First posted on 04-17-2014
by Dan Zarlenga
A chance to get in on the ground floor of something that’s sure to grow really big doesn’t come along every day, but people of all ages will have the chance to do just that April 26.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and St. Louis County Parks (SLCP) have joined forces to restore native habitat to Queeny Park. The seeds of this project planted now will grow into vibrant new habitat for songbirds, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, and other wildlife in the future.
Everyone is invited to help take these first steps at the Back to Nature at the Queeny Park Family Fun Day on Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be a free family event with educational displays to help visitors discover the natural plant communities that were present at Queeny Park before settlement, and teach them about native habitat restoration projects going on in the park.
Visitors will see firsthand the efforts currently underway to convert 80 acres of the Queeny Park back to the prairie, woodland, and savanna ecosystems that were historically located there. “Queeny Park provides a unique opportunity to enhance the diversity of plants and wildlife by restoring critical habitats that were once abundant throughout the landscape,” said MDC Community Conservation Planner Angie Weber.
People of all ages will have the chance to enjoy numerous hands-on fun and educational activities, including kid’s crafts and bird walks lead by expert birders. The World Bird Sanctuary will host bird mist netting and banding demonstrations. Visitors can help in the restoration effort themselves by participating in tree planting opportunities. The Kona Ice Truck will also be on hand offering tasty frozen treats for sale. The event will be located at the Corporate Picnic Shelter located to the north of Jarville Lake.
There will also be great tips for those who would like to bring nature and wildlife to their own yards. “Integrating natural systems back into urban communities like this can do a lot to enhance our quality of life,” explained Weber.
Other partners joining MDC and SLCP to make the Back to Nature at Queeny Park Project possible include Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Monsanto Corporation, the St. Louis Audubon Society, Shaw Nature Reserve, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
St. Louis County’s Queeny Park is located at 1675 Mason Road in Ballwin.
For more information about the Back to Nature at Queeny Park Family Fun Day call 314-615-4FUN, or visit http://www.stlouisco.com/ParksandRecreation/ParkPages/Queeny.
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