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 Projects
Wow! We awarded 26 Neighbors Naturescaping projects this year! Over half of the projects were from brand new groups or in new locations, too! We are looking forward to the next steps with our winners as they pick up needed tools and hardscape and then pick up native plants. We will be sharing photos of the project soon. If you are interested in this small grant program to beautify a public space in your neighborhood, learn more about Neighbors Naturescaping and be on the lookout for information in May 2020.
The 2019 St. Louis Urban Gardening Symposium was a Success!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2019 St. Louis Urban Gardening Symposium — a morning full of hands-on, educational workshops taught by area experts that will help gardeners learn how to plan, plant and care for a neighborhood or home garden. This year, we had special keynote speaker, Dave Tylka, talking about Practical Gardening with Native Plants. Check out photos from this beautiful morning on Facebook!
Brightside’s 2019 Summer Newsletter
2019 was full of celebrations! Check out our 2019 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.