Columbia to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday in Peace Park

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 5:16 p.m. CDT; updated 5:22 p.m. CDT, Saturday, April 21, 2012
In this file photo, several children enjoy the Earth Day activities at Peace Park by pushing around the Earth ball on April 21, 1991.

COLUMBIA — Rose Wise is excited to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day on Sunday.

Wise, the Eco Avenue Coordinator for Columbia Earth Day Coalition, has supported environmental movements since 1978 and has participated in the festival ever since it began in 1990. After attending for a few years, she decided to join the coalition. 


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The Columbia Area Earth Day Festival: Moving Forward, Going Green will be from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday in Peace Park.

The festival is held every year to remind people of the importance of sustainability and encourage them to take action in helping the environment, according to a news release from the coalition.

"I'm just really excited to see people learning new stuff and to watch the whole Earth Day environmentalism and sustainability evolve and become the way that lots and lots of people are living," Wise said. "It gives me hope that we can save the planet and live a sustainable future."

Mark Haim, co-coordinator for the Street Fair, is looking forward to the festival as a chance for people to see the responsibility and take action to preserve and protect our natural environment.

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something," Haim said. 

The best way to start an environmentally conscious lifestyle is to look at what one does each day to impact the earth, Haim said. He emphasized the importance of the green triangle: taking steps that are good for the environment, health and saving money. He gave examples of riding a bike to work or planting a vegetable garden.

Mostly sunny skies and a temperature of 67 degrees are expected for the festival on Sunday. In case of rain, the festival will take place April 29. 


The Street Fair will consist of more than 225 booths from businesses, artisans and government agencies, according to the news release. Booths will be open from noon to 6:30 p.m.

One section of the Street Fair, Eco Avenue, will be located on Elm Street west of the intersection with Eighth Street and will be comprised of 30 booths from organizations around Columbia. Each booth will offer lessons about how to reduce environmental impact and lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

Some of the organizations that will have booths at Eco Avenue are Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Dogwood Solar, MU Sustainability Office and the PedNet Coalition. For a complete list, visit the festival’s website at

Children can explore nature in the Kids' Park from noon to 5 p.m. There, they can learn about helping the planet through stream and river activities, making art with recyclable material and constructing recycled bottle rockets and bark boats.

The festival will have entertainment for the duration of the festival, according to the following schedule.

  • Noon to 2 p.m.: Grant Elementary All-School Choir and Drum Ensemble, Midway Heights Elementary fourth- and fifth-grade choir, The Hellbenders and Stephens College Children's School Group
  • 2 to 4 p.m.: Earth and Sky, DanceArts Dance Academy and La Movida
  • 4 to 6 p.m.: John D'Agostino and the Earth Day Band, Mere Mortals, Violet and the Undercurrents, and Missouri Weather and the Wait Five 
  • 6 to 7 p.m.: The Box Elders

There will also be performances by David Owens and Ravenwolf throughout the day.

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Derrick Fogle April 22, 2012 | 12:10 p.m.

An Earth day treat: a series of near-daily photographs of a bush just off the MKT trail as it leafs out for springtime. The time-lapse series covers one month, from Feb. 29th to March 29th:

I ride my bike to work every day, taking the trail. I've wanted to do something like this for awhile, but only this spring have I managed to come up with a hand-me-down digital camera (that I had to repair) I could carry every day. So this spring, I started taking photographs at 3 places on the trail. This is one of them. This bush is on the south side of the trail, roughly halfway between the low water bridge, and the older trail that was used before the low water bridge was put in.

The second series is a wider shot of this same area, but the consistency of the lighting, and consistency of frame, is even worse than this series. Oh well, I learned a lot about doing 'photgraph-a-day' series this spring.

I am still taking one daily photo on the trail, at one of the emergency call boxes, since that shot captures the tree canopy which is still developing. I should be able to share that series in a few more weeks.

Happy Earth Day! I'm spending it working on my attic, preparing it to have about 1200 sq. ft. of insulation blow in to save energy.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 22, 2012 | 12:42 p.m.


Unfortunately, I think you have documented the springtime leafing of the highly invasive bush honeysuckle that is taking over various forest floors in Columbia. It is highly damaging to forest diversity. KCMO and St. Louis already have massive problems with this plant, and we're well on our way to getting one. I could be more sure of the ID if you'd tell me if the plant flowered yet, but the plant in your video does have opposite leaves...a characteristic.

Happy earth day.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle April 22, 2012 | 1:13 p.m.

