View of Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden has long been a trusted resource for information about plants and gardening. Now, local residents can turn to the garden to learn more about going solar.

“One of the things that we hear the most from people,” says Glenda Abney of the botanical garden’s sustainability division, “is that, ‘You know, I’m really interested in going solar at my home, but it’s complicated, and there’s so many things for me to consider, and I’m busy, and I’ll get to it one of these days.’”

Last year, the garden partnered with Washington University in Saint Louis and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association on a program called Grow Solar Saint Louis.

The program offers information sessions designed to make it easy for local residents who are interested in installing solar at their homes.

“At the end of the program, our solar providers are in the back of the room,” Abney says. “You can go ahead and talk to them right then, give them your address, they pull it up in a special software program and they can tell you right then with an initial review if your home is viable.”

In the first year, more than 70 participants installed solar panels, which exceeded expectations, so Abney says they plan to offer the program again.

She says by encouraging clean energy, the garden is helping clean up the planet for plants and people.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.