Blog Archives

Image

Missouri Department of Agriculture Asks Residents to Report Unsolicited Seed Shipments

Information from the Missouri Department of Agriculture in reference to unsolicited seeds showing up in mailboxes from China. See guidance below about what to do if you or an acquaintance might receive the suspicious seeds in the mail.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has received reports from residents of unsolicited seeds being delivered from foreign countries such as China and surrounding areas. Missouri’s announcement follows several states who have also reported packages of these seeds being delivered across the United States. Consistent with nationwide reports, the packages were labeled as jewelry, specifically stud earrings, bracelets and other accessories.”

It is important to take steps to prevent the introduction of invasive species into Missouri to ensure safety of the environment, livestock and plants. The full risk associated with the seeds in question is unknown at this time. However, the seeds could be an invasive species that has the potential to destroy native plants and damage crops. Invasive species can also introduce diseases to plants and may be harmful to livestock.

If Missouri residents have received unsolicited seeds, the following guidance applies …  Continue reading from the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s announcement HERE.

Image

Learn About St. Louis Urban Fishing Opportunities on July 20 With The MDC

Photo courtesy MDC.

Learn what, when and where to fish for in the many fishing lakes in the St. Louis Urban Fishing program during this free presentation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Urban Fishing Program (UFP) is one of the largest and oldest in the country. Started in 1969 to bring great fishing home to St. Louis residents, it has steadily grown and expanded over the decades to encompass St. Louis County, as well as the lakes located at August. A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles. Today, there are more angling opportunities year-round than ever before.

St. Louis area anglers will have the chance to learn more about the UFP at a free online program, Introduction to Urban Fishing in St. Louis. It will be held Mon., July 20, from 6:00-6:45 p.m. This virtual program will provide an opportunity to learn and ask questions about urban fishing in the metro area.

More details about the free online seminar below.

Continue reading

Image

Bubonic Plague: Is There A Killer Squirrel Virus?

By Don Corrigan

As if humans aren’t suffering enough woe from the COVID-19 pandemic, now comes word of a new outbreak of bubonic plague in squirrels. A squirrel found in Colorado on July 11 tested positive for the bubonic plague.

This is the first known case of the plague this year in Colorado and the Southwest United States.

In researching the book, “Nuts About Squirrels,” this writer found any number of cases of squirrels carrying bubonic plague in southern California in recent decades.

The plague is a bacterial disease which brought untold suffering and carnage to the Mediterranean and Europe in the Middle Ages. Also known as black death, it wiped out as many as 200 million people and literally reduced the human population of the Earth by as much as a third. Bubonic plague is spread to humans from rodents, such as rats and squirrels, although it can be transmitted to humans when fleas feed on the blood of sick rats and squirrels and then bite humans.

Continue reading

Image

Changing Lanes with Don Corrigan

Environmental Echo’s Don Corrigan was a guest on author Michelle Oyola’s podcast that provides advice and tips for getting published. Oyola is the successful author of “The Broken” series of novels for young adults published by Owl Hollow Press.

Oyola interviews Don about his own books, “Environmental Missouri,” “Nuts About Squirrels,” and his upcoming “American Roadkill.” Corrigan is Professor Emeritus in journalism at Webster University and Oyola was his journalism student in the first decade of a new century. Corrigan has high praise for Oyola’s skill using social media to promote her books, but remains mystified by her pen name: Shelly X Leonn. Author Oyola is originally from Washington, Mo.

CLICK HERE to listen to Michelle Oyola’s podcast interview –  “Changing Lanes with Don Corrigan.” 

Image

Sunflowers, Sunflowers and More Sunflowers!

Photo courtesy MDC.

MDC plants sunflowers at Columbia Bottom for viewing and photo opportunities! Visitors should be able to enjoy impressive golden displays continuously through mid-August.

Sunflower fans should have the opportunity again this summer to view and photograph spectacular sunflower displays at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in North St. Louis County. Due to popular demand, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff have planted additional sunflower plots again this year.

MDC staff were unable to plant last year because flood waters lingered on the area. However, conditions have been more favorable this season, so staff utilized a similar planting strategy to the one from 2018, which proved highly popular with visitors.

