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99020Missouri Botanical Garden Researcher Will Conduct Investigations in Viet Nam
99012Missouri Botanical Garden Celebrates Biodiversity on Earthfriends Day
99011Missouri Botanical Garden Offers New Slate of Adult Education Classes: Five to Be Held in South County
99008Missouri Botanical Garden Announces Summer Education Program: Over 50 Classes Available for Pre-School through High-School Students
99003Beat the Winter Blues with Garden Greens
98106Danforth Foundation Awards $1.5 Million Grant to Revitalize South Side Neighborhoods
98097Sydney M. Shoenberg, Jr., Receives Highest Honors from MBG
98095Garden Collaborative Aims to Improve Science Education
98094New Off-Ramp Improves Acces to MBG and Surrounding Neighborhoods
98086Victoria amazonica Blooms at MBG See website
98085MBG Announces Latest Program for Older Adults
98076Plants of Merit Featured at MBG
98071MBG Switches from Gas Power to Pedal Power
98068MBG Recognizes Volunteer Services
98062MBG Appoints Marketing and Communications Director
98053John Behrer Recognized for 20 Years of Service to Shaw Arboretum
98049MBG Completes Partnership Campaign
98042Hazelwood East High School Students Take First Place in Transportation Planning Contest
98031Record Number of Flowering Bulbs Planted at MBG
98013David W. Kemper Elected President of the Board of Trustees of MBG



Spring has blessed the Missouri Botanical Garden with two new baby sheep. They can been seen grazing along side two ewes and a ram on the lawn near the Kemper Center for Home Gardening. The flock of life-size sheep were created by Les Lalannes - Francois-Xavier and Claude - French sculptors who are currently featured in a major show in Paris. Made of cast epoxy stone and bronze, the sculptures came to the Garden by way of the Greenberg Van Doren Gallery of St. Louis.

Les Lalannes' work is fun and functional on some level and much of their work is designed with the garden in mind. They consider themselves "artisans" in the medieval sense of the term, often featuring animals as motifs, such as a donkey desk, a gorilla sofa, and a baboon wood stove. The Garden's sheep are actually the equivalent of garden benches. Les Lalannes delight in their work and insist that their objects have an everyday usefulness so that they can be readily enjoyed by others. They get their wish daily at the Missouri Botanical Garden as children of all ages find a place on the back of one of the sheep, while parents take advantage of the "Kodak moment."

The ewes were made as an anonymous gift to the Garden in 1993. The ram and babies are still available for naming opportunities.



St. Louis: The Missouri Botanical Garden wishes to remind residents of St. Louis City and County that they can enjoy free admission to the Garden each Wednesday and Saturday morning until noon. During the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day), admission is also free Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to closing at 8:00 p.m. Visitors who are residents will be admitted free of charge after displaying something bearing their zip code.
Summer Garden hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. For the remainder of the year hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas day is the only day the Garden is closed. Additionally, throughout the year the Garden opens at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays for early morning walks (the conservatories do not open until 9:00 a.m.) On these days, in cooperation with the American Heart Association, a heart-healthy breakfast is available for purchase in the Gardenview Restaurant until 10:30 a.m.
Garden members receive free admission into the Garden any day and any time of the year, with the exception of several special events, for which they receive reduced admission.
The Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard in South St. Louis. Information on Garden events, membership, driving directions, facility rental, tours and more can be obtained by calling the information hotline at 314 577-9400 or 1-800 642-8842.



