Located in Southern St. Charles County, Missouri high on the grand bluffs above the Missouri River lays an exceptional treasure – a 200 acre tract of hills, streams and spectacular vistas that has existed relatively untouched for generations. Its greatest asset is a woodland forest with extraordinary diversity. The forest, known locally as the Missouri Bluffs, and affectionately referred to as “Weldon Woods,” is covered with prized Missouri trees which coexist in a network of towering, interlaced branches, creating a dramatic, protective canopy.
Basswood, Kentucky Coffee, Bitternut Hickory, Ash, Sycamore and Shagbark Hickory are just a few of the trees that provide shelters to wildlife and lush understory below. Giant Chinkapin Oak and White Oak trees boast trunk diameters up to forty inches and more. One hundred year old majestic trees tower like sky scrapers protecting an understory of native young trees and shrubs, and colonies of larger than normal, shade-growing fruit trees – the Paw Paw, bearing sweet, edible fruits in the fall. Flowering Redbuds, Dogwoods, and native Hydrangea Arborescens cascade over rock outcroppings and into a beautiful natural stream. This sparkling stream guides hikers, walkers and bicyclists through the forested canopy from the Busch Greenway Trail down to the Katy Trail, which runs parallel to the Missouri River.
Every month thousands of people enjoy the benefits of this forested sanctuary. The Katy Trail State Park, located directly below the bluffs and adjacent to the Weldon Woods property is perpetually full of day hikers and cyclists from local and international destinations, as are the trails linked to it. This sanctuary has become a place to escape and participate in nature’s unsurpassed gifts of peace, serenity and calm. Read our blog Preserving our Land for Tomorrow and Beyond.
The Threat to Weldon Woods
Owned by the University of Missouri for 70 years, and remaining natural, undisturbed greenspace until today, this 200 acre treasure now faces a palpable and direct threat of destruction. The university is selling Weldon Woods to a local home builder, and a development plan was approved by the St. Charles County Council in June, 2018 to build approximately three hundred homes on the acreage. This will destroy a vast majority of the trees that are nearly a century old and disrupt the delicate balance of the entire forest.
Who We Are
Weldon Woods is a non-profit organization created for the purpose of protecting and preserving Weldon Woods in southern St. Charles County, Missouri and stopping the imminent destruction of this precious area.
Our mission is to organize the overwhelming majority of people across the regions who want to preserve this native forest forever, and to serve as stewards to guide a sustainable future for our forest that can be enjoyed by all.
Mark Kaiser – Founder / Director
Dan Burkhardt – Director
Bettie Yahn-Kramer – Director