Call For Sustainable Yards For Backyard Tour June 12

The Sustainable Backyard Tour returns for the sixth year on Sunday, June 12.

A free, grassroots, self-guided tour of residential yards (front and back!) throughout St. Louis city and county, the tour showcases a range of green living practices, including low-impact lawn care, composting and using recycled materials, organic gardening, chicken and beekeeping, gardening with native plants, water conservation, and renewable energy production, to name but a few.

If your backyard is green or you know someone whose yard is, we invite you to consider being a host on this year’s tour and putting your yard on show.

Your yard doesn’t need to be perfect, elaborate or even large, but it needs to be interesting and have something to teach/demonstrate that the public can learn from.
As a host, you agree to open your yard from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and interact with visitors—as many as 300 might visit your yard! We can’t know how many because attendees design their own routes and set their own pace, choosing from the addresses and descriptions in the tour booklet and website.

More than 150 St. Louis families have welcomed tour goers over the past years. As the tour grows, more hosts are needed to keep things interesting. “We have a few charter hosts, who’ve been generous enough to be on tour every year, but we always want new yards to show that these things can be done anywhere,” says tour founder Terry Winkelmann. “Practices like naturescaping, rain gardening and edible landscaping are spreading into every neighborhood and town—we want to find the trailblazers so we can shine a light on their efforts.”

While many host sites are single-family backyards, organizers encourage residents of apartment buildings with community or rooftop gardens, and those with front yards to apply, too. If you have worked hard to make your yard sustainable, consider being a host.

This year’s community partners include:
St. Louis Audubon Society, Saint Louis Beekeepers, Grow Native!, Slow Food St. Louis, St. Louis Earth Day, Webster Groves Herb Society, Missouri Mycological Society, Brightside St. Louis, St. Louis County Soil & Water Conservation District, The Healthy Planet Magazine and Gateway Gardener.

The deadline to register is April 29th.