Named The Monsanto Center in Recognition of Monsanto Support

St. Louis: The Monsanto Center, the Missouri Botanical Garden's new state-of-the-art, $19.4 million research center, will be formally dedicated Saturday, April 4 at 10:30 a.m. in a ceremony led by, among others, Rep. Richard Gephardt, Senator Christopher Bond, St. Louis Mayor Clarence Harmon, and Brazil's leading environmentalist, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, who will deliver the keynote address.
The Monsanto Center is the new headquarters for the world's most active and productive botanical research staff and contains its Herbarium and Library, both recognized national treasures that annually bring hundreds of scientists and scholars from around the world to study in St. Louis.
Approximately one third of the total building area is dedicated to storage of the irreplaceable collection of plant specimens - half of the Garden's 4.8 million plant specimens - and the 122,000 volume botanical library, which includes artifacts and rare books.
Dr. Peter H. Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, said of the building, "The Monsanto Center is an incomparable home for the Garden's research activities and the physical embodiment of a profound moral determination to protect and sustain our environmental heritage."
An engineering masterpiece and model of "green architecture," The Monsanto Center sets a new standard for construction and operations that are cost effective and have the least possible impact on natural resources. The sustainable, environmentally sensitive design uses
recycled and recyclable materials and an environmentally sensitive energy system throughout the
structure, including the way offices are illuminated. The siting of the building also was carefully done to take advantage of natural light and to ensure that the collections - both books and plant specimens - had the appropriate conditions for preservation.
In addition to being designed with trailblazing "green" or environmentally friendly architecture and technology, the building at Vendeventer Ave. and Shaw Blvd. is earthquake- proof, resting on base isolators placed on each of 41 pillars that reach to bedrock . These isolators, shock absorbers of alternating layers of bonded steel and rubber, will protect the building and its precious contents should another quake along the New Madrid Fault hit the St. Louis region. Implementation of this strategy is one of the first in the Midwest. (Seismic experts have recorded over a dozen earthquakes in the St. Louis area during a four-month period in 1996, and there is an estimated 90 percent probability that a major quake could strike along the New Madrid Fault sometime within the next 50 years.)
Designed to last at least 100 years, the 78,000 sq. ft. building can be expanded another 105,000 sq. ft. to handle a projected total of 17 million herbarium specimens. The total project cost $19.4 million, including a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture ($7,675,610). The largest private donor was Monsanto and the Monsanto Fund who together contributed $3 million.
Under the leadership of the Garden's Board of Trustees, additional support was provided by corporations, foundations, and private individuals. The building has been praised as a model partnership for success that reflects the powerful synergy that exists across the public and private sectors.
Mr. Robert B. Shapiro, chairman and CEO of Monsanto, called the building "a remarkable asset for the City of St. Louis and the bi-state region, as well as a model to others throughout the nation. Great work will be done here - work that may help create a sustainable future for our children."
Editor's Note: Slides of the building are available on request. Call Delle Willett at 314 577-5142.

Horticulturist Recounts 20 Years of Growth at Missouri Botanical Garden

After 20 years on staff at the Missouri Botanical Garden, horticulturist Darman Williams finds his job has grown on him. Williams began working at the Garden in 1978. The opportunity came to him through the Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA), a job placement program that gave young people on-the-job training.
"I learned along the way," Williams said. After working on a temporary basis for nine months, he was hired for another three months. His supervisor put in a good word for him and he was hired permanently after that year. Since then, he has become a licenced horticulturalist through the state of Missouri.
"I like being outdoors," Williams said, commenting on what has kept him at the Garden for so long. His previous experience with plants began when he was 16 years-old, as a summer employee for Tower Grove Park. Williams mulched flower beds, watered plants and pruned trees and shrubs. What appeals to him most about what he does now is the creativity and independence of his work.
"It's the artistic form of it," he said. Much of the Garden's attractive floral displays depend on the fastidious attention to detail by people like Williams. Some of his favorite work includes preparing for flower shows and shaping and trimming hedges, like the sweeping framework of juniper encircling the Garden's Climatron.
During a recent award ceremony, Garden director, Peter Raven, complimented Williams, saying, "His consistency, willingness to help fellow crew members, and excellent work habits help us all achieve the superb maintenance of the Intensive Gardens. Darman is probably best known for the pruning of the hedges in the Intensive Gardens; his eyes have not wavered nor made a crooked hedge. His sense of humor and hearty laugh pick up many spirits in Horticulture."
"Things are always different here, you know?" Williams said. "It's not the same thing day after day." Over time, Williams learned to anticipate what needs attention throughout the season. Through the winter months, he works in the greenhouses and outside pruning and preparing shrubs for spring. "I pick out my own projects," he said. "It's usually something I enjoy doing."
Commenting on the skills he's learned and the patience it takes to train shrubs and trees into pleasing forms, Williams said, "When you've got a job, you want to be the best in your field." The pride he takes in his work is apparent. "I didn't know I'd be doing this. It's kind of grown on me."
Williams lives in St. Louis with his wife and two children--a 13 year-old daughter and 8 year-old son. While he doesn't garden at home, he hopes to begin once he buys his own house.


WHAT: Garden highlights 40 plants mentioned in Bible
Most plants are in one area, but others are scattered about
20 signs identify Bible passages
There is a large sign describing the exhibit
WHERE: Missouri Botanical Garden, Temperate House
WHEN: April
COST: Free with regular Garden admission
CONTACT: Susan Farrington, 577-9402

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, and herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Genesis 1:11

The coastal plains, deserts, plateaus and river valleys of the biblical Holy Land support a variety of plant life, of which approximately 110 species are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments of one of the world's oldest written records of human history. Originating in what many historians consider to be the cradle of civilization, the stories of the Bible were passed down by singers and story tellers before being transcribed into Hebrew and Arabic. The prayers, poems, proverbs and sermons make mention of many plants familiar today, both wild and cultivated.

