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
Do you have a space in your neighborhood that you wish was full of native plants? Consider applying for a Neighbors Naturescaping grant through Brightside! Last year, we awarded 21 projects with over half of them being brand new groups or in new locations! Learn more about this small grant program and about the benefits of using native plants in your garden. If you are interested in this small grant program to beautify a public space in your neighborhood, learn more about Neighbors Naturescaping.
The 2022 St. Louis Urban Gardening Symposium is June 4th!
The 2022 St. Louis Urban Gardening Symposium will feature two special guest speakers leading hour-long presentations. We’re pleased to have Gerardo Camilo, Ph.D., Biology professor at Saint Louis University and Scott Woodbury, Horticulture Manager at Missouri Botanical Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve join us this year! Registration coming soon!
Because our past two Symposiums were virtual, Check out photos from 2019’s event.
Brightside’s 2022 Summer Newsletter Coming Soon!
We will have a lot have much to share about Brightside for 2022! Be sure to sign up for our e-blast mailing list so you can get your 2022 Newsletter this summer. Stay in the know about our programs, projects and partnerships that make 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.