The Open Space Council’s land & water conservation efforts are made possible by our amazing volunteers & members. In this post, we’re excited to spotlight Cori Westcott, OSC volunteer & member and Operation Clean Stream Trip Leader. Cori has volunteered with OSC to remove invasive bush honeysuckle, plant natives and in 2019 she co-lead a new Operation Clean Stream site at Love Park in Ballwin.
How did you become involved in the Open Space Council?
When I was serving as president of the Missouri Master Naturalist’s Great Rivers Chapter which focuses its ecological stewardship, education and restoration efforts in the St. Louis metropolitan area, I had the pleasure to meet with Kat Dockery [former Open Space Council Executive Director] and Mitch Leachman [St. Louis Audubon Society Executive Director] about a potential partnering of the St. Louis Audubon Society, Missouri Master Naturalist’s Great Rivers and Open Space Council. At that time, my friendship with Mitch was long established but this was my first introduction to Kat. Almost instantly, I knew I liked her. But, my deep admiration for her energy, her gift of diplomacy and her devotion to our little section of earth developed into a long-lasting affair. She’s a heroine to me. In the years that followed, I killed a lot of honeysuckle at OSC events. I’ve planted trees and shrubs. It wasn’t until last year that I approached OSC about adding clean stream sites to your Operation Clean Stream events.
Why do you like being involved in local conservation efforts?
It’s our only place to live, and it needs care. My motto is: “There’s so much earth and so little time!”
What is your favorite open space in the St. Louis Region?
Shaw Nature Reserve (hands down); Don Robinson State Park and Castlewood State Park—I am focusing my ecological efforts on the City of Manchester’s parks right now, but my heart leans to the three listed.