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LM Home > LM Sites > Missouri > Weldon Spring > Interpretive Center > Photo Gallery

Weldon Spring Site
Photo Gallery

 

  Interpretive
Center
  

  Long-Term
Activities
  

  Remediation  

  WS Ordnance
Works
   

  WS Uranium
 Feed Materials
  

  Wildlife, Birds,
and Flowers
  

   

 Interpretive Center, Grounds, and Educational Events

 Entrance to the Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center Exhibit Hall.  The Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center is home to an 8-acre native plant educational garden. The garden was recently named the Jeannie Moe Memorial Garden in 2015 in remembrance of a former site horticulturalist. Jeannie worked tirelessly to nurture and care for the garden plants, establishing the high quality garden that it is today.
 
A hand painted mural, over 40 ft. wide, is a representation of the actual 41-acre Disposal Cell.  Interpretive staff travel to partner-group special events, like Wetlands for Kids. Staff deliver the Weldon Spring Site message of learning from history, the importance of remediation, and the restoration of natural areas.
 
A timeline exhibit preserves the legacy of three towns, a TNT/DNT production plant for WWII, uranium processing chemical plant for the early efforts of the Cold War, site remediation activities, and prairie restoration. Discover the incredible history and significance of the Weldon Spring Site from the early 1900’s through today.  The Weldon Spring Uranium Feed Materials Plant was on the cutting edge of technology for the time in the 1950’s and 60’s. Two artifact display cases provide a glimpse into the lives of the workers.
 
The interpretive staff at the Weldon Spring Site is an amazing group of creative professionals. This 40-foot mural was hand painted for the inaugural Monarch Madness event, September 2015. Children and families colored their own paper butterfly and added it to the mural to symbolize their contribution to pollinator survival.  Programs at the Weldon Spring Site actively engage audiences to be citizen scientists. This student is applying a tag to a monarch butterfly as part of an international migration study.
 
Special events, like Monarch Madness, are a great way to get families out to enjoy nature and the prairie restoration at the Weldon Spring Site.  Stairway leading up to the viewing platform of the disposal cell.
 
The Weldon Spring Site disposal cell is publicly accessible. The 41-acre, 75-feet tall disposal cell provides a panoramic view of the St. Charles County skyline.  The Hamburg Trail, an 8-mile gravel path, was used as a haul road during remediation activities. The road is now a hiking-biking trail connected to the neighboring Weldon Spring Conservation Area, August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, Busch Greenway, and the Katy Trail.
 
 A picnic area is nestled among the prairie plants of the Jeannie Moe Memorial Garden, adjacent to the Interpretive Center.
 
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  Long-Term Surveillance and Maintenance Activities

 Inspection team visual observations of Southeast Drainage during an Annual Inspection. Winter, 2015.
 
Springs in the Southeast Drainage at the Weldon Spring Conservation Area, and selected springs in the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area are routinely sampled and monitored for residual contamination. Winter, 2015.  Site staff measuring  static water levels as part of environmental-data collection. Groundwater in over 100 wells throughout the main Weldon Spring Site, quarry, and neighboring lands is routinely sampled for water quality and residual contamination. Spring, 2015.
 
 Leachate Collection and Removal System Support Building. A piping system through the disposal cell interior directs draining liquids, called leachate, into holding tanks within this building. Leachate is treated and disposed with the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. Winter, 2015.
 
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 Remediation and Cleanup

 Raffinate Pit #4, as it was discovered during early 1990’s remediation activities.  Markings were placed on the barrels by environmental specialists to characterize and identify the unknown, abandoned contents with a numbering system. Empty barrels were marked with “MT.”  Crews safely collecting and transporting abandoned materials in the 1990’s for processing. Worker safety was paramount during remediation activities. Some work required protective, chemical-resistant boots, gloves, suits, and respirators to ensure workers were not exposed to chemicals or radiation that might be above established safety levels.
 
Quarry site nearing remediation completion in the late 1990’s. Remediation involved removing contaminated water, waste materials, and soil down to bare rock. The quarry was later backfilled with clean fill soil and planted with native vegetation.  Workers installing the disposal cell geosynthetic liner system in the late 1990’s. The liner system ensures waste does not migrate out of the disposal cell and into the subsurface environment. An additional liner system was placed over the waste to fully encapsulate and isolate the materials.
   
