From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
June 2019 Issue

Places To Go

St. Louis Region:  Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

An oasis of quiet with an explosive history.

by Larry Archer

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center (CNC) offers visitors a type of quiet unexpected from an area with such an explosive past.

According to local lore, Union militia stored explosives in the area to counter an anticipated Confederate attack on St. Louis. Decades later, World War I-era munitions were manufactured and stored in the area.

Now the 112-acre area, which is located in St. Louis County, is known more for blooms than booms and is a getaway for those seeking a natural respite from the urban environment, according to Powder Valley CNC Manager Tamie Yegge.

“A lot of people are here to use the trails,” Yegge said. “On rainy days, they’re in the building.”

Despite its proximity to St. Louis, Powder Valley CNC has an active wildlife population, she said. The center’s bird-viewing area draws not only the sough tafter songbirds that come to its feeders, but also raptors such as the red-shouldered hawk and other predators such as coyotes and foxes.

“They actually hunt near the feeders because the feeders bring the squirrels in, so if you get here early morning, sometimes you get a glimpse of that,” Yegge said. “The bird-viewing area is quite a hotspot for nature in action.”

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center consists of 112 acres in St. Louis County. On I-44, take the South Lindbergh Boulevard exit south ½ mile, then Watson Road west, then Geyer Road north to Cragwold Road. Turn west on Cragwold and watch for signs.

What to do When You Visit

  • Bird-Watching Included on the Great Missouri Birding Trail (short.mdc.mo.gov/ZNM). The eBird list of birds recorded at Powder Valley CNC is available at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZNQ.
  • Hiking Nearly 2¾ miles of designated trails, including the 1/3-mile, wheelchair accessible Tanglevine Trail.

Tours Staff-guided nature tours available with advanced registration.

What to Look For When You Visit

  • Western ratsnake
  • Striped skunk
  • Red fox
  • Pileated woodpecker

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This Issue's Staff:

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler