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

Argiope aurantia Spider spirals in September
Many of us know Argiope aurantia, a common orb-weaving spider that frequents our yards and parks, trapping and eating large amounts of insect pests such as flies, mosquitoes and aphids. Its comic-book-hero coloring makes it instantly recognizable, as does its signature zig-zag of white silk. While it boasts a venomous bite to immobilize its prey, the black and yellow argiope is considered relatively harmless to humans, and is a welcome site among gardeners.

While a common sight in St. Louis’ urban gardens, A. aurantia is a significant predator in prairie and grassland ecosystems, keeping populations of grasshoppers and flying insects in check. They seek shelter in shrubs and tall plants, such as witch hazel, spicebush, evergreen blackberry, common milkweed, switchgrass, and goldenrod, and are tasty prey for a host of local wildlife, including red-winged blackbirds, American robins, wild turkeys, least shrews, American toads, mallards, red-tailed hawks, and common crows.

Did you know? Each night, A. aurantia eats its web and builds a new one. Wow.

To do: In the early morning or early evening hours, keep your eyes peeled for A. aurantia taking up residence in your yard or local park. Seize the opportunity to hone your nature photography skills, then add your best shot to your Backyard Biodiversity Photo Album. Everyone has one of those, right?

Featured Partner Programs

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