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Updated on 09/02/2020
The Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center remains closed to the public. During this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, the health and safety of our employees and communities is our highest concern. To assure social distancing and comply with direction that non-essential activities be limited, the indoor areas of our centers will remain closed until further notice. We will continue to update our communications, if anything changes in the status for our interpretive center, and we look forward to the time when we can safely welcome our visitors back inside. In the meantime, we welcome you to enjoy the available outdoor spaces and trails.
At the Weldon Spring Site, we welcome you to enjoy hiking or biking the Hamburg Trail, part of the Busch-Weldon Greenspace trail system around the site. The disposal cell is also open for a hike to the top to take in the panoramic views of St. Charles County.
We ask that guests follow the updated guidance related to social distancing, provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and St. Charles County.
Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center
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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.
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.
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 multi-use 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 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 - Coming in 2021!
Currently, the Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center is housed in a refurbished temporary building established during remediation. Construction is underway for a new complex that will feature a new exhibit hall, 4 state of the art classrooms, an auditorium, and office and conference spaces.