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February 27, 2024 Sustainability Lab @ T-REX

Sustainability Lab @ T-REX
Coordination for Resilient Urban Forests

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
3:45pm-5:00pm Presentation & Discussion (join in person or on Zoom)
5:00pm-6:00pm Networking (in person only)

Join in Person:
T-REX (911 Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis)
Sharptooth Boardroom (5th Floor)
Plan your trip using public transit here.

Register and Join on Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpfuGtpz8sHNZYaDZ0nCKZ0agTg-pWfupV

How can we be more strategic about tree canopy in order to support an expanded, resilient urban forest delivering the biggest benefits? Join Meridith Perkins, Executive Director of Forest ReLeaf of Missouri and Erin Godwin, President of STL TreeLC to discuss how we need to have all the players at the table aligned around ensuring that trees reach their full potential and deliver on the eco-services we need for climate adaptation.

Click here to download a calendar invite for this Lab.


EWG is committed to ensuring that all meetings are both ADA and LEP accessible. To request a reasonable accommodation for this meeting please contact EWG's Title VI Coordinator at least 48 business hours prior to the meeting at (314) 421-4220 or (618) 274-2750 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

March 26, 2024 Sustainability Lab @ T-REX

Sustainability Lab @ T-REX
Land Use Planning for Sustainable Communities

Tuesday, March 26, 2024
3:45pm-5:00pm Presentation & Discussion (join in person or on Zoom)
5:00pm-6:00pm Networking (in person only)

Join in Person:
T-REX (911 Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis)
Sharptooth Boardroom (5th Floor)
Plan your trip using public transit here.

Register and Join on Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEsdOiprDgrE91NRi9Vj2BojTI_UWBb-z2S#/registration

The City of St. Louis is updating its Strategic Land Use Plan, the land use element of its Comprehensive Plan. This process is a unique opportunity to put into action community needs such as housing diversity, access to transit, and even climate resilience. Land use decisions are a key component of sustainable communities, because they can shape walkability, flood risk, extreme heat, and more. The City's Strategic Land Use Plan sets a vision for how to use land in the city, block by block, to guide future zoning and other land use policy.

Click here to download a calendar invite for this event.


EWG is committed to ensuring that all meetings are both ADA and LEP accessible. To request a reasonable accommodation for this meeting please contact EWG's Title VI Coordinator at least 48 business hours prior to the meeting at (314) 421-4220 or (618) 274-2750 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

Green Schoolyard at Froebel Literacy Academy

Author: OneSTL Communications Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently in the design phase, Froebel Literacy Academy will host the first official Green Schoolyard, in order to improve stormwater management and access to nature for students. (Photo credit: St. Louis Public Schools)

There is increasing acceptance that nature-based experiences are vital to emboldening the shared generational response needed to limit negative changes to our biosphere. This motivation for fostering green spaces can be balanced against the individual health benefits that come from active minds and bodies. In the urban core, naturalizing a school’s outdoor play space is an opportunity that comes with many potential benefits.

The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Department of Conservation, and St Louis Public Schools, along with other local partners such as Dutchtown South Community Corporation, have collaborated to launch a pilot program to reinvent outdoor play spaces. East-West Gateway assisted with data collection and analysis for the Green Schoolyard prioritization and expansion plan. The first official Green Schoolyard in the St. Louis area will be at Froebel Literacy Academy in the Gravois Park neighborhood. There is a nationwide movement to reduce impervious surfaces and replace it with a more stimulating play space. This work will not be limited to Froebel Academy, but those students will be the first to benefit from this regional collaboration, made possible by funding provided by the Metropolitan Sewer District, TNC, MDC, SLPS, and SLPS Foundation. The project at Froebel Academy is currently in the design phase. For additional information about the project, click here.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Collaborative Climate Action Webinars Jan 25 and Feb 8

Dynamic partnerships in Kansas City and Cincinnati will share their process to engage leadership, including elected officials and business leaders, in climate action. Save the date for two FREE webinars hosted by the St. Louis Green Business Challenge and OneSTL:

January 25, noon-1pm: Green Umbrella (Cincinnati) on Zoom. Register here: https://secure.missouribotanicalgarden.org/overview/9491

February 8, noon-1pm: Climate Action KC (Kansas City) on Zoom. Register here: https://secure.missouribotanicalgarden.org/overview/9493

Click here to subscribe to Green Business Challenge eNews for registration details and other valuable resources! Click here to learn more about successes from the Challenge from this past year.

 

 
 
 
 
 

January 30, 2024 Sustainability Lab @ T-REX

Sustainability Lab @ T-REX
An Equitable Transition to a Green Workforce

Tuesday, January 30, 2023
3:45pm-5:00pm Rountable Discussion (join in person or on Zoom)
5:00pm-6:00pm Networking (in person only)

Join in Person:
T-REX (911 Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis)
Sharptooth Boardroom (5th Floor)
Plan your trip using public transit here.

Register and Join on Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0ofu2hrjIrGdLml5gaEUzTqnrdTn7oSCMf

The scarcity of workers poses a challenge for many agencies trying to make buildings more energy efficient, maintain healthy trees, and have enough bus drivers for reliable public transportation. This Sustainability Lab will be a roundtable discussion about workforce shortages as a potential barrier to decarbonization in the St. Louis Region, and how to equitably grow our green workforce. We will start off the conversation discussing the shortage of workers different agencies are seeing, discuss the great work that is being done to fill these gaps, and what more is needed to address these issues.

Click here to download a calendar invite for this Lab.


