Eat, Drink and Grow Native! Featured at NGRREC

Alexander Gent

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center hosted its monthly Neighbor Nights event Sept. 4. The event was thrown in collaboration with Missouri Prairie Foundation’s “Eat, Drink and Grow Native!” series.

One objective of the foundation and their events is to connect the public with native plant experts and practitioners.

The main event featured an informative presentation from Scott Moss, an assistant professor and Restoration Ecology program coordinator at Lewis and Clark Community College. His presentation detailed the difficulties and triumphs NGRREC has seen throughout its native landscaping process.

“I try to target about 30 or 40 key species,” Moss said describing the process of selecting specific plants for a specific purpose in a Q&A session.

His presentation also dispelled some of the myths, while explaining some of the challenges, techniques and objectives involved with native landscapes.

In addition to the featured project and the presentation, there was a guided walking tour of the grounds at sunset. Participants were led by Lyle Guyon, NGRREC terrestrial ecologist,  and invited to participate in a scavenger hunt of native plants educating them about plant communities on the site.

The Old Bakery Beer Company helped to sponsor this event by offering a free tasting of their locally sourced, sustainable brews. Along with a large selection of free appetizers, attendants also received one beverage ticket redeemable for a free beer, wine or soda.

Tom Shirrel, a local native plant expert, was present for the event. He could be found outside helping with questions and giving advice while selling a variety of native plants.

With the event having something to offer to everyone, more attendants showed up than were expected initially. Extras had to find standing room where it was available in the back, during the presentation.

One of the many attendants happened to be Asta Sadauskas, owner of the local nursery “The Greenery.”

“I read about this event in The Telegraph and found the presentation to be very interesting and helpful to anyone looking to build native landscapes on a large scale,” Sadauskas said.

The National Great Rivers Research and Education offers many programs and projects at the Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station as well as around the state. Anyone interested in learning more can get in contact by calling NGRREC at (618)468-2900 or via email at




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