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STLCC-Wildwood welcomes hundreds to family eco-festival

October 28, 2010

St. Louis Community College-Wildwood recently hosted “1-2-3 Green! Family Eco-Festival.” The idea for the festival came from the college’s commitment to promote sustainability throughout the St. Louis area.

Photo of woman and child at vendor table  
Visitors browse information on one of the vendor
tables at 123 Green Family Eco-Festival.

At the time it was built, Wildwood was the largest community college facility in the United States to earn LEED gold certification. The LEED green building rating system is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The  college's William J. Harrison Education Center, located in St. Louis’ Jeff VanderLou neighborhood, was completed this fall and is the first “green” public higher education facility in St. Louis City. It, too, was designed to earn LEED gold certification.

Event partners share a commitment to sustainability. The group includes Matt Belcher, president of Belcher Homes; Liz Montalbano, city planner with the City of Wildwood; David Coleman, branch manager of PNC Bank in Wildwood; Darcy Capstick of Chesterfield Citizens for the Environment; Katy Mike Smaistrla of Earthways Center; Brenda Cabrera of University of Missouri-St. Louis; and key members of St. Louis Community College. 

A series of workshops covered topics to help families live greener inside and outside the home, from green interior design or home improvement projects to solar energy conversion to taking advantage of trails and parks in the community. 

“When we put out the call for the workshops, we had an immediate response from leaders in sustainability across the area,” said Debbie Ward, one of the project planners from the college.

Children participated in activities designed to promote the recycling, reusing and caring for the environment. the activities were coordinated by STLCC students in the teacher education program and staff from the Magic House Children's Museum in Kirkwood. The St. Louis Area Geocaching Association was on hand to show families how to use handheld GPS devices to track down hidden treasures or “caches” on the campus.

Wildwood has several electric car recharging stations, and the Gateway Electric Vehicle Club displayed an electric Tesla. There were vendors of eco-friendly products including jewelry, textiles, reusable shopping bags, cleaning products, crafts, organic tea and more. Cintas Document Management providing document shredding.

“We hope that visitors took away a greater appreciation of the wonderful environment that we live in and simple ways to change the way they’re living to help preserve it,” Ward said. “Our campus building is a concrete example of what can be done when you take conscious steps to protect the environment and conserve resources. But our commitment to sustainability can’t end there. It’s our way of reaching out to the community that we serve.”