We wrapped up Phase 1 of the Campus in 2021 with the completion of the Embankment Greenway on the south side of Interstate 44 near our participating schools. This creative, first-of-its kind development in St. Louis utilizes urban spaces as reinvented growing areas. The focus is on native species including Indigenous and African American plantings, pollinator-friendly plants, and fully accessible agricultural beds for children of all abilities.
The 3.7-acre Embankment Greenway has been replanted, and the 8,000 square-foot Terrace Garden at the center of the Greenway is dedicated to growing an array of plants that students tend throughout the year.
Importantly, the Embankment Greenway is one of the first projects of its kind in the Midwest built in response to a 2015 directive from the Federal Highway Administration to integrate pollinator-friendly practices into landscape design and programs for managing underutilized roadside vegetation.
Students working alongside scientists explore the potential for using interstate highway margins to revitalize declining pollinator populations, including butterflies and the native bees that are essential for large-scale agriculture.
Spanning 1,700 feet along two city blocks, this innovative development is a model for introducing more ecologically diverse and sustainable growing areas along urban highway corridors across the entire country.
The entire Embankment Greenway—which is protected by a new guardrail and state-mandated safety protocols— will be tested regularly for soil nutrients and roadside contaminants, along with other important data. That information will allow research scientists and students to gauge the success of their efforts to expand the possibilities for feeding a growing planet.