BiodiverseCity St. Louis
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BiodiverseCity St. Louis is a growing network of organizations and individuals throughout the greater St. Louis region who share a stake in improving quality of life for all through actions that welcome nature into our urban, suburban and rural communities. Learn more about this effort, and join in.

Take Action Today…and Make It Count

Throughout St. Louis, every day, people are making big and small changes to their backyards, balconies, streetscapes, schoolyards, parking lots, and play areas. Some are doing this because they love nature and want to experience more of it in their daily lives. Others recognize that native plants in the right places help prevent flooding, clean and cool our air and improve human health and well-being. Still others embrace the positive impact that leafy streets, accessible parks, hiking/biking trails and other quality green spaces have on property values and the economic vibrancy of our region.

For all these reasons and more, the BiodiverseCitySTL Network invites each of the 2.9 million citizens of the greater St. Louis bi-state region to take action. In this spirit, we are excited to launch the Nature in Our Neighborhoods citizen action project. No matter who you are or where you live, all of us can do something to beautify, bio-diversify and better the communities in which we live, work, learn and play. To get started, check out our curated list of expert ideas and local resources from across our region, connect with others and share your stories.



On behalf of the BiodiverseCitySTL team, thanks to each of you for putting your love of nature into action this past year. Whether you visited a new hiking spot, attended an outdoor event, took a class, participated in citizen science, cleaned up a creek, removed invasive species, planted native trees, served on a community committee, mentored a young person pursuing a green career, donated to your favorite conservation group, spoke up on city or county land use issues, or otherwise advocated for the living world, each one of you is why we're still doing this—sharing good news, spotlighting ways to learn more and get involved, and helping communities grow in nature-driven ways.


Throughout this past year, the BiodiverseCity St. Louis team has been working with stakeholder organizations to kick-start a key biodiversity target of the OneSTL Sustainability Plan: By 2025, 100 percent of counties in metropolitan St. Louis are using a regional biodiversity vision, atlas, and action plan to guide their planning, policies, and practices in ways that increase habitat connectivity, ecological functionality, and quality of life for all. Just last month, we announced the launch of BiomeSTL: Biodiversity of Metropolitan St. Louis—a regional vision, atlas, and action plan that calls upon everyone everywhere to put healthy, vibrant lands and waters at the center of how we connect with, design, plan, and sustain our communities. We are currently recruiting multi-disciplinary teams of people to help develop and advance core elements of this cool initiative. If interested in learning more and getting involved, email us at


Species Spotlight

Six-spotted fishing spider
Six-spotted fishing spider.
Photo by ©jforbes3 [CC BY-NC 4.0]
Six-spotted fishing spider (Dolomedes triton)

Why would this little guy deserve to be spotlighted this month? We’re so glad you asked! Dolomedes triton was one of the 1,600 species that 800 of you helped document across the greater St. Louis metro area during the 2019 City Nature Challenge that occurred the last weekend in late April – here and in nearly 160 cities around the world.

While D. triton is worthy of a spotlight for so many reasons (it’s super-quick, it’s both predator and prey, and it’s really cool-looking), the honest reason we picked it is because of its common status. Six-spotted fishing spiders are one of those relatively ubiquitous life forms that can easily be spotted sprinting across the surface of our local creeks and streams. The fact that so many of our local City Nature Challenge citizen scientists documented D. triton and other little life forms all around them means that they were spending quality time in the great outdoors – closely observing little details, getting their hands and feet muddy, probably whispering and walking slower than usual. This makes our heart happy, and gives us hope for the world.

To do: Keep going, St. Louis! The local data collected during the 2019 City Nature Challenge automatically populated the BiomeSTL inventory on iNaturalist, a long-term project powered by citizen scientists who are helping document biodiversity across the bi-state. To date, more than 4,000 of you have contributed 57,000 observations representing more than 4,200 species that call the St. Louis region home. We encourage everyone to keep at it and recruit friends, family, colleagues, and random strangers to join you. Not only is iNaturalist a fun, slightly addicting outdoor hobby, the data produced is giving us all a better understanding of the what lives where, and can propel projects and actions that keep our local lands and waters full of life.


Great Reads

The Guardian View on Extinction: Time to Rebel
Editorial (May 2019)

Like many of you, we had mixed emotions when the recent landmark U.N. report about the one million plant and animal species on the verge of extinction was picked up by mass media news outlets across the world in recent weeks. While encouraging to see this news break out “beyond the choir,” it remains difficult to reconcile the hard facts and realities with the current ways we all live out our days. This is tough stuff, and there are tougher days ahead. But of all the coverage, this month’s Great Read is an editorial that stuck out to us, with a tough-love tone and rallying cry we all need to heed, and quickly. Chin up, friends. Work to do.


Let's Map It!

2019 City Nature Challenge


Take a bow, citizen scientists of St. Louis and the world! This month’s Let’s Map It! feature gives us a global view of everyone who competed in the 2019 City Nature Challenge. Out of 159 cities and regions, the St. Louis Metro region ranked 13th in number of participants, 22nd in number of observations, and 23rd in number of species. The top 15% in all categories! If you zero in on the Midwest U.S., the St. Louis region was #1 in all categories. Most importantly, we beat Chicago. Just sayin’.


Featured Partner Programs

Milkweeds for Monarchs logo   Bring Conservation Home logo   Operation Clean Stream logo   Show Me Rain Gardens logo
A Community Initiative to Promote, Protect and Plan for Biodiversity Throughout the Greater St. Louis Region

Nearby Nature

Nearby Nature map

Spend more of your time exploring and stewarding St. Louis' great outdoors. Download our Nearby Nature Map featuring 50 places to love and more than 100 things to do!