New Riverlands Audubon Center

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. – Frank Lloyd Wright

A rare bird or flower need remain no rarer than the people willing to venture their skill in building it a habitat. – Aldo Leopold, ecologist

Today, Anne and I drove up to the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton, MO. We attended the grand opening of their new Audubon Center. It is quite impressive. It represents stimulus money well spent. As part of the fanfare, they had erected a tent that was filled with activities for the kids, booths representing various birding organizations and live raptors. We had hauled the bikes with us, but we only rode three miles, due to poor planning. We had to turn back almost before we had started to catch a bird watching hike. I got tired with the pace of this hike and decided to strike out on my own. Afterwards, we crossed the Mississippi and had lunch at Just Desserts, in Alton, IL. We arrived at three and the place is only open until four. The menu was on a chalkboard and as we ate our sandwiches, a waiter kept coming up to the board and erasing all of the choice desserts. We wolfed down our lunch and split a slice of caramel apple pie. The moral is, life is uncertain and short, eat dessert first.

To be thrilled by the stars at night; or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of a simple life. – John Burroughs, naturalist

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. – Aldo Leopold

The opening of the Audubon Center at the Riverlands, which is a Corps of Engineers property, marks another step in the transformation of the Corps that began after the historic flood of ’93. Prior to ’93, the Corps wanted to control the river. Knocked back upon its heels by Mother Nature, the Corps has adopted a more conciliatory approach since then. The main purpose of the Riverlands is still flood control. It gives the floodwaters someplace to go. The next step down this path was to let the land return to its natural state. The step after that was to cultivate it as a nature preserve. To this end, the Corps has just introduced floating barges, filled with sand, into Elkhorn Slough. These barges are designed as nesting grounds for the Least Tern, an endangered bird. It tickles the cockles of my heart to see an organization that was once the bane of environmentalist come this far full circle. The quotes with this post are all inscribed on the Riverlands Audubon Center.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. – Chinese Proverb

The small stable of team sports teams that I count myself a fan of have had a good week. The Cardinals are ahead in the playoff series that will determine if they can add another pennant flag to Busch stadium. Michigan State beat Michigan. How many years in a row has it been now? Now that MSU has beaten both Michigan and Ohio State this year, anything else is just gravy. Now if this could just happen to be a buy week for the Rams.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3 thoughts on “New Riverlands Audubon Center

Leave a Reply