It has not flowered yet, in fact I've never noticed this stuff flowering. My honeysuckle bushes just finished flowering, and these things definitely didn't flower at the same time. But otherwise, it does look a lot like honeysuckle.

Yes, this stuff is all over the place in woods by the trail. But it's not new, it's been there for as long as I can remember.

I actually spent some time researching it trying to determine exactly what it was (I wanted to identify the plant in my video, instead of just saying "bush"), but never could, and finally gave up. I even posted pics on Twitter begging for ID; several avid gardeners follow me. But, nobody responded there, either. The closest looking tree species I could find was ash; the closest looking bush species was honeysuckle.

I'm still very interested in finding out exactly what this stuff is. I should go grab one of the twigs and take a good photo of the leaves and structure for better ID.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 22, 2012 | 1:28 p.m.

Derrick: The opposite leaves and grey-tan stems are good clues. The plant may flower soon; many of the bush honeysuckles in Columbia are blooming right now. They are nicely fragrant, which is why folks planted them.

I kill them on my own land as soon as I see them. Wish my neighbors would do the same. This plant leafs out early and those leaves persist until late fall. That gives them a HUGE competitive advantage in the forest, shading out all new tree/other plant seedlings. States/cities/DNRs in the midwest are spending lots of bucks trying to control the plant in natural settings such as state parks.

Columbia is ignoring the invasive plant issue. We have teasel (bigtime), seracia, autumn olive, bradford pear (bigtime), purple loosestrife, a bit of kudzu (of all things!) and now bush honeysuckle (getting bigtime). In a town like this where environmentalism is such a big deal, I'm surprised there is no discussion or action. Our woods will dramatically change over the next few years and folks will be complaining. The only way to walk through the stuff crawling.

I saw a recent paper on the honeysuckle and consequences of its density. Seems deer really love the stuff for cover and bedding. Deer have ticks. Ticks have larva. The data found something like 5000 seed ticks in one 28 square meter area. Can you say "increase in tick-borne disease?"

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 22, 2012 | 1:34 p.m.

Derrick: It's definitely not an ash.

There's lots of forest floor leafers this time of year, so not all of them will be honeysuckle. Honeysuckle invasions are a much more recent thingie. It's happens slowly (neighbor plants the stuff or a truck tire brings it in, then birds start crapping seeds) but the circle of life expands somewhat exponentially. If you see a bush with opposite leaves and grey-tan stems and white honeysuckle flowers on the edge of the road/trail, you just found the one. At this moment, they are flowering all over Columbia on the edge of woods.

Use OFF! if you want a closer look!

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 22, 2012 | 3:05 p.m.

Michael W. - Can contribute to your lament about this bush. It has been discussed here before and I thought either Asia or Australia were considered home of this weed (in my opinion). These things will grow to a height of 10' or more if left alone and have a red berry in fall. Younger plants have not bloomed but older have quite similar blossom to the "viney" type honeysuckle I brought from my parents home 30 years ago to cover an area next to our house. The blossoms are only similarity and stuff I planted is still where I planted it near the house.

Our home and lot backs up to beautiful woods mostly owned by city and our higher deck has allowed wife to observe the woods and it's activity nearly every evening until dark (unless, raining, snowing or, sometimes even if, freezing).

I think we noticed the bushes more than 15 years ago and I can control them near the house. Have watched them increase over these years, but this one possibly, because of the warmer temperatures, they seem to have exploded in the surrounding woods. The floor cannot be seen anywhere in these woods and a beautiful view up a branch behind us has now been obliterated by these green bushes. I called a conservation agent, who told me there is no known "cure" except to cut and treat individual plants. He said "they seem to be taking over Columbia."

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 22, 2012 | 3:31 p.m.

Burning the forest floor every year or so helps, but Columbia/neighbors will not allow that. Too's safe with a pro.

To my knowledge, there are only two control methods.

(1) Cut ALL stems ca. 2" from the ground and immediately spray the cut stumps with either Pathway herbicide or a 20-50% water solution of RoundUp. I use a "spritz" sprayer with gloves on. Monsanto-haters will choose the former but pay lots more. This should be done in the late fall or winter. If the latter, make sure you know the plant without its leaves. Also, at this time of ticks or mosquitoes or chiggers, but your back will hurt from bending over to chainsaw; these stems are TOUGH, so don't take your garden pruners unless you have a grip like a marine.

