Programs

Native Garden at the Center

The Native Garden at the Center provides bird and bug friendly habitat and beautiful flowers for everyone to enjoy!

HELPING TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
Urban storm water runoff has become an increasingly important issue as impervious surfaces continue to expand with growing human populations. These surfaces transport rain water to storm drains rather than soaking into the ground like rain water would have done in the past. Yet, the rain water that falls on buildings and yards can be used as a resource when rain gardens are planted, especially with native species.

CHOOSING NATIVE PLANTS
A diverse mixture of species of native plants that bloom at different times and target a broad range of pollinators, insects, and birds were selected for our rain garden. The garden’s location exhibits species that are adapted to water-saturated (hydric) soils, as well as species that thrive in well-drained, sandy soils. By having a variety of moisture and light conditions, the garden helps visitors learn which plants work in different settings and environmental conditions.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Showy Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

CREATING BIRD-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES
The Center connects visitors with the natural resources of the Mississippi River, introducing them to the great diversity of plants and wildlife in this region. Our rain garden includes plant species upon which birds depend. Visitors may see an Indigo Bunting, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, American Goldfinch, Tree Swallow, Killdeer, or Dickcissel using the garden. This visitor experience emphasizes the benefits of native plants for wildlife.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Dickcissel (Spiza americana)

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)

ENGAGING PEOPLE
The Center’s family and school programs stress water conservation and connection to the Mississippi River. Its RiverVision Leadership program targets middle- and high- school students and presents a range of storm water management and water conservation strategies. Visitors see the rain garden and learn how they can support wildlife, protect water, and enjoy the beauty and benefits of native plants.

THANK YOU PROJECT PARTNERS:
Monsanto | St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District | U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

How you can help, right now