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More Information Booths and More Activities to Choose From at the Fall Native Plant Sale, Birding & Pollinator Festival.

The festival is four weeks away!! My how time flies!

Since my last entry, three more information booths have been added: Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Maramec Springs Park and the Bonebrake Nature Center. Susan Wrasmann will be staffing the Citizens’ Climate Lobby booth and will be able to talk with you about their group. They are sponsoring a 3 part film series on climate change, beginning August 22nd, that is open to the public. The first showing will be at 6:30 pm at the Phelps County Courthouse. Kendra Swee, the new Interpretive Services Coordinator for Maramec Springs Park, will have information about the park outside of St. James for our newcomers. She will also be able to talk about new programs that will be offered at Maramec Springs Park. The Bonebrake Center is located in Salem and is another valuable local resource for budding and current naturalists.

We will not be having a presentation on medicinal plants as previously advertised, but Colleen Smith will be happy to talk about some local medicinal plants at her Turtle Earth Healing and Arts booth and on her Medicinal Plants walk. Hamilton Native Outpost will not be participating in this year’s event due to a schedule conflict.

Prairie Hill Farm will be an additional native plant vendor this year. Between them and Doolittle Gardens, there will be a wide variety of wildflowers and grasses to choose from. Remember, the best selections go quickly, so be sure to do your shopping early that morning. Parking shuttles will start at 7:45 am and the festival opens at 8:00 am.

That’s all for now, folks! Check in again before September 7th!

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Things Happen Unexpectedly

For those of you who tried to access the Fall Native Plant Sale, Birding & Pollinator Festival this afternoon, I apologize. I had an unexpected visit from “Murphy” at a most inopportune time while making some changes to the website. However, after a few hours work, the pages are restored.

I plan to add a page listing booth, activity, vendor and speaker locations in the next few weeks. There may still be some additions or subtractions, so check in periodically.

The festival is just over a month away (Saturday, September 7th), so mark your calendar if you haven’t already done so. Invite your friends to attend and have them check out our website at http://festivaleducation.com.

The Planning has Begun

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The festival committee is hard at work planning for this year’s festival. We are extending invitations to even more nature and outdoor-related organizations to make this event better than ever.

Doolittle Gardens is our native plant vendor. Their plants always look great and grow very well. Ned’s Nesting Boxes and Nature Mugs by Jim Rathert will be selling birding and bird related items. They can take care of your birthday and Christmas gift lists! Check in often to see our vendor updates.

Mitch Leachman, Executive Director of St. Louis Audubon, will talk about the importance of native plants for pollinators. He will also speak about the “Bring Conservation Home” program developed by St. Louis Audubon. Mitch was scheduled to give a presentation last year, but the festival was rained out by the remnants of Tropical Storm Gabriel.

Max Alleger will talk about the Audubon Certified Grass-fed Beef program. If you aren’t already familiar with this program, be sure to hear his presentation! Max is employed by the Missouri Department of Conservation and has been working on grassland conservation and conserving grassland birds for many years. Our festival visitors may even be able to sample some of this truly delicious beef! More on this later.

There will be several activities to participate in during the day. Guided birding walks and wildflower walks will be offered, as well as a nature photography walk for our local shutterbugs. Lanny and Linda Chambers will once again do hummingbird banding. Kids’ activities include coloring for kids, face and stone painting.

Visitors may park in the I-44 commuter lot off Hwy. E and take one of our two shuttle vans to Audubon Trails. Limited parking is available along White Columns Drive and Meriweather Ct.

Be sure to mark September 7th on your calendar and tell your friends and family about this event!