terrain March/April 2021
Great Rivers Greenway is making the St. Louis region a more vibrant place to live, work and play by developing a network of greenways. Whether you are hiking, biking, running, rolling or strolling...the greenways are there to help you live more of your LIFE OUTSIDE!
flexible GPS setup capacity of iNaturalist. Every observation uploaded to this app that originates, year-round, from the St. Louis "area of statistical significance" logs data that will add to the BiomeSTL atlas. This area includes communities in eight Illinois counties, six counties in Missouri, and the City of St. Louis. City Nature Challenge registration opens in March. BDV-STL leaders will give virtual iNaturalist trainings.
Through the entire month of March, and again through November, BDV-STL partners coordinate events to remove bush honeysuckle, one of our most invasive plant species, from public lands. Alongside everything else, these volunteer efforts were curtailed in 2020, though some COVID-safe volunteer work went on and will occur on limited-access dates this spring. Honeysuckle Sweep began in 2016 to coordinate and expand on existing efforts of multiple groups to tackle this intensive invader, to raise awareness of bush honeysuckle issues through concentrated cycles of events, to boost public participation in volunteer events, and to increase the range of removal efforts. As volunteers join the pros in "Honeysuckle Hacks," people learn how to effectively eradicate this woody bush and why the work is important to carry home to our neighborhoods, where honeysuckle privacy hedges are growing plant deserts. Sites where bush honeysuckle has been removed are increasingly also being restored with native plants, giving project helpers hands- on biodiversity connections.
Rebranding Community Science
BDV-STL supports a movement in environmental education circles to rebrand public participation in scientific research from Citizen Science with the purposefully inclusive term Community Science. Leadership in this change is arising from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and National Park Service partners including Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. The process by any name is hugely useful for educators and scientists. Research begins with posing questions for investigation and includes hypothesizing, designing methods, and collecting and analyzing data. It culminates in sharing research findings with other people. Students, teachers, and other community members can be involved with one or more of these steps. The word "citizen" coupled with science does not note the nationality of those who observe, but environmental educators acknowledge the term's limitation. Active at the heart of this kind of collaboration is the network of people empowered to use science, gathering data toward insight into the ecosystems in which we live, regardless of citizenship or country of origin. Just as important: involvement with local, national, and international research connects each participant to a wider community, all working together to understand our Earth.
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