39 North Innovation District Plan Unveiled
The Science in Our Food
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St. Louis was once the home of tall grass prairies, stands of grasses that often grew taller than grown men. The grasses – especially big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass and switchgrass - are still common today. Tall grass prairies are a unique and complex ecosystem that protects the environment by providing rich soil, assisting healthy crops to thrive and providing thousands of products to our communities.
Prairie grasses are hardy plants that tolerate drought and heat. They also have deep roots that store carbon and copious leaves that can be used for biofuels. The prairie grasses are close relatives of the crops corn and sorghum; what we learn about one will ultimately apply to the others. Restoring prairies is a high priority at the Shaw Nature Reserve and on the new site at the Danforth Center.
According to science journalist, Wojciech Mikoluszko, grasses have dominated the Earth for thousands of years. The grass family is made up of approximately 11,000 species that cover nearly 20 percent of the surface of our planet. It is these plants that form the African savannah, North American prairies, Pampas of South America, the steppes of Eastern Europe and Central Asia and in the tropical parts of Asia dishearten the scrub grass with woody stems, or bamboo.
Reservations are required but complimentary; seating is limited. To reserve your seat call (314) 587-1070 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or register on-line at www.danforthcenter.org/events.
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About the Speakers
Elizabeth Kellogg, Ph.D., Member,
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Elizabeth has spent her career studying cereal crops and their wild relatives in the grass family, plant on which all of civilization depends. Her unique contribution has been to forge connections between scientists in the front lines of biodiversity research and those breaking new ground in genetic and genomic studies. Scott Woodbury, Curator,
Whitmire Wildflower Garden, Shaw Nature Reserve
Scott has been developing the Whitmire Wildflower Garden for 24 years and spends time speaking, writing and consulting throughout the region on native landscape planning including for the Danforth Center’s new building. Scott currently serves as advisor to St. Louis Wild Ones and to the horticulture program of St. Louis Community College. He is also the education chair for the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! Program and volunteers for the Ozark Regional Land Trust and serves on the planning committees of the Partners for Native Landscaping annual conference and the Shaw Professional Landscaping Series held at Alberici.
The Danforth Plant Science Center partners with individuals, corporations, and foundations that share its vision and commitment to using scientific expertise and cutting-edge technology to solve the most critical problems facing humanity. The Center hosts a variety of public events to share our science with the broader public. We are grateful to our many supporters who contribute to these efforts.
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| ConversationseventbiofuelgrassesShaw Nature ReserveToby Kellog