BiodiverseCity St. Louis logoBiodiverseCity 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.

BiodiverseCity St. Louis recognizes our region's reliance on biodiversity, the variety of life, and natural systems. We depend on biodiversity, not only for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, but also for the basic health, livability and economic prosperity of our region.

Announcing BiomeSTL!

BiomeSTL logoWe are excited to launch of BiomeSTL after years of behind-the-scenes work. BiomeSTL is an online collection of biodiversity data from the St. Louis region. It is an interactive map highlighting the multiple partner efforts taking place to improve biodiversity in the bi-state area including: case studies, research, policies, corridor projects, and stewardship opportunities.

Biome STL is a project of BiodiverseCity STL and is administered by Missouri Botanical Garden

Visit BiomeSTL

Like the biodiversity we are working to protect and promote, BiomeSTL is a living thing. Your contributions will enable us to better represent the scope of excellent work taking place in our region. To suggest an addition to BiomeSTL, email


We Are Published Authors!

We are also excited to share that a comprehensive review of BiodiverseCity STL was published in the Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens. "BiodiverseCity St. Louis—An Initiative of the Missouri Botanical Garden" is part of a special issue titled, "Botanic Gardens and Sustainability: Providing a Pathway Forward for Humanity and the Planet." Written by Jean Ponzi, the article features contributions by Missouri Botanical Garden colleagues from across divisions.


City Nature Challenge St. Louis logo

Results are in from the 2024 City Nature Challenge. Thank you to the many partners and participants that helped make 2024 a success!

Total observations – 10,742 (up 17 percent from 2023)
Total observers – 464 (up 11 percent from 2023)
Total species observed – 1,618 (up 19 percent from 2023)

We'll see you in 2025 for the next City Nature Challenge!



Great Read

The Comfort of Crows book coverThe Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year
by Margaret Renkl

In a writing voice mellifluous as a mockingbird, insistent as cidadas, Margaret Renkl praises nature’s changes in each week of a year. Her essays call us to notice and care for Earth’s garden of liveliness, wherever we are.

I turn right to Renkl’s column every Monday in the online New York Times, where she combines nature observations with opinions from her Nashville based southern political perspective. She is an ardent advocate for sensible, compassionate living, for her fellow humans (us!) to straighten up, fly right and act as if we are in relationship with all creatures and living communities—which, in fact (News Flash!) we are.

But she’s a teacher, not a preacher, and she leads by example:

  • Researching then trapping to help a fox afflicted with mange;
  • Appreciating the rattlesnake staking out prey beneath her loaded blackberry bush;
  • Winter-celebrating how “everything that waits is also preparing itself to move.”

Every one of these 52 essays is illustrated by her brother, fine artist Billy Renkl, whose work in collage glorifies this book like the illuminations in medieval texts. In an interview he says, “I wanted the collages to help create an atmosphere within which a reader would encounter (Margaret’s) words.”

They grew up in rural fields and woods, the kind of kids who experienced science and art and life interwoven for real, got in trouble sometimes, and carried forward their childhood bounty into work that benefits many today.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Renkl last fall, when Left Bank Books hosted her to read and sign The Comfort of Crows. Silver haired and matter-of-fact, she was funny—and intense. She calls this book a literary devotional and notes its allegiance to both her joy (in the beauties of the natural world) and grief, because of human-induced nature destruction.

I love reading essays, they are short and to the point, and I so appreciate a viewpoint that can face the uncertainty of our environmental times, without denying or trying to escape, by exploring the truth of Change. Through all seasons, Margaret Renkl chooses this view, inviting us into her hold on the strength, wonder, trepidation, and joy she draws from the master teacher, Nature.

The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year (2023, Spiegel & Grau)

—Jean Ponzi – Green Resources Manager, EarthWays Center of Missouri Botanical Garden

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