The Missouri Botanical Garden highlights a number of these species in its "Plants of the Bible" exhibit throughout April. Date palm, pomegranate, fig and olive trees, caper, mint, cumin, pistachio, henna and citron are a few of the plants housed in the Biblical Garden at the Shoenberg Temperate House. While each plant is referred to at least once in the Bible, some appear more frequently than others.

Branches from the olive tree have long been symbols of peace and hope. And the dove came in to him in the morning; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off. (Genesis 8:11).
The tree provides abundant fruit, from which oil is made for holy ointments for kings and priests, for annointing the sick and for cooking. The Mediterranean redbud (Cercis siliquastrum) is long thought to have been the tree from which Judas hanged himself. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. (Matthew 27:5). Its pink flowers blossom in March, and are larger than those of the redbud growing in North America (Cercis canadensis). Some argue that it was the fig from which Judas hanged himself.

The fruit of the pomegranate (Punica granatum) has long symbolized passion and love, as in this biblical reference, Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. (Song 7:12).

Beginning with the Greeks, centuries of translations and interpretations of biblical text has obscured more than a few references. Often, when a translator encountered an unfamiliar plant name, he or she assigned it a familiar name, but not necessarily that of a plant growing in Egypt or Israel. This has led to much confusion, and researchers going back to original Hebrew face the task of deciphering names long forgotten or obscured, such as this supposed reference to capers (Capparis spinosa) as desire, The almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails; because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets. (Ecclesiastes 12:5).

Not all biblical plants will grow in the St. Louis area, but many can be grown. Among them are iris, coriander, cumin, bay, dill, mint, rue, muskmelon, garlic, leek, lettuce, onion, watermelon, fig, grapes and sorghum. Books concerning biblical plants and gardening can be found at the Garden Gate Shop.



St. Louis: Passing over the city of St. Louis this spring, migrating birds will notice an oasis of green amidst the mass of roads and rooftops. That oasis will be the Missouri Botanical Garden and neighboring Tower Grove Park. Bird watchers hip to this fact will be waiting with their binoculars, those not in the know will have a chance to learn what to look for through guided walks and courses offered by the Garden this spring.
The Garden offers bird watchers of all levels the opportunity to sharpen their skills and share their experiences through a series of early morning, guided birdwalks at the Garden and at Shaw Arboretum in Gray Summit this April and May. Also offered is a Basics of Birding course, featuring two weekend field trips and four evening class sessions reviewing local birds, songs and calls and visual markings. Birders can expect to encounter a significant suite of migrant songbirds including thrushes, sparrows, flycatchers, tanagers, vireos and warblers.
April will also bring bird enthusiasts from all over North America for the 1998 North American Ornithological Conference. Sponsored by the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Botanical Garden, the five-day conference involves conferences and field trip opportunities to popular birding sites in the St. Louis region. The conference runs April 6 to 12. For more information contact Betty Jarvis or Dale Klostermann at (314) 516-5958.
Walks at the Garden are scheduled from 7-8 a.m., before regular hours, giving birders a chance to view species in a quiet, closed setting. The Dry Stream Bed garden is a favorite spot and the English Woodland Garden attracts an amazing range of warblers. Passing over cities, neo-tropicals and temperate migrants are attracted to highly vegetated areas such as the Garden
and neighboring Tower Grove. Large concentrations of species visit briefly before continuing their flight northward.
Walks at Shaw Arboretum are more extensive, running from 7:30 until 10:30 a.m. Author and naturalist, James P. Jackson, leads participants to some of his favorite spots looking for migrants and summer nesters. One of the more popular birds is the yellow-breasted chat. Groups will also look for summer tanagers, thrushes, red-shouldered hawks, indigo bunting, buick wrens and grosbeaks.
"We usually just get out and bird," said Jackson, a lifelong naturalist and retired biology teacher. He is also the author of several books, as well as natural history articles for American Forests magazine. He leads his trips in rain or shine.
The Basics of Birding course runs from April 8 until May 3. Four evening class sessions from 7-9 introduce local species, review techniques of field identification and discuss types of field guides, binoculars, organizations and popular birding spots in the St. Louis area. Weekend field trips are day-long visits (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to sites known for abundant sitings of spring migrants and seasonal nesters.


