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

Blue orchard mason beeBlue orchard mason bee (Osmia lignaria). Photo by Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service.
Blue Orchard Mason Bee (Osmia lignaria)
Given their evolutionary talents for efficiently pollinating fruit trees, mason bees are also commonly known as orchard bees. One of our hard-working native bees, O. lignaria is easily identified by its dark blue metallic coloration and pollen-encrusted abdomen when foraging. Like the vast majority of other native bees, these bees are solitary and benign, nesting in hollow plant stems or holes made by beetles and needing mud near the nest to make their nest cells. Native bees like O. lignaria need our help, and not surprisingly, the answer lies in plants. Approximately one third of our region's native bees are oligolectic, meaning they are specialist pollinators of flowering plants, visiting a limited variety of native plants, often in a single genus and in some cases, a single species.

To do: O. lignaria readily accepts the hollow tubes put out by farmers and home gardeners looking to attract orchard bees. Learn how to create suitable habitats for native bees using nest boxes, blocks and bare earth in your own backyard with the help of this guide created by our expert colleagues at The Xerces Society.

To view: Carve out 30 minutes to listen to MDC's Mike Arduser's talk on native bees, as presented at the 7th Annual Agroforestry Symposium this past February.

Citizen Science opportunity: With over 4,000 species of native bees in the U.S. alone, and over 1,000 in the Midwest, it's nearly impossible for scientists to have a large-scale understanding of the diversity and distribution of these important pollinators, especially on private land. Interested in filling in data gaps that will help contribute to humanity's understanding of these extraordinary insects and inform conservation policies and practices? Then check out these citizen science projects:


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

Wild Ideas Worth Sharing Speaker Series

The Dirt on Soil: Life Underground.
May 11, 2016

Jeff Lowenfels and James Sotillo come together in St. Louis from opposite ends of the country with a focus on biodiversity on levels too long beneath our notice Learn more

Volunteer Opportunities

Sundays in April
Emmenegger Nature Park Volunteer Days
Call (314) 984-5993 or email

Throughout April
Opportunities with the Great Rivers Master Naturalists

April 2
Open Space CouncilCS Clean-Up along the Meramec River

April 2
Heartland Prairie Restoration Day

April 9
Open Space CouncilCS Clean-Up at Shaw Nature Reserve

April 9
Honeysuckle Hack at Bluebird Park
Email Lisa at

April 12
Greenhouse Stewards Workday

April 17
Earth Day Restoration in Kirkwood's Walker Park
Call (314) 984-5993 or email

April 23
Honeysuckle Removal at Creve Coeur Park

April 30
Savanna Restoration in Forest Park

June 5
Paddle for a Cause