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March 28, 2023 Sustainability Lab @ T-REX

Sustainability Lab @ T-REX
BiomeSTL - A Project of BiodiverseCity St. Louis

Tuesday, March 28, 2023
3:30pm-4:30pm Presentation / Discussion (join in person or on Zoom)
4:30-5:30pm Networking (in person only)

Join in Person:
T-REX (911 Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis)
Sharptooth Boardroom (5th Floor)

Register and join on Zoom:

BiomeSTL is an online hub of regional biodiversity data, currently in development in a partnership between Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Zoo and Lindenwood University. Six sections of mapped and narrative resources are intended to help inform and influence planning decisions, and educate public and professional users about biodiversity issues and opportunities. In this first focus group for the hub in its beta phase, the BiomeSTL team will lead both structured and informal activity to solicit your feedback on a new tool to help achieve the goals of OneSTL, our regional sustainability plan.

Presenters: Michael Mosier and Professor Tara Vansell, Lindenwood University; Mike Dawson, Saint Louis Zoo; Jill Maes and Jean Ponzi, Missouri Botanical Garden.

Click here to download a calendar invite for this Lab.

(As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we ask that all attendees take appropriate precautions such as getting vaccinated, maintaining social distance, wearing a mask when in proximity to more than three people, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently.)

2023 OneSTL Report to the Region

Author: Aaron Young, Sustainability Planning Manager at East-West Gateway Council of Governments


We are pleased to announce the release of OneSTL's "2023 Report to the Region." Inside the report you’ll read about sustainability indicators, regional collaborations, and activities of the OneSTL working groups. As the St. Louis region continues to recover from recent challenges, our collaborations and projects continue to move forward.


Highlights of the report include  a regional greenhouse gas inventory, research on the urban heat island effect, and coverage of the Sustainability Lab @ T-REX.  

The full report and a summary of the regional indicators are available now.


Mitigating Increasingly Intense Rainfall in St. Louis

Author: Anna Chott, Sustainability Planner at East-West Gateway Council of Governments














Brentwood Bound Park in progress, part of the Brentwood Bound Plan to overcome flooding challenges and restore the natural floodplain for Deer Creek.


Photo credit: Planning Design Studio





The U.S. Global Change Research Program confirms heavy precipitation is becoming more intense and frequent across most of the United States. In St. Louis, the rains of July 2022 caused extensive, costly damage to public transit infrastructure and homes. In urban areas where natural, porous surfaces have been paved over, intense bursts of rainfall can result in such flooding. As Daniel Swain, climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in an article in The Washington Post, “It is precisely that type of flooding, urban flooding and flash flooding from shortish duration but very high-intensity downpours, that is expected to increase the most in a warming climate.”


It is critical for cities to plan ahead for massive flooding events. The City of Brentwood is working on a comprehensive solution to mitigate flooding, the Brentwood Bound Plan. Their floodplain restoration project is a response to the long history of flooding on Manchester Road. The city’s fire department maintains a water rescue team and boat for this all-too-common occurrence. 


Brentwood Bound aimed to restore the natural floodplain for Deer Creek and construct water retention basins. The city also revitalized an underused and water damaged area. They redefined the limits of the corridor so the restored floodplain would not be built on. 


The downpour on July 26, 2022, tested Brentwood’s work. At the Rock Hill Stream Gage, there was 60% more water flow than in 2005 and 2015 storm events, and the water traveled through the restored floodplain without flooding Manchester Road. The pavilion, event lawn, and playground area situated near the main water retention basin did not flood either. 


According to Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, a wetland will be part of the Brentwood Bound project, which will use native plants to collect stormwater, help prevent flooding, cycle nutrients, store carbon, and serve as a habitat for wildlife. Learn more about the project in this presentation by Brentwood Director of Parks and Recreation, Eric Gruenenfelder, at a Missouri Gateway Green Building Council event. 


In addition to floodplain restoration, rain gardens are another tool to help manage stormwater. Tower Grove Park recently restored a stream that had been buried for 120 years. Five rain gardens now border the stream, capturing and redistributing stormwater. The stream would have been above ground when the Osage people lived in the area until their forced removal in the early 1800s. Tower Grove Park consulted with the Osage Nation’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office on the design of the project and intends for it to be a place where people can learn about the area's original inhabitants. 


