Local artists shine in State Parks contest honoring Earth Day

Jefferson County artists demonstrated their talents in the virtual youth art contest sponsored by Missouri State Parks in honor of Earth Day in April. In the first and second grade category, artwork by Gabriel Sedrock of Festus Elementary School was selected as the first place winner, and Lena Massa of Crystal City earned third placeContinue reading “Local artists shine in State Parks contest honoring Earth Day”

Dying dogwood tree lost last big branch; state nursery to assist restart

Maybe it’s a bit over dramatic to say I discovered a sad sight in my backyard this weekend, but I was heartbroken to notice that the last live limb on the only big dogwood tree along our forest edge was on the ground. The good news is that I beat the clock this year inContinue reading “Dying dogwood tree lost last big branch; state nursery to assist restart”

Sunflowers attract photographers now and dove hunters later

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is enormous, which seems opposite of everything else I saw in a recent visit to my old hometown of Spanish Lake in north St. Louis County. My old school, the county park, my old house, the road I grew up on, were all miniatures of what I remember. But not “TheContinue reading “Sunflowers attract photographers now and dove hunters later”

Local meetings planned to provide updates about CWD control efforts

The 292 positive chronic wasting disease cases documented in Missouri seem like a statistical blip among the 210,000 tissue samples tested since the disease was first discovered in the state in 2011. It’s even less dramatic compared to the more than 2 million deer that have been harvested by hunters over those same years. ButContinue reading “Local meetings planned to provide updates about CWD control efforts”

Consider safety when enjoying time in the great outdoors

Having fun in the great outdoors is easy, but making sure you stay safe while doing it takes a little bit more attention. Not too many years ago, relatively speaking, I would take on summer fun with more reckless abandon, but over time I’ve learned from a few mistakes and managed to survive a fewContinue reading “Consider safety when enjoying time in the great outdoors”

Area offers ample opportunities for National Hiking Day

For 30 years the American Hiking Society has invited people to enjoy the outdoors on National Hiking Day on the first Saturday in June. Several of Missouri’s state parks are planning special events to mark the day, but finding a place to escape into the woods doesn’t require an itinerary or agenda. Still, the plannedContinue reading “Area offers ample opportunities for National Hiking Day”

Dirty dozen: CWD cases spike in Jefferson County deer

When the deer I shot last fall tested positive for chronic wasting disease, I was sad but not totally shocked. At the time it just seemed unlucky that of all the deer sampled in Jefferson County, mine was one of only three with a positive/negative result. With additional testing and post-season targeted culling, the numberContinue reading “Dirty dozen: CWD cases spike in Jefferson County deer”

New book establishes authority as standard for bird identification

One of my favorite perks about this outdoor writer gig is the opportunity to review new books before they are available to the public. When I was given the chance to see an advanced copy of All About Birds Midwest, I jumped at the opportunity. At first look, it reminded me of the Peterson FieldContinue reading “New book establishes authority as standard for bird identification”

Whitewater racing returns to the St. Francis River

I didn’t get a chance to see Mason Gagnon run the St. Francis River in the Missouri Whitewater Championships, but I did make it to Millstream Gardens in time to see my college fraternity brother Scott Swafford navigate the slalom gates in his open canoe. The races appear to be quite a workout for theContinue reading “Whitewater racing returns to the St. Francis River”

Clean up and festival planned for Meramec River and area parks

The Meramec River draws most attention in the Jefferson County area when it escapes its banks, but a big event later this month is planned to provide assistance to the natural resources along the stream. In addition to clean-up activities on the river, simultaneous events will take place at other public places along the watershed.Continue reading “Clean up and festival planned for Meramec River and area parks”