(2) Spray the woods with a backpack sprayer containing either a brush killer (2,4-D and the like) or RoundUp. Do this in spring or early summer when leaves are on and fully green. Keep in mind this method will kill ALL broad leaves for the former and EVERYTHING for the latter. Not a huge concern, tho...the forest floor will recover because there are these things called "seeds" on the forest floor that will grow if given sunlight and water.

I do #1 above.

My biggest problem is folks who will not do the same (like, the entirety of Columbia). Birds eat those lovely red berries containing undigestable seeds and crap while flying over my place. Thanks a lot.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 22, 2012 | 3:34 p.m.

Thank you, Missourian, for NOT taking a picture of Earth Day activities like the Trib did a year-or-so ago:

Two young women with plastic chairs in the background drinking from plastic water bottles.

The photographer, his/her editor, and the two young women seemed to miss the whole point, methinks.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle April 22, 2012 | 10:15 p.m.

A couple of points here:

1. Flora has been changing, moving, invading other areas, for millions of years. Changes like this are perfectly natural and normal for the earth. There's absolutely no evidence that humans are the cause of this change.

2. Who's to say the flora we have now, or had before this species came, is the optimum flora for this area? It's hardy, gives shade for a long time, and gives me an opportunity to take early springtime greening photos. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it's not just as good or better that what we had before.

You see where I'm going with this.

Considering the fact that ACC may well be a contributor to this species' relatively newfound invasiveness in this area, ...good luck with that.

(Report Comment)
frank christian April 23, 2012 | 7:22 a.m.

"You see where I'm going with this."

Yeah, off the deep end, as always! Where you won't go. That you the great outdoors, naturalist, earth loving sort of person doesn't know an invasive plant when seen, or that your brush with environmentalism has more to do with your political ideology than anything concerning the earth. You were told here as I was by MO Conservation Commission that the plant is extremely detrimental to the smaller wild life around us, shade or not.
"There's absolutely no evidence that humans are the cause of this change." I, in conversation with Conservationist, also stated that "mother nature"has created a problem for us. The Agent stated that mother nature has had little to do with it. "People, thinking they had an unusual, attractive plant, brought the bush honeysuckle to MO."

It would be interesting to see if you reject conservationist info for crap from some environmentalist. Or, have you already done that?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 23, 2012 | 8:06 a.m.


I am curious about one thing. When I click on your "bush" video link, there is an opportunity to view a commercial first. I can opt out of watching it after 5 seconds or so....which I did.

In the past, you've discussed "monetizing" your videos. Not being very computer literate, I don't understand what this is.

Do you get paid advertizing money when we click on your video links posted on the Missourian? Or is this simply something that (that's how the link is spelled) does automatically to make their own money in giving you the privilege to upload? What does "monetizing" mean? I might want to do it, too, with my walnut/pecan/oak activities.


(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle April 23, 2012 | 1:23 p.m.

Yes, the video is monetized. To give you some idea of how much money I make off this kind of thing: In the nearly year since my YouTube channel has been enabled for this, and I've monetized about a dozen videos, I've earned "an estimated $1" in monetization. This particular video won't even earn me a single penny.

I usually can't monetize videos because they have copyrighted music in them. But for time-lapse stuff without any natural soundtrack, I can choose from music YouTube provides and still monetize the video. For me, this is a novelty, not a business plan.

Hopefully, you'll notice the video was uploaded Friday. I didn't put it there thinking "Oh, I'll make scads of money by linking to it from a Missourian article!" It wasn't until Sunday that I even thought to post about it here. I understood when I posted it that the Missourian editors might not like me posting a "monetized" video, and it's their right to kill the comment.

The fact that they haven't yet, tends to reinforce my own judgement that the local and timely nature of the video is far greater than the issue of it being monetized. If I did this all the time, it might be different. But I don't.

Fact is, posting it here has driven a whole ~15 additional views I might not have otherwise gotten. This is not a viable guerrilla marketing outlet. It's really not worth anyone's time to worry about. If I felt like I were abusing the Missourian in that way, I would not make the post.

And yes, this is definitely the honeysuckle you despise. It just hasn't flowered yet. Here's a picture of the flower buds just beginning to develop:

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle April 24, 2012 | 9:54 p.m.

Speaking of biodiversity, this honeysuckle isn't the only culprit:

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 24, 2012 | 10:44 p.m.

Derrick: You should take a look at this source:

Click on "Seed Portal" and explore.

I'm unsure what to think about monetizing posts/videos in a place that charges nothing to participate. As always, it's the Missourian's decision to allow, and our decision to view.

(Report Comment)

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