131st Bomb Wing – Missouri ANG Community
St. Louis Metro East
The second-most-populous urban area in Illinois lies just east of St. Louis; the five counties known as Metro East — Madison, Jersey, Clinton, St. Clair and Monroe — now serve largely as the expanding city’s bedroom communities. On the Illinois side the American Bottom, that great flat Mississippi River floodplain, traces the river’s curve from Madison County in the north through Monroe County, in the south, and is part of the Mississippi Flyway, one of the nation’s major bird migration routes. High limestone bluffs eastward separate the teeming Bottom and its birds from Illinois’ high prairies. Over time, bluff communities such as Edwardsville and O’Fallon have tended to grow more quickly than the lowlands.