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Biodiversity

Target: By 2025, 100 percent of counties in the combined statistical area of St. Louis are using the Regional Biodiversity Atlas (from a 2018 baseline) to actively guide their planning, policies, and practices in ways that increase habitat connectivity, ecological functionality, and quality of life for all.

Background: Ecosystems are directly responsible for the basics of daily life—air, water, soil, and food. Ecosystem change today is being driven by metropolitan regions, often characterized by high-intensity land use and high degrees of fragmentation. Opportunities exist to protect and connect remnants of biodiversity and to reimagine built areas to integrate living, natural systems into community design using quality data to support measurable interventions.

Structure: The Biodiversity Working Group is organized by BiodiverseCity St. Louis, a network of organizations and individuals throughout the greater St. Louis region working to improve quality of life for all through actions that welcome nature into our urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Activities: BiodiverseCity St. Louis has been meeting since 2012. As a result of the Sustainability Summit and the identified Target, this working group will:
Build a regional inventory of biodiversity data.

  • Develop and promote a regional vision and increase awareness for healthier, connected, biodiverse lands and waters.
  • Develop a regional atlas of priority sites and pilot projects for biodiversity conservation.
  • Develop a playbook of model projects that could be replicated in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

What you can do:

  • Document biodiversity all around you. | Join the iNaturalist citizen science community, take photos of nearby plants, animals, and other life forms, and upload them as observations.  As long as your observations are within the combined statistical area of St. Louis, your data will be part of the growing BiomeSTL biodiversity inventory that lives on iNaturalist.org.
  • Plant natives. | Native plants – from trees and shrubs to wildflowers, grasses, and other groundcover – enable a greater diversity of life to survive and thrive in our urban, suburban, and rural communities. Many resources are available online, but among our favorite places to start: Check out Easy Landscape Plans at www.grownative.org.
  • Pick a local landscape to love. | Whether it’s your own yard or a local park, a little patch of woods, a nearby creek, wetland, or other greenspace, each of us likely knows a place that could benefit from extra care, like clean-ups, removing invasives, or planting projects. Find yours, get more involved, tell us about it, and your local gem could help populate the inventory of such places within the BiomeSTL regional biodiversity atlas.   Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line: Local Landscape I Love.   
  • Join a working group. | At its core, BiomeSTL is participatory, powered by people, organizations, and agencies who envision a region connected by nature, one that fully values its natural assets and centers its planning, policies, and practices around those assets.  In 2019, four specific working groups will convene, each currently recruiting members: Action Projects Team, Citizen Science & Stewardship Team, Science Advisory Group, and City/County Advisory Group. If you are interested in learning more about and possibly joining these working teams, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line: BiomeSTL Working Groups.
  • Stay connected and in-the-know. | Each month, BiodiverseCitySTL publishes a newsletter curated with biodiversity news across the region; upcoming events, talks, and workshops; volunteer stewardship opportunities; reading recommendations; plus the popular Species Spotlight and Let’s Map It features, both aimed to shine a deserving spotlight on our local wildlife and wild places.  Stay connected to this growing network of biodiversity advocates and stewards by signing up for the monthly E-news at www.biodiversecitystl.org.

The following organizations Support* or Commit** to assisting with this Target.

Curium**
Bi-State Development*
Global Products, Inc**
Renew Missouri*
Sitton Energy Solutions*
Washington University in St. Louis*
University City, MO*
Linda Goldstein Consulting*
The Nature Conservancy in Missouri*
Heartlands Conservancy*
Missouri Coalition for the Environment*
Citizens for Modern Transit*
US Green Building Council - Missouri Gateway Chapter*
International Society of Sustainability Professionals StL Chapter**
Green Dining Alliance / St. Louis Earth Day*
Nine Network of Public Media**