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

Fungi. Photo by Sheila Voss.
What would Fungi do?

Well, 2017 was a year, wasn’t it? A strange, surreal, stunning year. As we navigated it all, many of us sought out our go-to salve: Mother Nature herself. And during our walks and wanderings, there was one group of life forms that became BiodiverseCitySTL’s spirit-organism of sorts: Fungi.

It is a familiar theme in nature that where there is death, there is life. In death, the complex substances of living organisms are released and made available as nutrients for plants and animals. Its fungi that make this happen. The mushrooms we see above ground are only a tiny portion, the vast majority deep within the wood, perhaps growing its mycelial network for years before producing the visible fruit that captures our eye. The fruit that at once symbolizes death, beauty and new life. And if you mess with the wrong ones in the wrong way, they can seriously hurt you.

Rot, of course, takes many forms. Social, economic, and environmental injustices are a few examples. As is the devaluing of lands and waters, of nature itself. Breaking through to the light takes time, often goes unseen, and takes a pervasive, unstoppable network. Like mycelium, the individual strands of this network are often too small to be seen except when massed together. This network of tiny strands en masse eventually bursts through the surface in beautiful and sometimes dangerous form, helping others in the ecosystem pick up the fight to keep living, surviving, thriving…

So there, our reflective, rot-rebelling start to the year, along with a shot of some cool forest mushrooms that graced our 2017.

To do: Head out into the winter woods to seek out your favorite fungi—document it, sketch it, study it, learn its name, say its name, and teach it to someone else. Don’t have a favorite yet? Well, get one already!

To do, if seeking out slightly nerdy nature brilliance:
Soak up some Stamets. Paul Stamets, of course. Like none other, he illuminates the “mycelial mats” underneath our feet as the physical and social architects of every living landscape, and of human existence itself.

To do, if, inexplicably, mushrooms just aren’t your thing:
Enjoy some life forms with eyeballs – the recently announced winners of Terrain Magazine’s inaugural photo contest. These impressive glimpses of the great outdoors make us all want to head back out there!
Great Reads

To kick-start 2018, we didn’t have to look far for this month’s Great Reads. These local voices are speaking up for landscapes they love, demonstrating the power of the pen to provoke and persuade. Spend some quality time soaking up this pair of perspectives, then find new ways to celebrate and advocate for the special places in your life worth fighting for.

A public legacy — and an opportunity to lead

By Trudy Busch Valentine, Dan Burkhardt and Connie Burkhardt (January 2018)

Guest commentary: UM system should practice what it preaches with land sale
By Peter H. Raven (January 2018)
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!


Events & Experiences

January 13–14
Eagle Days at Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

January 14
Mississippi Valley Bike + Outdoor Expo

January 27–28
Eagle Days in Clarksville

January 28
Mid-Winter Open House – St. Louis Audubon Society

February 3
Bird Walk with Forest Park Forever

February 10
Pre-season Gardening Expo at Rolling Ridge

February 15
Endangered Species Project concert

What an April! Save the dates for this super-cool line-up:

April 7–8
2018 Meet Me Outdoor in St. Louis festival

April 20
2018 World Ecology Award Gala

April 22–24
2018 Saint Louis Climate Summit

April 27–30
2018 City Nature Challenge