St. Louis Sustainability News - March 2018

March is abloom with spring updates and opportunities. April is also going to be quite special. Save the date for April special events listed below.

March 13, 2018 | 6 min reading time
eCab with Arch

Climate Protection
As part of its City Energy Project efforts, the City developed a new energy benchmarking ordinance in 2017 that requires buildings whose square footage is greater than 50,000 to track and report their energy and water usage. Privately owned buildings are required to benchmark by April 1, 2018. To learn more, check out Benchmarking-101 and the How to Comply Checklist, or attend free Drop-In Benchmarking Help Sessions at the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter (March 20, 21, 27, 28, April 4, 10, 18, 24). More info here. For many years, the City’s Facilities Division has participated in Earth Hour, a symbolic event to turn lights off for one hour around the world. This year it is Saturday, March 24th, so from 8:30-9:30 pm the lights in City Hall will be turned off in support of climate awareness. We encourage you to do the same!

Cycling & Transit
The City has approved permitting requirements for entities wishing to operate either a dockless or station-based Bike Share system on public property in the City. Bike Share is envisioned as an extension of the existing public transportation system, and as a new mobility option for residents and visitors. Applications are being accepted now, and the City hopes to have Bike Share active by late Spring. For more info about Bicycling in the City of St. Louisvisit this Streets Department page.

STL Urban Vitality & Ecology
Efforts are underway to create the City’s first Urban Biodiversity Inventory. One facet of that effort involves encouraging citizen science observations. Now is a great time to download the free iNaturalist app and try it out before the STL City Nature Challenge (more info below). The Missouri Department of Conservation has awarded the City’s Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department a three year Back to Nature Grant at O’Fallon Park; efforts commence this spring and will include habitat management, volunteer events and education opportunities. The City’s Partners for Places Green Infrastructure Grant will hold Spring Tree Planting events with the community at Barrett Brothers Park and Laclede Park. As part of this grant, 6 paid youth Tree Tender summer jobs are available. Youth can apply for Tree Tender jobs here.

Learn, Intern or Voice Your Opinion:

  • The Missouri Botanical Garden's Litzsinger Road Ecology Center is holding a series of free workshops for teachers in June and July. These Teacher Professional Development opportunities have limited space, so please reserve your spot by April 13th. Contact Eddie Jones with questions at

  • Summer Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Internships: I am accepting applications until March 20th for unpaid sustainability interns for the summer of 2018. The internship position description and instructions for applying are listed here.

  • Gateway Greening will hold monthly Garden Volunteer Orientation sessions starting on March 10, 10-11:00 am at the Bell Demonstration Garden, 3841 Bell. Dates and info here.

  • The East-West Gateway Title VI program covering nondiscrimination and environmental justice is open for public comment until March 26on their site.

  • Provide your input on Trailnet’s Connecting St. Louis study on bikes and bike paths to best connect the corridors of our City. Take the survey here.

Artists, Startups & Gardens - Oh My! Grant Opportunities:

  • Regional Arts Commission Artist Support Grants support equipment and materials, rental space, arts-related travels, etc. Apply by March 15 here.

  • The Arch Grants Global Startup Competition awards $50,000 equity-free cash grants and pro bono support services to innovative and scalable startups that agree to locate their business in St. Louis for at least one year. Apply early by April here.

  • Missouri Prairie Foundation is offering $500 Prairie Garden Grants to help fund the establishment of a prairie garden or planting. Apply hereby March 16.

  • Bee and Butterfly Fund Seed A Legacy Pollinator Habitat Programhelps establish pollinator habitats for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Apply by March 31 here.

  • Association for Butterflies offers grants that support monarch gardens, pollinator friendly garden, butterfly education or native plant areas. Apply by March 30 here.  

  • Schools can take advantage of St. Louis Wild Ones grants for projects incorporating native plants in an educational setting. Info here.

  • Trees are available through Forest ReLeaf of Missouri. Project CommuniTree provides free 3-gallon container trees to community groups for planting projects. Info here.

Attend a Free Sustainability Event in the City of St. Louis:

  • Art in Bloom at the St. Louis Art Museum, a festival of great art and fabulous flowers, returns to the Museum on March 2-4. Info here.

  • Dance Performances by Trajal Harrell at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation on March 2 and March 3. For performance times and historical background info, click here.

  • Missouri Botanical Garden Science and Sustainability Open Houseon March 3 and 4 from 1:00-4:00 pm. Two rarely seen behind the scenes areas will be on view. Info here.

  • #1 In Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis opens at the Missouri History Museum on March 11. Visit their site for more info about the exhibit.

  • East West Gateway open house on Title VI will be 5-7 pm on March 12 at the Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library.

  • USGBC and partners host Drawdown: Solutions to Reverse Global Warming March 13, 5:30-7:30 pm at the Sheet Metal Workers Building at 2319 Chouteau Ave. Info here.

  • Forest Park Forever and the City will hold Under the Clock Tower: State of Forest Park Community Gathering on March 14, 5-7 pm at the Forest Park Visitor Center. Info here.

  • At the St. Patrick’s Day Festival on March 17, 2018, be on the lookout for St. Louis Earth Day and their Recycling on the Go Program. For more information, visit their site.

  • Pints ‘n’ PlantsFruit Trees and Community Orchards on March 21, 6:30 pm-7:30 pm at the Urban Chestnut Brewing Company.

  • Share feedback on a new biking study at the Trailnet Public Input meeting at the Thomas Dunn Learning Center on March 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. More info here.

  • Brightside St. Louis Blitz Clean-Ups will be held on March 10th (the Ville) and March 31 (Dutchtown). Info here.

  • Honeysuckle in court at the Trial of Bush Honeysuckle: A lawsuit for damages to the biodiversity of our native plants on April 4, 1:00 pm at the Old Courthouse. (Trial is educational only). Info here.

  • Atomic Homefront film screening on April 7, 3:00 pm at Washington University at Brown Hall Rm 118.  

  • Look for the City's display at Meet Me Outdoors in St. Louis on April 7-8, 10 am-4 pm at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Info here.  

Looking further ahead:

  • The 2018 World Ecology Award will be presented by UMSL’s Harris World Ecology Center to E.O. Wilson at the Saint Louis Zoo on April 20 at 8 pm there will be a free presentation.

  • St. Louis University will hold a Saint Louis Climate Summit on April 22-24. Parts of the summit are free; registration required here.

  • St. Louis Earth Day Festival in Forest Park April 21-22 from 11 am- 5 pm. Info here.

  • Between April 27-20 the City and partners throughout the St. Louis region will participate in the STL City Nature Challenge. This global citizen science effort will involve 65 cities around the world striving to observe as many wild species of plants, birds and animals as possible between April 27-30, 2018. Info will be posted here on how to help the City gather urban biodiversity information on any of these days:

    • April 27 - Science at School: Students and teachers are encouraged to make observations at or near their schools.

    • April 28 - Neighborhood Naturalist: Make observations of nature and wildlife near homes and local neighborhood parks.

    • April 29 - National Park Rx Day: Celebrate National Park Prescription “Rx” Day with the National Park Service at the Gateway Arch or selected City parks.

    • April 30 - Wildlife at Work: Check for biological species outside places of work and in business areas of the City.

As always, thank you for all that you do to advance sustainability in the City of St. Louis.

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