Like the Clean Air Partnership, the City of Wildwood focuses on quality of life based upon careful stewardship of the natural environment and ensures that this legacy is passed on to future generations. This is a result of planned, responsible, sustainable growth through citizen and business partnerships that respect the natural qualities of the land and air quality in the region. Wildwood’s commitment to its residents remains unchanged, as does its philosophy of service and planning tomorrow today.
As one of the largest municipalities in Missouri and St. Louis County, in both population and land mass, Wildwood has shown that it’s possible to develop businesses and build homes while protecting the beauty and space of its land. The city has further solidified its commitment to incorporating sustainability measures into their everyday operational practices as an active participant of the St. Louis Green Cities Challenge, a program of the Missouri Botanical Garden that delivers triple bottom line results (financial, social and environmental) to municipalities across the St. Louis region. In 2019, Wildwood was recognized with the Award of Achievement for working with a menu of fundamental sustainability policy and action options geared toward greening municipal business operations, including various resources to educate and engage residents.
Over the course of the Challenge, Wildwood installed a 150-plot community garden on City Hall grounds and created a Parks and Rec App that connects residents to city and state parks and conservation areas within the city. Users are granted access to trail maps, pavilion rental, events and recreation programs with registration of the app. A Wildwood Trail Guide was also developed to connect residents with city parks and trails, as well as to businesses in the Town Center. Additionally, the city replaced 92 ash trees with tree species native to Missouri to eliminate the threat of emerald ash borers, which are invasive jewel beetles responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees across the country.
To further reduce environmental impact, the city began gathering data for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Better Buildings Through Benchmarking program to measure the efficiency of City Hall, which was LEED Certified in 2013. Through a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the city also filled tree wells along Taylor Road with structural soil when new trees were planted. This helped reduce compaction and allowed for increased root growth for healthier street trees, which also positively impacts the region’s air quality!
For additional information about the ongoing sustainable efforts by the City of Wildwood and how your municipality can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge/Green Cities Challenge, subscribe to the bi-monthly E-Newsletter or visit www.stlouisgreenchallenge.com. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.