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.



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

Snowy Owl. Photo by pe_ha45.

Snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus)

It seems only fitting to end our year as we started it—with a celebratory nod to the Year of the Bird, with a spotlight on Bubo scandiacus—the snowy owl. This time last year, local birders of all ages and abilities enthusiastically reported sightings of this elusive migrant in our area. Among the documented sites was the Audubon Center at Riverlands in West Alton, IL; the wide openness of this special place may resemble the large, open tundra of their Arctic home. Snowy owl migration is complex and somewhat unpredictable, having a lot to do with lemming and vole populations in the owls’ summer breeding grounds.

To do: This winter, while there is no guarantee our area will see another “irruption”—the name given to the phenomenon of snowy owls flooding an area—we hope everyone keeps their boots on, eyes peeled, and lenses ready. Trust us: A hike at the Riverlands never disappoints.

Great Reads

This month, we offer a quartet of Great Reads, curated as a perfectly timed collection of winter reading. While each is different in topic and tone—from calling on our collective imaginations to questioning farm subsidies, their common message is undeniable: We are absolutely capable of living in ways that let a greater diversity of life survive and thrive on our little blue spinning dot. We can do this.

So find your favorite reading nook, and take in this December mix of essays. Take notes, doodle questions, map out ideas. In what ways do you see yourself in these stories of recovery?

The story of a recoverable Earth
By Paul Jepson (November 2018)

Magic and the Machine
By David Abram (November 2018)

Hold the Soy, Save the Pollinators
By Gary Nabhan (November 2018)

Sparing vs. Sharing: The Great Debate Over How to Protect Nature
By Fred Pearce (December 2018)


Let's Map It!

Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2018
Throughout this year, we’ve featured maps of local places we love, with the hope of shining a spotlight on our nearby nature gems. But the end of the year has us in reflection-mode, with our hearts and minds on big existential questions like the universe and the meaning of life… little things like that. When we get like this, we like to broaden our lens, take deep outdoor breaths of nature-air, and seek out a different view of the world. This month’s “Let’s Map It” feature spoke to us. The Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2018 is actually a series of maps, charts, and stories related to the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals—a global set of goals for the entire world. This cool atlas discusses trends, comparisons, and measurement issues using accessible and shareable data visualizations, and draws on the World Bank's compilation of internationally comparable statistics about global development and the quality of people's lives. For each of the SDGs represented, relevant indicators have been chosen to illustrate important ideas and concepts, such as this one zeroing in on SDG #15: Life on Land.  While you’re in winter-mode, we recommend taking a deep dive into these views of the world… and hope you come up for air in January ready to welcome more life into the local lands and waters you love. That, for us, is what the BiodiverseCitySTL network is all about. 


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!