city's park in the country
Shaw Nature Reserve
Many city residents moved to the
country to escape the traffic, noise and smog of the city. In 1925,
the Shaw Nature Reserve got its start when the bad air in St. Louis
at the time threatened the live plant collections housed at the Missouri
Five adjoining farms were purchased by the garden to form the nature
reserve. Since that time the reserve has been home to a unique laboratory
for plant preservation and environmental education.
The nature reserve is 2,500 acres of natural Ozark landscape located
just off historic Route 66 in Gray Summit, 35 miles southwest of St.
Here visitors can enjoy a random
sampling of just about every landscape the state has to offer. There
are glades, tall-grass prairies, marsh wetlands, oak-hickory forest,
savannas and a 55-acre pinetum, or meadow studded with a variety of
conifers. One trail leads to a huge gravel bar on the Meramec River
while another turns into a boardwalk (photo at right) that circles
a wetland area with a diverse selection of marsh plants.
Throughout summer, the reserve is ablaze with wildflowers like
Indian paintbrush. They can be found growing naturally
along the 13 miles of hiking trails or in neat gardens around the
historic Bascom House, an elegant brick mansion built in 1879 by
Confederate Col. Thomas Crews.
The reserve is open year round. Admission is
$3 per person or $2 for seniors. For more information, call (636) 451-3512
or visit www.shawnature.org.