About the Garden
For many years the southeast corner of Kingshighway and Vandeventer was a gas station. After the environmental remediation was completed, the rock-filled lot sat barren for more than two decades. Brightside acquired the lot and began to dream of a beautiful garden. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Mark Grueber and Perry Eckhardt encouraged us to think beyond beautiful to educational, as well. They provided the expertise and MDC funding to secure the award-winning landscape architectural team at SWT Design to create a vision for the Demonstration Garden and Learning Center.
With the goal of establishing a beautiful and inviting demonstration garden at this intersection, the SWT team developed a design that helped Brightside secure generous donations from the William A. Kerr Foundation, Cornelsen Charitable Foundation, Edward K. Love Conservation Foundation, Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis, Dana Brown Charitable Trust, Maritz, Crawford Taylor Foundation, Philpott Family Foundation and Korte Co.
To build the Demo Garden’s storm water management best practices, a grant was received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Section 319 grants help protect water quality by reducing non-point source pollution.
Thanks to our generous donors and in-kind support from the City of St. Louis, Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Marine Corps, the Demo Garden was built in one week’s time under the guidance and generous support of Alberici Constructors. Today, a once-blighted street corner is a community asset and destination which features beautiful Missouri native plants and trees and demonstrates urban conservation practices to area residents and professionals. Stop by and visit, the garden is open for visitors to come and explore.
Landscape Photo Credit: SWT Design, Jim Diaz
What’s happening In The Garden
Neighborhood Beautification with Neighbors Naturescaping
Neighbors Naturescaping is underway! We have hosted the annual Kick-off Meeting and St. Louis Urban Gardening Symposium virtually this year. With applications due August 6th, there is still time to get organized and apply! Learn more about this small grant program and about the benefits of using native plants in your garden. Last year, we awarded 16 Neighbors Naturescaping projects! Over half of the projects were from brand new groups or in new locations, too! We are looking forward to what projects neighborhood and community groups come up with for 2021. If you are interested in this small grant program to beautify a public space in your neighborhood, learn more about Neighbors Naturescaping.
The 2021 St. Louis Urban Gardening Symposium was a success!
We were so pleased to have a special virtual presentation by Doug Tallamy, a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, the 2021 St. Louis Urban Gardening Symposium! Doug has authored 95 research publications and has taught insect-related courses for 40 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the way insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities.
This special presentation was geared towards everyday gardeners like our Brightside friends and neighbors! All participants could receive a copy of Doug’s new book, Nature’s Best Hope. If you’d like a copy of Nature’s Best Hope, pick one up from the Brightside office for just $20!
Stay on the lookout for news about the 2022 St. Louis Urban Gardening Symposium by signing up for our e-blast newsletter.
Because the event was virtual, Check out photos from 2019’s event.
Brightside’s 2021 Summer Newsletter is Here!
We have much to share about what Brightside’s been up to for the past year. Check out our 2021 Summer Newsletter to get the scoop on many of the programs, projects and partnerships making St. Louis a cleaner, greener and better place.
The best way to learn from the Demonstration Garden is to visit in person. The Demo Garden is always open so come by anytime. See four seasons of interest in the Missouri native trees and plants and learn about their benefits to wildlife. While you’re here, take a look at some of the other sustainable and energy-saving features of the Demonstration Garden.
Interpretive displays can help explain all of the features in the garden but if you have questions please call us at 314-772-4646. It’s best to let us know in advance if you want to bring a group so we can make arrangements to help you get the most out of your visit.