Residents and businesses can develop their own rainscaping projects with native plants, and various grants are available to fund these projects. St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District’s Project Clear program awards rainscaping grants for landowners to complete their own stormwater mitigation projects. Past projects have included St. Louis FOOD Roof rooftop farm and rain garden and permeable pavement in the North Sarah development managed by the St. Louis Housing Authority. The Deer Creek Watershed Alliance also offers a rainscaping cost-share program for eligible landowners.


Grow Solar St. Louis Returns!








Photo credit: Cassidy Moody 

The St. Louis region will once again be growing solar in 2023. The education and group-buy program, Grow Solar St. Louis, helps people navigate the solar industry and benefit from more affordable solar through a discounted rate. The 2023 program will be open for a limited time, launching in April and running through the end of the summer.

First launched in 2019, Grow Solar St. Louis is a public education and group-purchasing program for residential and commercial solar panels. The program is offered by the Missouri Botanical Garden, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. Since its launch in 2019, Grow Solar St. Louis has helped 1,161 residents and business owners learn more about solar options and energy efficiency through educational Power Hours. Across the St. Louis region, 170 properties have added a total of 1,118 kilowatts of solar installations. 

Property owners throughout the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County are eligible to participate in the 2023 Grow Solar St. Louis program. Participants must attend a free Power Hour, a one-hour educational session that explains the science of solar, considerations, and costs. After participating in the Power Hour session, participants are eligible for a free site assessment to learn more about their individual solar journey. 

Power Hours will be in person throughout the area in collaboration with municipal promotional partners, including the City of St. Louis, City of Creve Coeur, City of Brentwood, City of Richmond Heights, and City of Clayton. A handful of virtual Power Hours also will be offered for those who cannot attend an in-person event. A full schedule will be announced and available online at  Illinois residents who want to grow solar can check out Grow Solar St. Louis’ sister program, Grow Solar Metro East, also returning in 2023.

Interested in joining the program once it begins? Fill out this short interest form to stay in the loop and be the first to hear about the next solar group buy! Visit Grow Solar St. Louis to learn more. 

For more information contact Katherine Golden, Senior Manager of Sustainability Initiatives at Missouri Botanical Garden at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Cleanups for Trash Free Waters: St. Louis


February 28, 2023 Sustainability Lab @ T-REX

Sustainability Lab @ T-REX
Uniting for Climate Action

Watch the recording of the February Sustainability Lab here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023
3:30pm-5:00pm Discussion (join in person or on Zoom)
5:00-6:00pm Networking (in person only)

Join in Person:
T-REX (911 Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis)
Sharptooth Boardroom (5th Floor)

Register and join on Zoom:

The February Lab is a dedicated follow-up to the Midwest Climate Summit. Attendees are invited to come to the Lab and share the experiences, ideas, and potential next steps that they took away from the Summit. A key theme of the Summit is collaborating, so even if you missed it, you are welcome to join the discussion at the Lab and look for your next project partner. Heather Navarro, Director of the Midwest Climate Collaborative, will be joining the conversation. The Midwest Climate Collaborative is the organizer of the Midwest Climate Summit, which is a three-day gathering of climate leaders, researchers, and professionals focused on expanding knowledge, accelerating climate action, and catalyzing new partnerships. The summit will take place Feb 21-23. For more information about the summit, click here.

Click here to download a calendar invite for the Lab.

(As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we ask that all attendees take appropriate precautions such as getting vaccinated, maintaining social distance, wearing a mask when in proximity to more than three people, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently.)

Green Cities Challenge

Author: Aaron Young, Sustainability Planning Manager at East-West Gateway Council of Governments


Did you know cities and counties can participate in the Green Business Challenge? The challenge, managed by the Earthways Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden, helps businesses integrate sustainable practices into their daily operations. In 2015, organizers added a Green Cities category to the challenge and created a scorecard designed specifically to address the issues local governments face and opportunities to increase their sustainability. 

Nineteen cities in the St. Louis region have participated in the challenge over the past eight years. Local governments have implemented various sustainability projects, including recycling drives, rain gardens, LED street lighting, greenhouse gas emissions inventories, and sustainability plans. 

The 2022 Accomplishments and Innovations Book highlights activities from last year’s challenge.

Interested in joining the challenge in 2023 as a business or local government? Find out more at