Spectacular sunflower fields have been an annual tradition at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake. MDC staff have been planting sunflowers for years as part of their management for mourning doves. The area is known as an excellent dove hunting destination each September. The large flowers supply seeds that entice the doves, and their lofty stalks create cover for the hunters who pursue them. Sunflowers also benefit a wide variety of other birds and pollinators.

Continue reading

Image

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is Now Open

The Missouri Department of Conservation has reopened Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center to the public again. The nature center has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The nature center has resumed its normal business hours of  8 am – 5 pm, Tuesday – Saturday. The trails are open every day from 8 am – 8 pm. This is a gentle reminder that pets are not allowed on the trails or in the nature center.

Please note that a St. Louis County Order requires face coverings. MDC strongly encourages visitors to wear a mask when visiting the nature center, and to observe recommended social distancing guidelines at the nature center.

Visitors will also be asked to provide contact information should it become necessary to use in the future.

For more information, visit the MDC webpage HERE.

Image

St. Louis County Executive Candidates and Environmental Issues

From Left: Sam Page, Jake Zimmerman and Mark Mantovani

By Don Corrigan

(This story has been updated to add candidate Jamie Tolliver’s position on environmental issues.)

In a tough Aug. 4 primary for St. Louis County Executive, three Democrats have put the focus on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, loss of jobs, gun violence and race relations. However, that doesn’t mean environmental issues are totally off their radar.

The cleanup of radioactive contamination in North County, a legacy of the role of St. Louis in developing and manufacturing atomic bombs, has never been off their radar screens. They want the contaminated West Lake Landfill addressed as well as Coldwater Creek areas. In particular, they want to make sure the EPA follows through on its commitment to clean up West Lake.

See more environmental information and quotes from the candidates below.

Continue reading

Image

Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site Hosts A Celebration of Independence July 4

Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site invites the public to attend Four Fourths and a Fifth, a patriotic-themed reenactment, at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, July 4. Local writer and historian Dr. Eric “Rick” Mansfield brings to the stage a one-man production that celebrates our independence over the past two-plus centuries.

The reenactment features five characters, all in historical costume. Characters will give their perspectives of significant historical milestones in our country’s history and what they experienced on July Fourths of the past. Character changes are accomplished with different shirts, waistcoats, hats and accessories. The base layer of pants and undershirts keeps this a modest display and quite family-friendly. Mansfield never leaves the stage during the performance and provides narrative between historical periods as he changes into appropriate attire.

Continue reading

Image

Spread the Word! Missouri Green Schools looking for AmeriCorps VISTAs

Read more about this program below. Also, visit the Missouri Environmental Education Association on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

To apply for the open positions CLICK HERE for the application link.

Continue reading

Image

The Myth About African-Americans and the Outdoors

Pictured: Carolyn Finney.

America and St. Louis are having conversations about race after the tragic incidents in Minneapolis, Louisville and Atlanta. These conversations may seem tangential to environmental concerns, but we at Environmental Echo have decided to dive back into our archives and re-post an interview with Carolyn Finney, Ph.D.

Originally published in February 2016, the podcast interview (below) is an in-depth conversation about African-Americans who connect with nature and the outdoors. There are damaging “myths” and a lack of appreciation for the contributions Black Americans have made in environmental history.

(From the 2016 Environmental Echo post)
Carolyn Finney, Ph.D., is the guest on this edition of “Behind the Editor’s Curtain” with Don Corrigan. Finney is the author of “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors.”

Speaking about the absence of African-Americans engaging in outdoor activities portrayed in popular culture, such as in movies and magazines, Dr. Finney notes:

“Just because we don’t see any (African-Americans) doesn’t mean there aren’t any. That’s myth number one,” Finney said. “Actually, Black people, like everybody else, have been around doing everything like everybody else since the beginning of the time. You have Black mariners, you have Black hikers, you have Black people camping — I mean, Black people have been doing it, too.”

The topic of discussion is the relationship between the Black community and outdoor spaces and related activities, like national parks, hiking, and mountain climbing.

Continue reading