MDC celebrates St. Louis’ 250th birthday with stl250 cake sculptures at three of its locations

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Saint Louis
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St. Louis, Mo. — 2014 marks the 250th birthday of St. Louis. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is joining with the stl250 "Cakeway to the West" project to help commemorate the milestone.

The city was founded in 1764 as a settlement on the banks of the Mississippi River by Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau, where it served as a French fur trading post with nearby Native American Tribes.

The stl250 Cakeway to the West project is a year-long celebration of St. Louis' 250th birthday that marks the occasion with 250 birthday cake sculptures placed at significant places and landmarks throughout the metro area. Stl250 was established as a nonprofit volunteer group of people and businesses from across the region who love to promote St. Louis. Each site selected holds a special place in the heart, history or culture of the city. The sculptures are four-feet-tall, two-tier ornamental birthday cakes that have been uniquely decorated by local artists to reflect the significance of their locations.

Stl250 Cakeway to the West will culminate with the installation of its final cake at MDC's Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in north St. Louis County. The public is invited to a special unveiling of the cake which will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25.

Three MDC locations in all have been chosen to host stl250 cakes: The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles, Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood, and the newest site—Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake. Each conservation site was recognized as playing a significant role in preserving green space, providing wildlife habitat, offering outstanding recreational opportunities, and helping to enrich the quality of life for St. Louis area residents.

Cakeway to the West enables cake seekers to find each cake location with a special app available for free download from Google Play or Apple iTunes. The stl250 app is also an interactive mobile guide for St. Louis' 250th birthday celebration events and activities that continue through December 31.

The stl250 Cakeway to the West app uses the compass and GPS built into most smartphones and mobile devices. This technology, along with tools included in the app, marks the location each cake on a real time map to help users find it. As app users approach the actual cake, a virtual version will appear on their device screen. By tapping the virtual cake, users can "collect" it for points, receive an interesting fun fact, take a picture and share their Cakeway experience via email or social media.

The three conservation areas selected join an elite list of the St. Louis region's most distinguished landmarks.

August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, known to many as "Busch Wildlife," was purchased in 1947. With nearly 7,000 acres of protected green space in fast-developing St. Charles County, the area is especially popular with anglers thanks to its 28 fishable lakes.

Rockwoods Reservation was the first conservation area acquired by the newly-formed Conservation Department in 1938. 1,880 acres of picturesque, secluded forests and meandering trails make this area a prime destination for St. Louis hikers and wildlife watchers.

Columbia Bottom is one St. Louis' newest conservation areas. It was purchased in 1997 and offers a 4,318 acre haven for waterfowl and upland game bird hunters, as well as a commanding view of the Confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers accessible for all to enjoy.

For more on stl250 Cakeway to the West and links to download the app, visit

To reach Columbia Bottom for the debut of the final stl250 cake on Oct. 25, take the Riverview Drive exit off I-270 and travel north for three miles. Call the visitor center at 314-877-6014 to find out more.