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

Timber rattlesnake
Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus).
Photo by Tad Arensmeier. [CC BY 2.0]
Timber rattlesnake
(Crotalus horridus
One of the five venomous snakes found in Missouri and Illinois, the timber rattlesnake is the largest, growing more than 150 cm. This month, C. horridus and its ilk have awakened from their winter brumation, a type of dormancy, and are likely spending their days and nights coiled in ambush position, ready to capture tasty shrews, mice, and ground-dwelling birds.

Within the Midwest, populations of C. horridus are extremely fragmented. Olin Nature Preserve in Godfrey, Illinois, which features ideal habitat in the form of protected, forested river bluffs, is one locally known home for this species. Listed as threatened in Illinois, this species is officially endangered in much of the Eastern U.S., even listed as extinct in Maine and Rhode Island.

Fun fact: The name ‘crotalus’ comes from the Greek ‘krotalon’ meaning ‘a rattle,’ while ‘horridus’ means ‘dreadful.’

Did you know? A rattlesnake adds a new segment to its rattle every time it sheds.

To do: In the unlikely event that you come across secretive C. horridus on your hike through Olin Nature Preserve (hint, hint), know this: These beautiful, extraordinary creatures should not be feared. They’re quite docile, rarely needing to strike given their rattle-equipped warning system. If threatened, however, remember they are pit vipers, and will not hesitate to deliver a serious bite. If you’re fortunate enough to encounter one: Observe at a safe distance, pledge to deepen your understanding, and support local places offering them refuge.


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 2017 exploring and stewarding St. Louis' great outdoors. Download our 2017 Nearby Nature Map featuring 50 places to love and 100 things to do!