Marais Temps Clair Conservation Area is in north St. Charles County. This 918-acre area was once part of an expansive marsh ranging from St. Charles to Alton. The Marais Temps Clair marsh is an old oxbow of the Missouri River and was formed prior to the arrival of European settlers.
In French, Marais Temps Clair means fair weather marsh. Located in a river floodplain, the area has served as a resting and feeding place for waterfowl for centuries. The area has 10 pools with electric pumps used to maintain water levels to provide habitat for waterbirds.
Marais Temps Clair provides suitable habitat for a variety of plants, birds, mammals, amphibians, fish, and reptiles. The rare Eurasian tree sparrow frequently visits this area. Little blue herons, black-crowned night herons, king rails, ospreys, and yellow-headed blackbirds have also been spotted here. Bullfrogs, leopard frogs, spring peepers, softshells, and painted turtles are common on the area.
The acquisition of the area was made possible by funds from the Conservation Sales Tax and by a donation of land, equipment, and improvements in the names of M.R. Williams and L. K. Ayers.