Marines mobilize in St. Louis this week for conservation-friendly service project

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Saint Louis
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St. Louis — The United States Marines will throw down their M-16s and deploy rakes, shovels and hoes to complete Phase I of a demonstration garden at Operation Brightside Headquarters at Kingshighway Boulevard and Vandeventer Avenue. They hope to help St. Louis homeowners and builders see firsthand landscaping practices that can yield both ecological and economical benefits.

The project is part of “Marine Week,” when the U.S. Marine Corps selects one project from across the nation to donate the work of 20 Marines for one week. The St. Louis project was selected this year. Their work will include constructing a rain garden to help with stormwater management, planting sustainable native plants, laying sod and other efforts. The results aim to demonstrate to urban home gardeners, planners, engineers and architects how a conservation-minded and functional landscape is not only “eco-friendly” but fiscally responsible. The Marines progress during the week can be followed via live webcam at, courtesy of the Korte Company.

The project is made possible by the time, effort and financial contributions of many area private and public partners. Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Urban Foresters Mark Grueber and Perry Eckhardt designed the site’s natural Missouri habitat plantings.

In addition to work on the garden, the troops will put on parades, equipment demonstrations and precision drills for the public throughout the week.