The Missouri Botanical Garden announces an increase in admission rates from $3.00 to $5.00 for adult visitors and $1.50 to $3.00 for senior visitors who live outside St. Louis city or county limits. Tour group prices will be $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for seniors. This increase will be effective February 1, 1998 and is deemed necessary to cover the new features and services offered by the Garden as well as operating costs and staffing.

Admission prices remain the same for residents of the City or County ($3.00 for adults and $1.50 for seniors). This new policy will also not effect the free admission offered to City and County residents from 7 a.m. to 12 noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Garden members and children under 12 will continue to enjoy free admission.

The Garden employs over 345 full time and 35 part time staff and has a volunteer base of over 900 people. The education department works in partnership with schools and teachers to strengthen science education, serving over 107,000 adults, children and teachers per year. It also provides community outreach to seniors through the Soule Program, and Gateway Greening, a gardening partnership program, which serves over 150 community and school gardens. The Garden's research department, used by scientists from around the world, provides the basic scientific information urgently needed to utilize plants and help save them for future generations.

New gardens have been added recently including 23 "show me" residential scale gardens at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening, a Chinese garden, a boxwood garden, and a Victorian garden. Other recent additions are a Victorian observation tower overlooking the popular maze and the Brookings Interpretive Center, a hands-on educational exhibit near the Climatron®.

For Immediate Release


How can an ice cube run a fan? Is rot the same as rust? What do rubber, cocoa, and paper have in common? Visitors of all ages to the Missouri Botanical Garden will solve these riddles for themselves as they participate in the new Eco-Cart demonstrations beginning October 18, 1997, in the Brookings Interpretive Center.

Each of 10 twenty to thirty minute presentations delve into one ecology topic. Whether the topic is energy, chemical reactions, or decomposition, visitors will take home new ideas about ways to protect Planet Earth. These free demonstrations are scheduled on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. in the Brookings Interpretive Center between the Climatron® and Shoenberg Temperate House.

Eco-Cart demonstrations will also be avaiilable for school and youth groups. Teachers can select the science topic that compliments their curriculum and register by calling 314-577-5140. A one month advance registration is required and the cost per session is $30.

Dr. Larry DeBuhr, director of the Garden's extensive education department noted, "This is a great indoor activity for visitors to participate in during the harsh weather months, and makes for a great outing along with a visit to the Climatron® and Brookings Interpretive Center."

Development of the Eco-Carts was made possible by the McDonnell Douglas Foundation, and funding for staffing by the Edward Chase Garvey Foundation.


Missouri Botanical Garden Announces Bridal Registry

Beginning March 1st the Garden Gate Shop at the Missouri Botanical Garden will offer a bridal registry service to members and the public. The shop features useful and unique gifts for bride and groom, home and garden, from crystal to compost, silk scarves to luffa scrubs. Popular presents such as Portmeirion's "Botanic Garden" china, Hen-Feathers Statuary, Santa Barbara Clocks, and pottery by local artist Hellmuth-Dunn are among the Shop's wide selection. The Garden Gate Shop also carries many environmentally conscious items.

A special bonus of the registry is a free Garden membership for the bride and groom. At registration each bride will receive 25 free announcement cards that state she is registered at the Garden Gate Shop of Missouri Botanical Garden. The couple's 10% membership discount will be extended to all who purchase for them. Free gift wrapping is available as well as shipping at a nominal charge. "Gifts from the Garden are distinctive because they embrace the community and our environment," comments shop manager, Kim Riley. All proceeds from the Garden Gate Shop support the Missouri Botanical Garden's mission of research, education and horticultural display.

Personalized service is available by appointment with volunteer buyers Bette Stoneman, Renee Boehm and Florence Gaffney (314) 577-0211, and through staff members Jill Muqoz and Christa Kling (314) 577-5137. The Missouri Botanical Garden's Garden Gate Shop is located at 4344 Shaw and is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day) between Labor Day and Memorial Day, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during summertime.

If you have questions about any of these press releases please contact Delle Willett 314-577-5142

Located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard, the Missouri Botanical Garden is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with extended summer hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Labor Day. Admission is $5.00 for visitors aged 13-64, $3 for adults 65 and older, and free to children 12 and younger. Admission for St. Louis City and County residents is $3.00 for adults and $1.50 for senior citizens. Some special events may require additional charge. Free parking on premises. St. Louis City and County residents admitted free on Wednesday and Saturday until noon. For more information call the GardenLine at 314/577/9400.