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MU workshops look at conserving, preserving biodiversity in rural, suburban developments

Workshops set for April 26 in St. Peters, April 27 in Columbia.


Curt Wohleber
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-5409

Published: Friday, March 11, 2011

Story source:

Robert A. Pierce II, 573-882-4337

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Development in urban, suburban and even rural areas can often limit the variety of plant and animal life in these environments. In some cases, development also means an increase in exotic plants, which can ultimately displace native plant communities, which in turn can disrupt local populations of birds, bugs and other native wildlife.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. Developers, planners, landscape architects, policymakers, landowners and others involved with the management of growth and development can learn about techniques for conserving and restoring biodiversity at upcoming workshops sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

The workshop is being offered in two locations: April 26 at the St. Charles County Extension Center, 260 Brown Road, St. Peters; and April 27 at the Boone County Extension Center, 1012 N. Highway UU, Columbia. Workshops run 12:30-4:30 p.m. at both sites. Cost is $35.

“Rural, urban and suburban environments provide habitats that sustain native plant and wildlife communities and are integral to providing a quality of life for all Missourians,” says Bob Pierce, MU Extension wildlife specialist. “However, management is the key and it requires planning to be most successful.”

Topics will include tools and strategies to promote biodiversity and water conservation as properties are developed; evaluating the impacts of proposed policies or development designs; how to retrofit old neighborhoods; and assessing your land’s potential for providing wildlife habitat.

Pierce said the workshop is geared toward private landowners, county and city planners, landscape architects, architects, civil engineers, environmental consultants, developers and interested citizens. It will begin with a discussion of key concepts, then look at “how to do it” through the design, construction and post-construction phases of development.

In addition to Pierce, instructors will be Charles Nilon, MU professor of fisheries and wildlife; and Mark Hostetler, associate professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Florida. Hostetler developed the workshop curriculum, which has been field-tested in Florida and New Zealand. The program and the 125-page resource manual that participants will receive have been adapted for use in Missouri.

For information and registration details, contact either Scott Killpack at the St. Charles County Extension Center at 636-970-3000,; or Kent Shannon at the Boone County Extension Center at 573-445-9792,

A printable registration form available for download at workshop - v26.pdf.