Blog Archives

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Are Squirrels Our Friends or Our Foes? Your Thoughts?

Photo by Ursula Ruhl.

Survey research by Don Corrigan released in his July 12 Webster-Kirkwood Times column, “Squirrels: Friends Or Foes?reveals that almost 70% of survey respondents think squirrels are our friends. Of note, all these people relate to mass-mediated squirrels. They are infatuated with Rocket J. Squirrel, Rally Squirrel, Squirrel Nutkin and Surly the Squirrel from the movie, The Nut Job.

Here are some research results not covered in the column: More the 70% of respondents believe that squirrels will be thriving on our Earth long after human beings have vanished from the planet.

Climate change is causing some squirrels to give birth earlier, to migrate north, to move to different elevations in mountain areas. Should humans bear any responsibility for the disruption of the habitat for squirrels? Are squirrels better equipped than humans to deal with such disruption? Respondents were mostly undecided on these two questions.

If you would like to give your two cents on the issue of whether squirrels are our friends or our foes, please leave a comment on this post below. (At the end of this post.)

If you would like to complete a squirrel research survey, open and/or print the following attachment. You can either send your answers via email to corrigan@timesnewspapers.com or mail the completed survey form attention to Don Corrigan at 122 W. Lockwood Ave., 2nd floor, Webster Groves, Mo 63119.

Squirrel Survey2019

See the Calendar of Squirrel events for the month of July below. Squirrel research surveys will also be distributed to audiences attending the events.

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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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More Trees Create Cooler Urban Areas

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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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Felix Valle State Historic Site hosts Colonial Chocolate-Making demonstration June 29

Experience the sights and scents of colonial chocolate-making at Felix Valle House State Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 29. Discover the art of chocolate making, from its Mayan roots to the French innovations of the 19th century. Visitors will observe each step of the process from cacao pod to flavored chocolate. Join us for this fun-filled program on chocolate!

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Nuts About Squirrels: July Calendar of Squirrel Events 

Pictured: Don Corrigan

Don Corrigan continues his crusade to give squirrels their due and to put Mickey Mouse in his place.

“Everyone thinks Mickey Mouse is the most important anthropomorphic rodent in our popular culture. No question that Walt Disney’s mouse is formidable, but taken in the aggregate, squirrels have much more of a presence in our popular culture,” said Corrigan.

Corrigan points out that squirrels are in our children’s books, newspaper headlines, TV news, radio shows, movies, public relations and advertising. Corrigan will bring his squirrel-centric message to the following venues in July:

On Thursday July 4th, Jean Ponzi of KDHX Radio and the show, “Earthworms,” will post a podcast of her interview with Don Corrigan, author of “Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodents That Conquered Popular Culture.” The show will cover the environmental aspects of squirrels, from their mass migrations prompted by climate change and food supply disruptions to the gray squirrels’ history in England as an invasive species that is driving out the red squirrels.

Don Corrigan is editor of the West End Word, Webster-Kirkwood Times and South County Times, as well as a professor of journalism at Webster University.

See a full listing of July 2019 event dates below.

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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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