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Missouri Ecological Services Celebrates Earth Day in St. Louis and Columbia
Midwest Region, April 22, 2007
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A young guest visits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service booth at Earth Day celebration in Forest Park, St. Louis. 
- FWS photo by Rick Hansen
A young guest visits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service booth at Earth Day celebration in Forest Park, St. Louis.

- FWS photo by Rick Hansen

- Photo Credit: n/a
Children observe wetland and stream critters at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service booth at St. Louis Earth Day. 
- FWS photo by Rick Hansen
Children observe wetland and stream critters at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service booth at St. Louis Earth Day.

- FWS photo by Rick Hansen

- Photo Credit: n/a

Thousands of Missourians braved the wind and rain on April 22, 2007 to attend the 37th annual Earth Day celebration in Columbia and St. Louis. Missouri Ecological Services shared in the festivities of the global celebration of nature and the environment by representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in both cities.

 

Biologists Rick Hansen and Jane Ledwin of Missouri Ecological Services staffed the Service booth at the St. Louis event , highlighting the Service’s role in conserving fish and wildlife resources where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers meet, just north of the city.

 

This key stretch of the Mississippi Flyway, known as the Confluence Area, supports hundreds of plant and animal species that require a diverse and healthy habitat to survive. “Through joint efforts of non-profit organizations and public agencies, including Missouri Ecological Services, this area is emerging as a unique conservation and recreation corridor,” said Hansen.

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists showed a display of plant and animal species that occur in the Confluence Area including the federally listed bald eagle, pallid sturgeon, Indiana bat, and decurrent false aster.

 

Throughout the day, children swarmed the booth to observe bugs and critters found in wetlands and streams through a dissecting scope, while parents learned about the Service’s role in connecting children with nature.

 

One hundred miles to the west, Field Supervisor Charlie Scott, along with STEP interns Ashley Spratt and Becky Willowood, worked tirelessly at the Columbia Earth Day event, educating children, parents, and curious passersby about the Service’s role in conservation.

 

Scott explained the Service’s role in combating illegal animal trade by displaying confiscated items including crocodile-skin purses, snake-skin shoes, and figurines made from elephant ivory. Meanwhile, Spratt and Willowood handed out tattoos and 3-D cutouts of migratory birds that pass through Missouri on their migration path.

 

“There were such a wide variety of people there, from educators to fellow environmentalists,” said Scott, “It’s a great opportunity to interact with the community.”

 

The first Earth Day was held in 1970 as an environmental teach-in developed by Senator Gaylord Nelson. Nelson hoped Earth Day would bring about positive change for the environment in a decade of growing eco-activism in the United States. In its first year, over 20 million people participated in Earth Day, and today the celebration has become a global event for over 500 million people in 175 countries world wide. “There’s a sense of unity that Earth Day instills. No matter where you are, for one day, the whole world stops to say thank-you to Mother Nature,” said Scott.


Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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