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

Dutchman's breeches
Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria).
Photo by Litzsinger Road Ecology Center Staff.
The Brilliance of Ephemerals
This very moment, a spring ephemeral somewhere nearby is seeking the light. Rarely found along roadsides, these special plants grace our forests for only a brief period each year, waiting for just the right conditions to emerge. To find them, you must take a walk in the woods. Having evolved over millennia, they are brilliant users of time—needing to grow, photosynthesize, reproduce and store food—all before the canopy leafs out and blocks the sun. When they disappear from above-ground view, they don’t die. They simply retreat to their underground world waiting for next spring’s first rays of sun. To us, they are beautiful reminders to live life to the fullest and make each day count. 

Fun fact: If you’re lucky enough to find Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) in your local woodlands, stay a while to witness a pollinator visit. It is likely a queen bumblebee (Bombus spp.), newly active after a long winter hibernation. She alone is responsible for finding nectar and pollen to provision the new season’s nests. You go, girl. 

To do, if you’re up for a day trip: To fully experience and appreciate some of our region’s spring ephemerals, we recommend Hawn State Park (this month’s Let’s Map It! feature). There, along sandstone bluffs just across from the park’s clear-streamed Pickle Creek, you’ll find a large population of wild azaleas (Rhododendron prinophyllum) in bloom this month.


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