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 chokeberryBlack chokeberry (Aronia melancarpa).
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melancarpa)
As we welcome the season of brilliant leaf colors, crisp cool weather, holiday celebrations and of course, honeysuckle eradication events, we wanted to shine this month’s spotlight on black chokeberry—a fantastic native that deserves more than 15 minutes of fame as a cool plant to replace a non-so-cool plant.

A member of the rose family, A. melancarpa is native to eastern North America. Although common in most of its range, it’s somewhat rare in Missouri, found a bit sporadically in sandy wet or boggy ground. But increasingly, this extremely hardy deciduous shrub is thriving in home gardens, city parks and other urban and suburban sites, forming colonies that provide food and shelter for wildlife, and doing well in a wide range of soils. This fall, look for A. melancarpa’s spectacular wine red foliage and purplish black fruits brightening up our local landscapes.

Fun fact: Specific epithet comes from the words melano meaning black and carpa meaning fruit in reference to the ripe fruits of this shrub. The common name of chokeberry is in reference to the tart and bitter taste of the fruits which are technically edible but so astringent as to cause choking in most of those who try. But mockingbirds and other avian foragers have been known to divebomb for the fruits. A. melancarpa fruits are sometimes used by Homo sapiens to make tasty jams and jellies.

To do: After eradicating a ginormous stand of bush honeysuckle this fall (won’t everybody be doing this, yes?), consider having several A. melancarpa on hand to plant in its place, assuming the habitat is appropriate. In preparation, check out this list of other recommended native alternatives to common invasives in our region.


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

Honeysuckle Sweep

Join us for the
Honeysuckle Sweep for Healthy Habitat
October 29–November 6, 2016

This region-wide project gets communities involved in learning about and removing invasive bush honeysuckle. Learn more

Wild Ideas Worth Sharing Speaker Series

Perennial Polycultures: Sustainable, Edible Landscapes
October 18, 2016

Featuring speakers Carol Davit of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, Scott Allegrucci of The Land Institute and Dr. Claudia Ciotir of Saint Louis University. Learn more