More than 120 volunteers led by two dozen conservation scientists and multiple public and private sector groups will help with a Bio Blitz, an extensive inventory of flora and fauna, in the Mill Creek Watershed near Newburg this Saturday, June 15, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition, volunteers are being sought to help with a stream cleanup that day and the public is invited to the Houston House on Front Street in Newburg, the staging area for the Bio Blitz and stream cleanup, for a celebration, which will include music, food and education.
The Bio Blitz will attempt to identify as many species as possible — from birds and amphibians to non-native plants and insects.
Approximately 20 teams of four to five volunteers each led by a professional scientist will conduct an intensive field study of the 29,000-acre watershed over a short period of time.
Each team will be given a specific collection assignment and will go to pre-determined areas and collect data for a period of about four hours Saturday morning. These teams will share their findings with scientists and naturalists who will in turn analyze and compile their data in reports. Through this effort a snapshot of the biodiversity will be taken.
Jim Marstiller, president of the Mill Creek Watershed Coalition, which is coordinating the event, said this study will help create a master watershed plan, which will help identify opportunities including restoration and recreational projects.
While volunteers for the inventory have already been chosen, it is not too late to help with the stream cleanup part of the event.
Volunteers who want to help clean and remove debris, trash and tires from the stream and Kaintuck Road are asked to register at the Houston House by 8 or 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Cleanup teams will start around 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for the most unusual items of junk collected.
Cleanup volunteers should remember to bring their own sun block, insect repellant, gloves, hat, appropriate footwear (since some places will be wet or muddy) and rain gear if needed. No sandals or flip-flops. Gloves will be provided to cleanup volunteers.
Volunteers will be transported by USA Tours buses or teams may carpool.
Bottles of water and trail bars will be provided at registration or participants can bring their own. No alcohol is allowed.
After the Bio Blitz and stream cleanup wrap up around noon, volunteers will enjoy a complimentary lunch, T-shirt and music entertainment in the courtyard between the Newburg Children's Museum and Houston House.
Mark Lang and the Root Diggers, an award-winning bluegrass band, will perform from noon to 4 p.m. The public is welcome to stop by enjoy the music, learn more and eat a hot dog.
The co-chairs of this event are Nick Girondo, a fisheries biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, and Jim Morrison, of the Mill Creek Watershed Coalition.
Page 2 of 2 - The event is sponsored by USA Tours, Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Master Naturalists, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Stream Team, Ozark Fly Fishers, Splash Designs, the Troutbusters and Mill Creek Watershed Coalition.
While the weather forecast calls for some sun with a chance of a shower or thunderstorm, there is no rain date.
To volunteer or learn more, contact Morrison at 636-233-2513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.