St. Louis September and October weather has been terrific for sustainability events out in the community. Lots has been going on, so I want to share a few highlights first.
Thanks to the support of Ameren Missouri, hundreds of people enjoyed getting free packets of STL Monarch Mix Seeds during The Great MonArch Migration Event 2018.
The City and National Park Service co-hosted the celebration of one of the world’s most magnificent migrating marvels on September 29th. The event expanded this year to the new Visitor Center at the Arch, and included tabling by Bi-State Development, Great Rivers Greenway, Greenscape Gardens, Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Prairie Foundation, and the Saint Louis Zoo.
In addition to terrific exhibits and fun activities, dozens of actual monarch butterflies delighted us as they passed the Gateway Arch National Park on their journey south.
Many thanks to the pollinator partners and sponsors who offered everything from expertise and crafts to free milkweed plants and butterfly cookies for those who attended.
I was lucky to have the help of a class of Iowa State University Landscape Architecture students studying Biophilic St. Louis, as they created several Milkweeds for Monarchs displays and a new “how to” video for the monarch origami (it will be posted soon). You can view a few of the event photos in this gallery.
St. Louis was one of just 4 cities selected to host The New American Road Trip on its cross-country journey. On September 21st, the signature NART Electric Vehicle made a stop at the Cortex Commons on its way from the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco to the One Planet Summit in New York City, celebrating local climate innovations along the way.
The festive event included remarks from Mayor Krewson and representatives of AB-InBev, Ameren, ClimateWorks, Cortex, Dutchtown South and IKEA, each highlighting their impressive climate efforts. Thanks to AB, attendees enjoyed free beer produced by 100% renewable energy.
St. Louis had a terrific showing in the national Climate Mobility Contest. Congratulations and thanks to the STL winners for your hard work and climate actions: Citizens for Modern Transit, Dutchtown South, Metro, Pedro’s Planet, Sierra Club, St. Louis Bicycle Works, and Trailnet. You can view their entries on Instagram and in the photo gallery.
September 21st was also "car-free” day in St. Louis, and inspired commuters to consider travel using public transport in support of a car-free lifestyle.
As in the past several years, Missouri State Parks worked with Missouri Department of Conservation, the City and many other conservation partners to hold the WOW Outdoor Conservation School in Forest Park on October 6th.
WOW participants can try canoeing, fishing, archery and other outdoor activities they may not get to experience very often. Scholarships are available to make sure everyone has a chance to attend. I’ve had the good fortune to participate as a WOW attendee, as well as a WOW partner organization, so I know it is a fantastic opportunity.
Here’s a photo showing some of this year’s WOW participants, proud to have caught several fish in the Forest Park Hatchery Ponds.
Brightside St. Louis works in conjunction with the City’s Parks Department, and is one of the City’s best urban ecology champions. Brightside is sporting some exciting new sustainability features, including solar panels, a white roof and bee house at their St. Louis Audubon “Bring Conservation Home” platinum level Demonstration Garden.
Learn more in Brightside’s recent newsletter; better yet - stop by for a visit and ask about next year’s grant opportunities. Just in this past year, Brightside approved 21 Neighbors Naturescaping projects, of which 15 were to brand new groups or locations. Several projects incorporated monarch garden plants.
Thanks to Brightside and supporters, the public areas in neighborhoods are getting a big boost.
Upcoming Sustainability Events:
The City’s Partners for Places Green Infrastructure grant will conclude with two fall Community Tree Planting events. On October 6th, Forest ReLeaf and the City’s Forestry Division worked with volunteers and first responders to plant 100 trees in Marquette Park.
The final grant project is to plant 250 trees at Fairground Park on Saturday, October 13th.
Planting 250 trees is a very large effort and we need helpers! Join residents, volunteers and first responders to help the park and support the community.
There will be plenty of camaraderie, donuts and hotdogs. This family-friendly event is great for all ages; come anytime between 10am and 2pm.
The City’s Affordable Housing Commission (AHC) is accepting applications for its Fall 2018 Funding Round. The AHC has issued a Notice of Funding Availability for $5 Million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Applications are due November 2nd, and information can be found here.
One of the ways the AHC is advancing sustainability is by giving priority consideration for affordable housing projects that advance objectives in the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan.
You can learn more about the AHC’s sustainability activities in the One Planet Corner piece at the end of this eNews.
Get Involved & Engage Involved & Engage In Sustainbility:
- Gateway Greening will conduct Demonstration Garden Volunteer Orientation Training on October 13th, 10:00am-11:00am.
- October is Rideshare Month, and RideFinders is available to help you plan a commute using public transport or rideshare. Sign up with RideFinders to find a free carpool match before October 25 and be entered in a drawing for Halloween-themed prizes. You just need to either live or work in the City (or the other areas serviced by RideFinders.)
- MSD Large Scale Rainscaping Grants are available for projects in the MSDRainscaping Area for eligible rainscaping components. Deadline: October 31st.
- Metro is extending its Gateway Go program through October 31st, giving discounts to young Metro riders. Use public transport to travel more sustainably, and pay lower transit fees. Details here.
- Looking for tips for making sustainability changes? Enter the EcoChallenge offered by Northwest Earth Institute and earn points for meeting goals and sharing your progress on social media.
- The Affordable Housing Commission NOFA for affordable housing projects application period is open until November 2, 2018. Priority is given to projects that advance a minimum number of objectives in the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan.
- Get involved in the Fall 2018 Honeysuckle Sweep Weeks. Organize an event to raise awareness and remove bush honeysuckle October 27th - November 11th. Sign up before October 15th or join a pre-planned event such as the sweep in Forest Park heldNovember 3rd, 9:00am - 12:00pm. Registration required.
- Educators: registration for the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge 2019 is open now. In this competition, middle and high school students design bio-inspired solutions to fight climate change. Register here.
ATTEND A STL SUSTAINABILITY EVENT: (Events free & held in the City of St. Louis)
- Help the City and its urban forestry partners plant trees on October 13th at theFairground Park Tree Planting from 10:00am-2:00pm. Tools and gloves provided!
- Register and bring your dog to Arch Bark on October 13th for a walk around the Arch.
- Learn about native grapevine plants at Gateway Greening’s Pints n' plants event at urban Chestnut on October 17, 6:30pm – 7:30pm.
- Come learn about Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math (STEM) from companies based in St. Louis on October 17th from 4:00pm-7:00pm at SLU's Cook Hall (3674 Lindell ).
- WashU’s annual Sustainable Harvest Festival is happening on October 18th from 3:00pm-5:00pm in Edison Courtyard.
- The Gateway Greening Harvest Festival is happening on October 20th 12:00pm-5:00pm at the demonstration garden at 3148 Bell Ave.
- BOOwood Halloween Party is happening on October 20th from 3:00pm-6:00pm at Bowood Garden in the CWE. Activities for kids and costumes are encouraged!
- The Let's Move STL 5K Relay event is happening October 20th from 9:00am-11:00am at SLU's Outdoor track.
- Forest Park Forever Wildflower Walk in at Deer Lake Savanna on October 30thfrom 5:00-6:30pm. Meet at the Visitor and Education Center. Registration preferred.
- Gateway Greening Educator Workshop: Keeping Momentum through the Winter, November 8, 5:30–6:30pm 3815 Bell Ave.
- UMSL’s World Ecology Center will hold its Conservation Forum on Traditional Ecological Knowledge at the Saint Louis Zoo on November 8th from 5:30-9:00pm. Dinner is provided. RSVP by emailing email@example.com or calling 314-516-4246.
As always, thanks for all you to do advance sustainability in the City of St. Louis.