The EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden is a group devoted to an increasingly vital goal: conservation of energy and other natural resources for the future, otherwise known as “sustainability” – meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
“As a division of Missouri Botanical Garden, we embrace the Garden’s mission of protecting and preserving plants, but with a slightly different approach,” said Glenda Abney, director of the EarthWays Center. While the Garden is a botanical institution focusing on plants themselves, the EarthWays Center zeros in on what botanical researchers agree is the greatest threat to plants and the environment: people.
“Our focus is helping people understand how their behavior impacts plants, and in turn how it affects the entire environment,” said Abney. “We promote sustainability through environmental education and improving the built environment. By educating people about our dependence on plants and the natural resources that support plant communities, we are teaching adults and youth to value and protect the things that sustain our families and communities.”
EarthWays Center staff work directly with the general public and other audiences, including kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) educators and students, college and university students, instructors, staff and community educators. They also work with green building professionals, auditors, contractors, businesses and local municipality leaders, with the goal of improving the built environment. Offering expertise on a wide range of sustainable-living topics, staff is in demand for speaking engagements, participation in public events and as spokespeople for the media.