Plants with Purpose Tour to St. Louis

REGISTER BY JUNE 8 at to reserve your spot on this adventure!
Join WNLA for a summer train trip to St. Louis on August 10 & 11.  We'll be rollin' by the Missouri River as we cross the state on Amtrak's Missouri River Runner headed to St Louis.  The 2 days will be jam-packed as we explore “plants with purpose” at 5 tour stops in the St. Louis area.

Upon arriving at Kirkwood's historic train station, we'll hop on our bus and head to Missouri Botanical Garden for a private tour with their horticulture staff.  Considered one of the top botanical gardens in the world, the 158-year-old Garden is a National Historic Landmark as well as being a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.

You'll enjoy a cookout at St. Louis Composting and tour the region's largest compost producer on our way to our overnight stop.  St. Louis Composting processes roughly 600,000 cubic yards of green material annually - more than one-third of all yard waste generated in St. Louis County!  They're certainly helping to make the world a little greener by reducing landfill waste - while producing quality compost.

We're "glamping" at Shaw Nature Reserve on Thursday night.  This 2400+ acre reserve on the Meramec River has replicated prairie, abundant woodlands with native wildflowers, and gorgeous wetlands.  After an evening of socializing (BYOB!), we'll spend the night in their 4 sleeping lodges.  The historic log or post-and-beam lodges feature bunk beds (bring your own sleeping bag or bedding) and air conditioning with a separate shower house.  The next morning you'll enjoy a continental breakfast and a private sunrise tour of Shaw Nature Reserve with horticulturist, and curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden, Scott Woodbury.  
Explore the "mission-based merchandising" strategies during your visit to Greenscape Gardens in west St. Louis County, from the large selection of natives and the "Pollinator Palace", to the Kitchen Garden area, as well as a sensory Permaculture display garden.  The goal at Greenscape is to help inspire purpose-driven landscape ideas that will enable customers to make better choices in their gardens.  Learn about "Smarty Plants", a program designed by Greenscape to help guide customers to make more sustainable and resilient plant selections. 
The bus will head north for a tour and lunch at Forrest Keeling Nursery.  We will tour their production of Native species with RPM (Root Production Method®), their propagation area, potting machine, grafting, and their bare-root seedling production.  In addition you will tour their tree improvement research and development and learn about their attention to seed provenance.   They have recently become SANC certified and will discuss the certification process and other sustainable nursery practices.  And they will provide lunch!!
After a tasty lunch at Forrest Keeling, we'll head to Kirkwood to catch the afternoon Amtrak train back to Kansas City.   Sit back, enjoy a beer and the scenery as you are rollin' by the river headed home.

There are three ticket options available for WNLA's Plants with Purpose Tour.  The first ticket ($120 members / $170 non-members) includes the train ticket, transportation in St. Louis, accommodation & breakfast at Shaw Nature Reserve, dinner at St. Louis Composting, and lunch at Forrest Keeling Nursery.  If the train trip doesn't work for you, meet us in St. Louis ($60 members / $110 non-members) with a ticket that includes everything but the train!  From St. Louis and want to sleep in your own bed?  There is a tours only ticket ($30 members / $80 non-members) that allows you to drive yourself between tour stops.
Thanks to our Tour sponsors Forrest Keeling Nursery, St. Louis Composting, & Greenscape Gardens!

Register online at by June 8 to reserve your spot!  Questions?  Contact the office at or by phone at 888-233-1876.