A Message from OSC's Executive Director

2019 Comes to a Close

Year End Wrap-Up: A Message from OSC’s Executive Director

Dear Friend of Open Space Council: 

This year has been an exciting time for the Open Space Council and for conservation across the St. Louis region.  The impact of our volunteers’ efforts is something to acknowledge and celebrate:

  • Over 1,000 citizens participated in Operation Clean Stream along the Meramec, Big and Bourbeuse rivers – removing flood debris, trash and tires from our streams and rivers
  • 350 native willow trees were planted to stabilize the Meramec River riverbank
  • Over 10 acres of honeysuckle was cleared along the Meramec Greenway
  • Behind the scenes, we have been tirelessly working in the LaBarque Creek watershed to continue our legacy of acquiring land for conservation and expanding the network of public lands available for recreational use.  (We will let you know as these longer term projects come to fruition.)

As we close out 2019, I ask you to reflect on the conservation successes with me, and then join me in looking to the work ahead. Will you make a tax-deductible gift of $50, $100, or $200 today to directly support on-the-ground efforts to restore and enhance the region’s beautiful open spaces?  Every dollar you invest in the Open Space Council is an investment in hands-on programs that improve local parklands, restore local rivers, and preserve quality open spaces for future generations. 

In September 2019 I became the new Executive Director of Open Space Council after 10 years working in the field of Environmental Planning, most recently with East-West Gateway Council of Governments.  I accepted this opportunity because I am impressed by the past work of this organization and I am excited about the potential to greatly expand our efforts and improve our regional open space and recreational lands.  With your financial and volunteer support, Operation Clean Stream will be positioned to coordinate the hundreds of MO Stream Teams and thousands of citizen volunteers to clean up 500 miles of the Big, Bourbeuse and Meramec Rivers and their tributaries. Operation Wild Lands will empower community members to undertake critical restoration and stewardship of parks and conservation lands – providing opportunities for recreation and habitat for native species. The Open Space Council will continue to work with our partners to acquire and conserve land to protect open spaces for future generations. We are proud to have played an important role in acquiring much loved open spaces such as Castlewood State Park, Bee Tree County Park, Forest 44 Conservation Area and the Glassberg Family Conservation Area. This organization also played a central role in working with the St. Louis County Council to place the Protect Our Parks initiative on the ballot last year. Its successful and overwhelming passage by the voters guaranteed the protection of Creve Coeur County Park and the 70+ other St. Louis county parks that can no longer be sold or commercially developed without the support of the people.  By making a contribution today, you will expand important programs and carry forward this important legacy.  

“I always give to the organizations where I volunteer.  If I am going to spend my time, I definitely want to support the same cause with my money.  Since I volunteer with Operation Clean Stream, I want my donations to go to the Open Space Council for the Saint Louis Region.”

 David Wilson, long-term Open Space Council volunteer and current Board of Directors’ member

Join David in supporting the volunteers and programs of the Open Space Council by making a contribution to conserve, restore and protect these natural spaces in 2020 and beyond. Support regional conservation today by returning the enclosed envelope or by visiting www.openspaceSTL.org/donate. 

 

Gratefully, 

 

 

Bonnie Harper

Executive Director