BiodiverseCity St. Louis

About BiodiverseCity St. Louis

On May 15, 2013, community stakeholders with a shared interest in urban biodiversity participated in a summit held at the Missouri Botanical Garden. This Summit celebrated the existing efforts and projects already underway across the St. Louis region to promote and protect biodiversity, while also identifying critical gaps and needs in the areas of biodiversity understanding, awareness, and willingness/incentives to act.

Summit participants urged the development and implementation of a regional biodiversity initiative. It is in this spirit that BiodiverseCity St. Louis — a community initiative to promote, protect and plan for biodiversity throughout the Greater St. Louis Region — will shape its priorities and programs. Learn more.

Take the BiodiverseCity St. Louis Pledge!

BiodiverseCity St. Louis calls for everyone in our shared community — city governments, corporations, non-profit organizations, universities, schools, scientists, concerned citizens, homeowners, families and community leaders — to be inspired and take action. Take the pledge!
Wild Ideas Worth Sharing Speaker Series

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
7–8:30 p.m.
Missouri Botanical Garden
FREE—please register

As the Garden hosts the education congress of Botanical Gardens Conservation International this week, we invite you to this special presentation by world-class experts who are keynote speakers for this congress:

  • Saving Plants—Saving Ourselves
    Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden
    (Note: Dr. Raven's presentation will be via pre-recorded video message)
  • Monarch Butterfly Conservation: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
    Dr. Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón, Forests for Monarchs
    Catherine Werner, City of St. Louis Office of Sustainability
  • Educating for Sustainability and the Missing 'Man'
    Dr. Akpezi Ogbuigwe, Anpez Center for Environment and Development, Nigeria

FREE registration. Space is limited. Please register by Friday, April 24.

Download a flyer with more details

Species Spotlight

Bird's foot violet
Bird's foot violet (Viola Pedata).
Photo by Joshua Mayer.

Clover, dandelions, and violets...oh my!

While bird's foot violet (Viola pedata) and most other violets in our lawns, ditches, and roadsides are Missouri natives, many of the clovers, grasses, and other plants are not. However, allowing clover and other wildflowers to "invade" your lawn temporarily in the early bloom season isn't such a bad idea. The clover provides a free nitrogen source for your lawn and its blooms feed many tiny pollinators, enabling them to grow their colonies which will then pollinate our fruits and vegetables later in the summer. The foliage of violet flowers happens to be the sole food source for the beautiful fritillary butterfly caterpillar. If you see fritillaries flying around in late summer visiting your nectar plants, you'll know there are probably violets growing somewhere nearby.

To do now (or rather, NOT do now): Yes, we know we must mow every once in a while, given neighborhood niceties and municipal ordinances. But could we mow later? Mow less? Mow higher? If we mow to at least to 3–3.5", our taller grasses will not only help shade out weeds, but attract more ground-feeding birds, who will then feast upon our grubs. Check, check, check.

For those who just can't stand dandelions: Consider child labor. If you have a kid in your life looking to earn a few bucks, hire them to dig up your dandelions with a dandelion fork. The long taproots are bursting with minerals, making them a great addition to your compost pile.

For extra credit: For those over-achievers out there, consider ditching the whole lawn thing altogether. Download some suggestions

A Community Initiative to Promote, Protect and Plan for Biodiversity Throughout the Greater St. Louis Region

BiodiverseCity     St. Louis recognizes our region's reliance on biodiversity, the variety of life, and natural systems. We depend on biodiversity, not only for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, but also for the basic health, livability and economic prosperity of our region.

Volunteer Opportunities

April 11, May 2, May 16
Operation Wild Lands: Invasive Removal at Deer Creek Park

April 25
300 Trees for Webster: Tree-Planting

April 25 & 26
Earth Day Planting at Queeny Park

May 2
Honeysuckle Removal Day at Emmenegger Nature Park

May 9
Simpson Park Lake: Spring Cleanup