that beat down St. Charles. We hope you will add to the conversation by posting your own observations about Missouri’s tornadic tales. Should Missouri be included in Tornado Alley?