Spotlight On: The City of Clayton

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With a strong track record of valuing environmental sustainability, the City of Clayton’s strategic plan provides a vision of Clayton as a sustainable, welcoming community comprised of desirable neighborhoods, attractive green space, diverse artistic, cultural and recreational opportunities, and a multi-modal transportation system, all of which foster a safe, healthy and enriched quality of life. The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to shine a spotlight on the City of Clayton for these tremendous green efforts and others that helped to earn them recognition in the 2020 St. Louis Green Cities Challenge.

As a first-time Challenge participant, the lessons learned last year proved to be invaluable and helped the city to focus its efforts on revisiting past accomplishments and to determine future priorities. Among those impressive accomplishments was the renovation of the Center of Clayton, which included the installation of high efficiency HVAC systems, LED lighting with occupancy sensors, installation of ENERGY STAR appliances and planting stormwater detention facilities with native landscaping. Additionally, the Fire Station boiler at City Hall was also replaced with a 96% thermal efficiency, low emissions, multi-heat exchanger boiler, and thermostats were lowered at the station’s engine bay, resulting in savings of nearly 11,000 therms of energy. Along with these updates, the city implemented energy management software to track and report on energy usage and monitor measures taken to conserve energy, which is also a great way to reduce emissions and help improve air quality!

Moreover, Clayton’s removal of invasive species throughout city parks and rights-of-way has been a priority for many years, including during the 2020 Challenge for its newly developed parks. This achievement coincided with the installation of Oak Knoll Park Woodland Trail that includes more than 700 native plants and bushes to ensure the area continues to thrive. To further reduce environmental impact, the city also introduced an initiative to reduce the use of plastic bottles within the community by replacing traditional water fountains with reusable water bottle filling stations throughout city facilities and parks.

Led by the Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC), the City of Clayton has shown its dedication to sustainability through recycling programs, the use of rain gardens, a city-wide smoking ban, and a commitment to green building design embedded into the city’s culture and operations. Following Challenge completion, Clayton is poised to continue prioritizing various green practices and identifying additional ways the city can be a sustainability leader in the St. Louis region.

For additional information on the sustainable efforts underway by the City of Clayton and how your organization or municipality can get involved in the Challenge, subscribe to the weekly 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.