This Month at Shaw Nature Reserve
Wetland Awaits

Update
As a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden, the operation of the Nature Reserve relies upon collaboration with other divisions and staff of the Garden based in St. Louis. Therefore, Shaw Nature Reserve is following the same reopening transition as the Garden. We are pleased to announce that we are preparing to safely reopen to the general public on June 16, 2020, with a special preview week for just Garden members from June 9-14. In order to ensure a safe, healthy experience for visitors of all backgrounds, we are taking the utmost precaution and asking that you do the same. We are so excited to welcome you back to enjoy the beauty of the Nature Reserve!

The safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff is our top priority. To continue efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Nature Reserve will implement additional health and safety protocols. Help us remain open by reviewing the following:

  • Admissions, Ticketing, and Membership
    One of the Nature Reserve’s new safety protocols is limiting capacity and parking space. All visitors to the Nature Reserve, including Garden members, will need advanced dated and timed e-tickets. This measure will be used to stagger arrivals to decrease large volumes of visitors gathering at the front entrance. No walk-up or day-of on-site purchases at this time. Tickets will be available online one week prior to opening. Stay tuned for additional information regarding e-ticketing coming soon! The Nature Reserve hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. "Members Mornings" are temporarily suspended for the initial phase of reopening. All members should refer to the email sent on May 22 for additional details regarding membership extensions and exclusive access a week before reopening to the general public.
  • Facilities
    As part of our enhanced safety protocols, indoor spaces including the Visitor Center, Bascom House, Bus Stop, wetland Observation Blind, and wetland Photography Blind will remain closed. The Nature Explore Classroom, Sense of Wonder Woodland, Glassberg Pavilions, and other picnicking areas and water fountains will be closed as well. Restrooms will be available near the Glassberg Pavilions and at the Maritz Trail House. There will be an increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting throughout the Nature Reserve.
  • Personal Protective Equipment
    Protective face coverings will be strongly encouraged for all guests nine years of age or older, particularly while in the entry, restroom, and parking areas and when near other visitors and staff members.
  • Social Distancing
    We request that all visitors take extra precautions to practice appropriate social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others when approaching the admissions window, in the entry, restrooms, and parking areas, and while on the trails and paths.

The Missouri Botanical Garden will also open June 16. Like the Nature Reserve, the Garden will implement additional protocols, including requiring e-tickets purchased in advance and limiting capacity. The Butterfly House, a Garden site located in Chesterfield, is working closely with St. Louis County officials to develop a plan to safely reopen to visitors soon.

More specific details will be shared closer to reopening. Until the reopening, you may continue to enjoy the beauty of the Nature Reserve virtually through photos and videos on our social media pages.

What's in Bloom
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is leafing out right now and will eventually be full of balls of white flowers. This butterfly magnet can be found in areas of wet soil such as the wetland. Willows and lizard tail have leafed out and are great places to find tree frogs. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) has leafed out and lines the edge of the wetland near the wetland parking lot. In the fall this plant will be frequented by monarch butterflies.

Featured Trail
The wetlands are full of activity at Shaw Nature Reserve. View the wetlands by parking at the wetland parking lot to hike the smooth, mostly flat, and partially shady 1 ½-mile wetland trail (accessible for wheelchairs and strollers). Check out another water habitat, Brush Creek, by taking Brush Creek Trail and walking the stepping stones across the creek. You can access Brush Creek Trail by parking at Cypress Lake. This out and back hike will be approximately 1 ½-miles in the shade on gently rolling hills.

Wildlife
Take a moment to stop and look around while out on the boardwalk at the wetland. You might see great blue herons, green herons, and wood ducks among the water lilies. As dusk approaches, enjoy the symphony of bullfrogs calling “chug-o-rum,” the “rattling” call of the belted kingfisher, and the dancing lights display of lightening bugs.
 
Events, Classes, and Tours
Please note: all programs are cancelled for the month of June.