Show Me State No-Mow

Over the Holidays we did much driving in the great state of Illinois. We did some hiking in the strikingly gorgeous Shawnee National Forest at the Pomona Natural Bridge and Cedar Lake sites. We also did much driving to and from the Bethalto and Fairview Heights areas.

I couldn't help but notice that Illinois is doing a much better job of prairie restoration and no mow areas along I-255. If you compare it to I-55, 44 or 70 in Missouri, there is no comparison.

In these days of state budget cuts and tight spending, it seems logical that Missouri should adopt more of these no-mow areas. It saves on gas, labor, tractors/equipment and of course lowers carbon emissions. I'd rather have the state pay botanists and naturalists to reseed public land with native, low maintenance perennial plant species that do not require mowing.

In fact, why doesn't St. Louis do this? Take for example the land adjacent to River Des Peres Blvd. in South City. This ground next to the river and between the north and south lanes could be managed back to native prairie grasses and not mowed. Couldn't the city team up with the Missouri Botanical Gardens or Wash. U. plant sciences or Gateway Greening to collaborate on this? Or would that be too much leadership to ask from a Slay administration?