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Updated on July 22, 2021
Are you ready to visit the Weldon Spring Site? Although the interpretive center has been closed to in-person visits since 2020, we are open to the public via virtual programs. We’re here to support your STEM curriculum at all grade levels and are ready to connect you with experts in many fields. Our interpreters have been hard at work creating and presenting programming for schools, community groups, and the public — all in a virtual environment. Contact us at WSInterpretivecenter@lm.doe.gov or 636-300-2601 to set up your virtual program.
At the Weldon Spring Site, we welcome you to hike along the Hamburg trail and enjoy the native plant gardens with outdoor benches and picnic tables. While the stairs to the top of the disposal cell are closed for repair, the pathway surrounding it is still open.
We will continue to update our communications, if anything changes in the status of our interpretive center, and we look forward to the time when we can safely welcome our visitors back inside. We ask that guests follow the updated federal guidance related to social distancing, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
See you (virtually!),
The Weldon Spring Site Team
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The Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center delves into the history of the area and details the cleanup process that resulted in construction of the 41-acre engineered disposal cell. The interpretive center is a result of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management’s continuing commitment to maintaining a strong community partnership, and it serves to communicate the legacy of the Weldon Spring Site to future generations.
Public Programs and Events
The Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center offers occasional public programs and events in addition to the trails and disposal cell areas that are open seven days a week. All events are free of charge.
Private programs specifically designed to meet your organized group’s needs may also be requested with advanced notice.
Call (636) 300-2601 or email us for additional information.
Disposal Cell and Trails
NOTICE: The stairs to the top of the Weldon Spring Site Disposal Cell are closed for repair. Access to the Hamburg Trail and native wildflower garden paths, and the path around the disposal cell, are still open.
Adjacent to the interpretive center is the 75-foot-high Weldon Spring Site disposal cell. The engineered multi-layered disposal cell covers 41 acres and is a highlight for visitors. A viewing platform on top of the cell offers visitors a panoramic view of St. Charles and St. Louis Counties and the surrounding Howell Prairie. In addition to walking up the stairway and sloped path to the top, visitors may also walk the 1-mile road around the base.
The old “haul road” that used to carry waste materials to the disposal cell site during remediation is now part the Hamburg Trail. This 6-mile multiuse trail through the Weldon Spring Site links to the historic Katy Trail State Park, and a network of trails through Missouri Department of Conservation areas and the Great Rivers Greenway. Historical markers help connect visitors to the history of the Weldon Spring Site and its purpose, then and today.
Howell Prairie and Native Plant Education Garden
Howell Prairie is a 150-acre area seeded with more than 80 species of prairie grasses and wildflowers surrounding the Weldon Spring Site in St. Charles County, Missouri. This emerging prairie, named for the leader of a group of early settlers, is one of the largest native plant gardens in the St. Louis area. Warm season grass prairie was historically a dominant natural community in this area.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is revitalizing the Weldon Spring Site to a natural and native ecosystem as part of its long-term commitment as a responsible steward of the land. The design for the prairie began in the early 1990s when native grasses were deemed to be the best solution for restoration of the site following remediation. In spring 2002, the first prairie grasses and forbs were planted. Development of the prairie as an outdoor classroom continued in 2004 with the planting of approximately 80 species of native forbs and prairie grasses, overseeding activities, and measures to control invasive exotic weeds.
The Jeannie Moe Memorial Native Plant Educational Garden is an inviting 8-acre area of plants native to Missouri. Walking paths with benches meander through the garden where occasional signs identify various plants. The area is often used for school programming as well.
Visitors, local residents, and students hike and bike the Hamburg Trail through the site, go to the top of the 75-foot-high disposal cell to view the prairie in bloom at various times of the year, and travel the 1-mile loop around the disposal cell to view the prairie at eye level.
Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center and Office Complex
New Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center and Office Complex – Construction Complete!
Previously, the Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center was housed in a refurbished temporary building established during remediation. The newly constructed building features a new exhibit hall, 4 state of the art classrooms, and a new auditorium. In the future, spaces will be available at no cost to community and non-profit organizations.