EWG is committed to ensuring that all meetings are both ADA and LEP accessible. To request a reasonable accommodation for this meeting please contact EWG's Title VI Coordinator at least 48 business hours prior to the meeting at (314) 421-4220 or (618) 274-2750 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

Beverly Hills City Hall Powered by Solar

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

 

 

Six or seven years ago, installing solar panels on Beverly Hills’s City Hall in North St. Louis County was just an idea, since there was no money in the City’s budget for the project. However, using deferred revenue and incentives from Ameren’s Biz Savers program, the city was able to renovate its city hall with energy efficient upgrades and add solar panels. Mayor Brian K. Jackson of Beverly Hills pointed out that the building still uses a gas water heater and furnace, although the use of gas decreased when they renovated the building, adding more insulation and upgrading to a more efficient HVAC system. The City also put new windows in the entire building and upgraded to more efficient water fixtures.

 

Mayor Jackson pointed out that many municipalities face the same ongoing struggle of budget constraints. “Doing smart things like this helps,” he said. “We’re trying to find other ways to cut costs and increase revenue for the City.” The mayor pointed out that the building’s last water bill was $46, including for the pharmacy housed on the second floor. The solar panels often save city hall over 50% on electric bills. But because the building does not have battery storage, they still have to pay for electricity when the sun is not shining. New clean energy tax credit rules would allow local governments to reduce costs even further on solar projects.

 

Regarding what is next for the City of Beverly Hills’s sustainability efforts, Mayor Jackson offered some ideas including providing plugs for residents to reduce ‘phantom power’ wasted by appliances that are plugged in when they do not need to be; ‘smart bus stops’ that use solar energy to keep the area lighted and offer a panic button to increase public safety; solar street lighting; and a facility to convert waste to energy.

 
 
 
 
 

Green Cities Challenge Champions

Author: Jean Ponzi, Green Resources Manager at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Earthways Center

 

Granite City Solar for All site – Granite City was chosen for funding for siting, construction, and operation of a solar farm to serve income-qualified subscribers. Granite City Cool Cities leaders Linda and Ken Aud are pictured at the site. (Photo credit: Jean Ponzi)

 

Since 2010, the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, a program of the Missouri Botanical Garden, has helped businesses improve their “triple bottom line” (fiscal, social, and environmental). The Green Cities Challenge is an extension of the Green Business Challenge tailored for municipalities, allowing municipalities to share ‘green’ success stories and learn from each other. In December of 2023, Green Cities Challenge participants were recognized for the groundbreaking achievements below. (Please note, registration for the 2024 Challenge opens on February 1. The Green Cities Challenge participation fee is $400, which includes two seminars, a site visit with customized coaching, ongoing phone and email support, and multiple networking and learning events and opportunities. Visit https://stlouisgreenchallenge.com/ to register and learn more.)

 

In the City of Alton, Illinois, plans to proliferate equitable solar power are transforming a landfill site. Alton’s Cool Cities Committee is also restructuring as the Climate Protection and Energy Efficiency Committee.

The City of Brentwood, Missouri adopted a Sustainability Plan, began a Parks & Recreation Master Planning process with sustainability as a guiding force, and approved an MOU with Missouri Botanical Garden to start design for an Urban Wetland.

The City of Clayton, Missouri continues a long commitment to sustainability leadership, this year repurposing sediment from Oak Knoll Pond renovation for new landscaping in Anderson Park - and completing a Street & Parks Tree Inventory to implement Best Management Practices for City Trees.  

In the City of Collinsville, Illinois, a Parks & Recreation educational “Sustainability Series” promoted ecological practices for residents of all ages. Two years into action from Collinsville’s Sustainability Plan, staff and citizen leaders completed a Progress Report Card.

Leadership from the Cool Cities Advisory Committee continued inthe City of Edwardsville, Illinois, through new events promoting Bike to Breakfast and composting, and passage of a sales tax to purchase Green Space - and support pensions.

Green Planning is strong in the Village of Glen Carbon, Illinois, including completing a first phase Master Trail and Park Plan, pursuing an Energy Master Plan for village buildings and operations, and re-drafting the Landscape Ordinance to specify tree species and green space requirements.

Sustainability Commission leaders in the Village of Godfrey, Illinois are using a grant from the Illinois Forestry Department to educate residents and municipal workers to identify and manage invasive plants. Godfrey’s Widman Trail Extension is providing a native plant project template to guide planning and construction of new trails.

The Cool Cities Committee powers on in Granite City, Illinois! A Tree Ordinance and Tree Board are in the works, toward becoming a Tree City USA. Their completed Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan will connect Granite City to Madison County Transit trails.

Highland, Illinois, the northernmost community in Green Cities Challenge, upgraded all streetlights with LED fixtures and updated city software to reduce paper use and staff time, and streamline processes for citizens. Volunteers helped city staff redirect the Silver Lake Nature trail and install water bars to reduce sediment entering Silver Lake.

Recycling education in the City of Maplewood, Missouri used the city’s website, social media and newsletters to circulate the regional message Recycle Responsibly – Stick with the Six!”The Sustainability Commission completed a feasibility study on installing solar lighting for residential streets, and the city updated street and City Hall lighting with LEDs.

With a grant from our St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste District,the City of Webster Groves, Missouri hired a Sustainability Coordinator – who is overseeing a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, as directed by the city’s Sustainability Plan. Landscaping campaigns No Mow April and Leave the Leaves proved even more popular than expected – they are being picked up by neighboring communities!

Sustainability efforts in the City of Wentzville, Missouri, are led by the stormwater staff. This year theypartnered with Missouri Stream Team to convene employees from area municipalities and counties for training in water quality data collection and stream quality protection. This model will be used throughout the state!

The St. Louis Green Business Challenge thanks many who have supported the challenge, including Madison County Planning and Zoning for sponsoring Green Cities Challenge participation for their county communities; Dan Jay, who was the personal force launching the Green Cities Challenge during his tenure as CFO of Christner, Inc.; and OneSTL.