HUB: Hybrid Urban Bioscapes

A local St. Louis community project.

Initiative: Land Lab

HUB consists of a nectaring garden that provides ecological support to productive landscapes in ONSL. The project offers two different landscapes with unique benefits to the lot: hardscapes built with concrete pavers, and softscapes of perennial plantings of native or adaptive nectaring plants. The former provides different conditions of paved surfaces for recreation and leisure for both children and adults in the neighborhood, while the latter fosters habitats for local and migratory butterflies, solitary and honey bees, and hummingbirds, and in doing so, supplements the local gardening network by increasing pollinator presence and.

The value of education is particularly important to our team. Therefore, we envision HUB not only as a garden that provides aesthetic appeal and ecological benefits to the residents and visitors, but also as a teaching lab. Through sharing knowledge and strategies with local residents on cultivating and maintaining a pollinator garden; making pavers; building urban furniture; salvaging, reusing or repurposing materials; growing plants for paper making; this productive landscape will also be a catalyst for the initiation of new projects that can further contribute ecological, social, and economic benefits to the community.

Progress

The HUB team installed several paver prototypes and planted many native plants last fall, and is now gearing up for more installation and planting this spring. They also just completed the installation of a concrete bench, which was designed and built with a group of Washington University students, next to the bus stop that is adjacent to their site. The team has secured support for their project from I-CARES, the Gephardt Institute, and the Student Sustainability Fund.

Project Scale: Neighborhood, Block

Related Plan Sections: Urban Character, Vitality & Ecology; Education, Training & Leadership

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