This Month at Shaw Nature Reserve
Getting Greener!

What's in Bloom
Spring is evident with all the buds bursting into bloom. Bring the whole family out to enjoy the spectacular daffodil display at the Daffodil Dash 5k Trail Run, and view the many spring wildflowers in bloom in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden. Adults can learn more about Missouri spring ephemerals during the Tuesday Spring Wildflower Walks.

While enjoying the wildflower show, don’t forget to look up! Birds are everywhere at the Reserve, some preparing to take up summer residency and others migrating through to northern nesting grounds. Join us for the Morning Bird Walks during the height of spring migration to view this spectacular event. Did you know that you can help migrating birds by planting native plant species? Red buckeye trees (Aesculus pavia) typically bloom just in time to provide nectar for hummingbirds. You can view a red buckeye by hiking to the shelter in the home gardening area of the wildflower garden.

Featured Trail
Visit the Nature Explore Classroom with your family to enjoy exploring outdoors in the warmer temperatures of spring. You’ll find sand boxes, climbing logs, a spider web, and more. Continue on to the Sense of Wonder Woodland to see who is living in the Insect Hotel, trek across the tree-mendous bridge, crawl on the tree-ceratops and more! You can create your own nature play area at home by adding natural elements such as pinecones, sticks, leaves, acorns, and more in a corner of your yard for the children to explore. Consider digging a small shallow hole to be the ‘mud pit’ where children can explore with their senses by touching, smelling, and looking at soil and getting to know underground animals, like worms. Check out our mud kitchen in the Sense of Wonder Woodland to see how to incorporate kitchen objects into outdoor play.

Did You Know
Shaw Nature Reserve is one of three locations participating in the Meet Me Outdoors in St. Louis event. On April 27 and 28, you can take a guided hike, purchase native plants, get a free tree, or try outdoor adventures such as the Canopy Climb or canoeing at the Nature Reserve. There will be many activities available and you can meet experts from other organizations focused on the great outdoors!

It’s hard to miss the chorus from our ponds. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata) are primarily calling right now. You can watch and hear recordings of their calls from our ponds by visiting our YouTube channel. While listening to the amphibian serenade at the wetland make sure to look around for the belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) and the great blue heron (Ardea herodias). You might also spot the male red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) who are arriving at the wetlands to establish their territories. Click here to hear their distinct call. 


Extended hours begin April 1! Our front gates will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Before visiting, make sure to check the weather and call our Visitor Center ahead of time at (314) 577-9555 to learn about trails being closed, such as the Rus Goddard River Trail, with potential spring flooding. Also beginning April 1, members can register for early morning walking hours. Register for a code for access between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.