BiodiverseCity St. Louis

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.


Species Spotlight

Black cherries
Black cherries

Black Cherry (Prunus serontina)
While difficult to focus on a single species to highlight this month, given the sea of colorful blooms bringing our local landscapes to life, we have settled on Prunus serotina. This impressive tree not only shades and beautifies our world, it serves as a beacon for biodiversity.

Everything about this tree ranks it as one of the most important native trees for wildlife. More birds feed on the fruits of this native tree than any other. More butterflies and moths lay their eggs on this tree than any other tree (with the exception of oaks). The caterpillars of numerous butterfly species, including Eastern tiger swallowtail, red-spotted purple, and coral hairstreak, rely on its leaves and bark as food. Its flowers attract countless insects, which in turn, attract hungry, migrant, insect-eating birds like warblers. To boot, it's stunningly gorgeous.

This month, if you seek out this tree, you will be rewarded with its fragrant white flowers in pendulous clusters, which will soon yield to small purple fruit relished by wildlife.

To do: If you're fortunate enough to have ready access to P. serotina, take your time really looking at this tree's spectacular bloom. Whip out a pencil and paper and do your best to sketch it in detail. This simple exercise will have you amazed anew at the engineering, design and artistic genius of Mother Nature.

Featured Partner Programs

Milkweeds for Monarchs logo   Bring Conservation Home logo   Operation Clean Stream logo   Show Me Rain Gardens logo