Missouri Master Naturalists- Kansas City

Osage Trails Trails Chapter (KC Metro Region)

Chapter News

  • 20 years of Missouri Master Naturalist – Celebrate and Reconnect: A Conference in Columbia

    Photos by Kitty Peer, Christine Meier, Linda Callahan, and Lisa Provence.

    On June 7 and 8, Missouri Master Naturalists gathered in Columbia for a celebration of 20 years of the program and a chance to connect with members from across the state. A wide range of field trips and educational presentations were on offer, as well as a chance to connect and trade ideas with members for other chapters.

  • Head ‘Em Up, Move ‘Em Out—Goose Roundup!

    By Ed Beijen, 2017 MMN

    Canada geese lose their flight feathers for about a month starting in June and that is an ideal time to round them up to record their bands and geese that do not have bands are banded.  Banding allows biologists to learn about their distribution, calculate survival rates,  harvesting and production of young.   When MDC announced a goose round up for 6/13 at Smithville Lake, Gail Goeke and Ed Beijen volunteered to assist 35-40  MDC personnel for the round up.  The actual roundup is done by MDC staff operating John boats in a finely orchestrated fashion by quietly moving in position to encircle a flock of geese.  That circle becomes smaller and smaller leading into a funnel shaped pattern that forces the flock to go on land where others had set up temporary holding pens.

    MDC personnel demonstrated best practices for restraining and carrying a goose for those who were not banding or recording.  Ed had some experience with this process, but this was a new experience for Gail. It did not take long to learn what was necessary to carry and hold a struggling goose.  Previously banded geese were recorded on logs, then released to return to the lake.  Geese without bands were banded, then released.

    Once the geese were penned, several workers inside the pens separated goslings from the adults.  The youngest goslings can be identified by their “fuzz.”  Some goslings had feathers but could be identified as juveniles by size, and the sound of their honks. The workers inside the pens handed each gosling to waiting workers who took them to be banded and released.

    With plenty of workers, the process went quickly.  Once all of the geese had been recorded or banded, the pens and equipment were dismantled, loaded onto trucks, boats deployed, and the process repeated in another location on the lake shore.

  • June Chapter Meeting: Hike at Rocky Point

    Our June chapter meeting was highlighted with a hike led by Larry Rizzo. This area has been worked on for years by KC WildLands, and is now showing a wonderful variety of native woodland and glade species.

    A couple of interesting finds on the hike were the wild bergamont (above), and the cicada just emerging from its underground shell (below).

  • A New Snake Enrichment Box for Burr Oak Woods

    Report by Karen Highfill 

    Karen Highfill, a member of the 2023 class, completed her capstone project. Karen worked with Nikki King at Burr Oak Woods, in the planning of a snake enrichment box . With the assistance of her husband, Karen designed and built a 3’x3’x3’ snake box. This box allows the snakes to sun and fun outside in nice weather. 

    Burr Oak Woods has not had a snake box for the past 2 years so its arrival was met with excitement and appreciation. The box design consisted of vinyl coated galvanized wire for extra snake protection. It also has a dual opening from both front and top for ease in handling the snakes. 

    Utilizing her main resource (i.e., Randy Highfill, husband and skilled wood worker) Karen will be building a 2nd snake enrichment box in July, again for Burr Oak Woods. 

    This project has given Karen a better appreciation of snakes and their needs. She’s excited to continue her relationship with Burr Oak Woods. 

  • Fox Hollow Creek cleanup on April 6
    Photos by Jim Hinds

     By Mary Smead

    Trash! What an ugly word! But what is even more ugly is what trash can do to our environment! 15 of us found this out on Saturday, April 6, during the Blue River Clean up. Our assignment was to pick up trash along Fox Hollow Creek. This is the section of the creek before it enters the Lakeside property. AND what a daunting task it was! We discovered that this area is a dumping ground if the gate on Gregory is left unlocked. Plus, there is a tall bridge that crosses over the creek, and we found the remnants of a couple of homeless camps. Our morning “finds” were everything from parts of a windflower to two giant ceramic pots to two patio umbrellas! But mostly we found plastic and more plastic!!!

    As you can see, we had our work cut out for the morning! But as you all know, it is amazing what happens when folks work together! It was estimated that we collected 50 bags of trash! Afterwards, we were rewarded with a scrumptious hot dog meal up at the pavilion at Lakeside and an opportunity to visit with like-minded people.

    Blue River Rescue offers this event every year on the first Saturday in April. We invite you to mark your calendars for next year as I am sure the trash won’t go away! Maybe with more education on respecting our environment by decreasing our use of plastics we may make a dent! Let’s never give up hope.