Spotlight On: The City of Wildwood

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 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.

Spotlight On: Missouri American Water

With a commitment to environmental sustainability through internal and community actions, Missouri American Water continues to deliver clean, safe and reliable water for its more than 1.5 million customers. While it may not seem like these actions directly relate to air quality, you might be surprised to learn that the company is making massive strides for cleaner air in the region by preventing air pollution, promoting sustainability and enhancing the natural environment.

Missouri American Water strictly follows regulations that are set by local authorities as well as federal standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to not only ensure the highest quality of water, but to exceed the environmental expectations of its stakeholders and establish new benchmarks by which others in the industry will be measured. Because of their everyday work with the Missouri River, Missouri American Water maintains a special responsibility for river and watershed stewardship. This is reflected in the events and scorecard tasks they chose to make a priority during the 2019 Green Business Challenge, where the company received the Star Circle of Excellence Achievement Award and secured the third-place title at the Champion Level.

Among Missouri American Water’s impressive accomplishments to receive recognition in the Challenge was the continued partnership with Missouri River Relief, Open Space Council, Great Rivers Greenway and Missouri Stream Team to sponsor and participate in river clean-up events at St. Joseph, Parkville, Brunswick, Jefferson City, Fenton and various other St. Louis County locations. The company hosted an employee electronics recycling event where over 2,000 pounds of eWaste was recycled, including cell phones, digital cameras, computer equipment, a water heater and more. Moreover, Missouri American Water continued support for Missouri Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal (P2D2), a nonprofit that provides environmentally safe alternatives to disposing of medications in sewer systems or the landfill, which is also a win for the region’s air quality!

Other noteworthy innovations include year-round customer education covering topics from seasonal water conservation to preventing plumbing leaks. These special outreach efforts helped introduce global campaign resources like Imagine a Day Without Water, National Fix-a-Leak Week and more to the region. Missouri American Water also hosted a Biodiversity Lunch-and-Learn where almost every employee in attendance downloaded the citizen science app iNaturalist to explore plant and animal species at work and at home.

Additionally, Missouri American Water donated $10,000 to Missouri River Relief toward a motor for their new 28-foot boat, which was constructed especially for the group’s extensive public engagement clean-ups. River Relief’s work supports water quality for three Missouri American Water treatment plants that draw water from the Missouri River, their shared conservation focus.

The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to recognize the efforts of organizations such as Missouri American Water that continue to make sustainability a priority and help people all across the region breathe easier. For additional information on how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, visit 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.

Ramping Up Efforts to Reduce, Reuse and RECYCLE for Cleaner Air

America Recycles Day is right around the corner and particularly worth celebrating this year because, even during a global pandemic, recycling is one of the easiest ways to help the planet and improve air quality. Now in its 23rd year, the annual celebration held on November 15 is dedicated to educating people about the importance of recycling to our economy and environmental well-being, as well as helping motivate occasional recyclers to make it an everyday habit and commit to purchasing recycled products.

While Americans have drastically improved the recycling recovery rate over the last 30+ years to 34%, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there is still much work to be done. Thankfully, there are several ways for residents right here in the St. Louis region to take action for cleaner air by committing to reduce, reuse and recycle on America Recycles Day and in all aspects of daily life. Here are some helpful tips to consider for incorporating green into your day-to-day routine:

  • Stay informed about recycling services in your community – Understanding what can be recycled in your area is key to ensuring that anything you sort and place in your recycling container with the intention of it being sent to your local recycling center actually makes it there. It’s also important to identify the wide range of materials that can be recycled through your curbside recycling program. These consist of obvious materials such as paper, plastic and glass, as well as less obvious materials, including most forms of metal and even food waste.
  • Repurpose and reuse old items – In the general consumption of goods, we oftentimes ignore the fact that a major portion of our waste can be reduced or reused before resorting to recycling. Shopping at or donating to secondhand stores are great ways to prevent unwanted items from ending up in the landfill, reduce wastage of energy and resources on the production of new clothes and help save you money. With the holidays coming up, gifting used items from a secondhand shop or using recyclable materials around the house like old fabric, maps, newspapers or magazines for gift wrap are also easy ways to significantly reduce waste.
  • Ditch the plastic bottles – At this very minute, people around the world are buying a million plastic bottles, and most of these bottles will end up in landfills or in the ocean. Not only does the production of plastic water bottles contribute substantial amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, their litter lingers for years on end. Instead of buying single-use bottles, consider purchasing a reusable water bottle you can take with you and refill as needed to cut down on unnecessary waste and help improve air quality. If you still prefer a single-use water bottle, make sure it gets properly recycled once you’re finished with it.

Do your share for cleaner air and start your journey to a recycled lifestyle today by taking the #BeRecycled pledge at For more great tips on how to reduce environmental impact and achieve cleaner air year-round, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.