Wednesday’s storms held off long enough during the morning for officials and students from Kenya and the St. Louis area to commemorate the Florissant Community Garden site.
The 3.5-acre site will become a part of an urban garden project as well as a $200,000 pollination project called Pollinators/Art/Urban Agriculture/Society/ and the Environment (PAUSE).
The project, a joint program between the Saint Louis Zoo, National Museums of Keyna and Tohono Chui Park in Tucson, AZ. The project will allow for the design and implementation of pollinator gardens and habitat sculptures to be placed in the Florissant garden.
During the media event Wednesday, Ed Spevak, curator of invertebrates at the Saint Louis Zoo and director of the Zoo’s WildCare Institute Center for Native Pollinator Conservation, unveiled the site conceptual plan for the garden, which will include a prairie habitat, a wildflower walk, historic and native American gardens, sculpture, an orchard and plants that will attract pollinators, such as bees.
Another part of the garden’s plan is to create a shared garden, where local food banks such as TEAM food pantry would be able to get food.
Spevak said that while the $86,000 grant from Museums Connect is for one year, the plans for the site could take five years. He said the overall goal for the site is for it to become a foraging forest, where people could come and pick fruit such as apples or pears.
The garden also allows the opportunity for students, some from Kenya and others from St. Louis area colleges, including Washington University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Lewis and Clark Community College, Webster University and Saint Louis University, have the opportunity to work on the graden and have learned about the importance of pollinators.
“This first-hand, cross-cultural exchange is providing many opportunities for Kenyan youth to experience two very different American environments, while U.S. students will gain valuable insight from their visit to Nairobi in June,” Spevak said in a press release.
The garden sits near the Florissant Old Town Partners office at 601 St. Charles St.