Fine gravel layer being installed over the base liner system in the disposal cell. October, 1997. Several layers of clay, geosynthetic liners, gravel, sand, rock, and filtration were specifically engineered to encapsulate the waste.  First load of waste being placed into the disposal cell. March, 1998. A total of 1.48-million cubic yards of waste was placed within the disposal cell.
 
 Building-debris waste organized and placed within the disposal cell. Late 1990’s.  Layers of rock being placed as a cap for the disposal cell, circa 2000.
 
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 Weldon Spring Ordnance Works

 Hamburg Depot, circa 1915 – Prior to U.S. Army acquisition. Hamburg was located near the Missouri River, along the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad.  The crossroads town of Toonerville, circa 1927 (prior to U.S. Army property acquisition). Toonerville was located just west of present-day Weldon Spring Site on current U.S. Army property along a previous alignment of Hwy. 94.
  
Hamburg IGA Grocery Store, circa 1935 – Prior to U.S. Army property acquisition. 
 
A home acquired by the U.S. Army, circa 1940. A total of 576 residents were displaced from the towns of Howell, Hamburg, and Toonerville. The 17,232 acres of land would be the location America’s largest TNT/DNT explosives-production plant during WWII.  TNT being packaged for WWII efforts, 1941to 1946. At peak production, one-million pounds of TNT were produced per day. An estimated 750-million total pounds of TNT/DNT explosives were produced.
 
 One of approximately 1,000 TNT/DNT production buildings at the Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, 1941to 1946.
 
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 Weldon Spring Feed Materials Plant

 Weldon Spring Uranium Feed Materials Plant, circa 1960. The former Chemical Plant consisted of 44 buildings that processed uranium ore to refined uranium metal during the Cold War. The former Chemical Plant was operated from 1957 to 1966 by Mallinckrodt Chemical Works under a U.S. Atomic Energy Commission contract.  Chemical Plant workers outside the Sampling Plant building, circa 1960. The building accepted ore concentrates, codenamed “Yellow Cake,” and processed them into fine materials that were then separated into large hoppers for chemical processing.
  
Chemical Plant workers proudly display completed uranium, circa 1960. The photo was previously marked “Confidential,” due to the secrecy of the Cold War. The larger mass is a “dingot” (direct ingot). Dingots were purified uranium metal measuring 18 inches in diameter by 18 inches tall, and weighed approximately 3,300 pounds. The smaller, 7-inch-diameter mass is a billet. Billets were formed by extruding dingots through a 1,750-ton press and cutting them to length.
 
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 Wildlife, Birds, Flowers and Environment

 Glade lichen (Cladonia sp.) in the Southeast Drainage on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Weldon Spring Conservation Area. December, 2015.  Killdeer on the Hamburg Trail. Killdeer migrate to the Weldon Spring site each spring to lay eggs and raise young. Nesting pairs have used the disposal cell in their aerial courtship displays. Summer, 2015.
 
The quarry site with vegetation and natural succession to dense tree-cover taking place. Quarry remediation removed contaminated water, waste material, and soil. Today, the quarry is home to plants and wildlife. Winter, 2015.  Rosemallow (Hibiscus lasiocarpos) in winter in the Howell Prairie. Rosemallow is one of Missouri’s largest wildflowers—approximately 6 inches. The seeds are important food for quail and other wildlife. Winter, 2015.
 
 Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) in the Howell Prairie. This native plant gets its name from historical medicinal use to treat victims of snake bites. Bristly spines cover the plant and protect it from being eaten by herbivores. Fall, 2015.  Winter forest reflection in the Southeast Drainage creek at the Weldon Spring Conservation Area. Winter, 2015.
  
 Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) was established as one of the native prairie plants in the 150-acre Howell Prairie. Large, vibrant patches of yellow dominate the prairie in late summer and early fall. Fall, 2015.  Sunset at Weldon Spring site. Winter, 2015.
 
 Panoramic sunset at the Weldon Spring Site. This view is a stark contrast to historical operations at the former Weldon Spring Ordnance Works and Weldon Spring Uranium Feed Materials Plant. Winter, 2015.
  
 Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk soaring over the disposal cell. Hawks and other raptors perch in trees surrounding the Howell Prairie to hunt mice, rabbits, snakes, and even other birds. Winter, 2015.
 
Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) in the winter at Howell Prairie. Winter, 2015.  Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) in the winter at Howell Prairie. Winter, 2015.
 
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Last Updated: 4/11/2016