St. Louis – Plants are essential to the basic survival of both people and the planet; they provide medicines, nourishment, shelter and the oxygen we breathe. Their beauty can be a source of therapy, restoring our spirit. Experience the power of plants and learn how to live a healthy, green lifestyle at the “Healthy You, Healthy Planet Festival,” Saturday, July 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Hosted by the garden and the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, enjoy a day of healthy talks, tips, food, fitness and fun! Healthy foods will be available for purchase.
The garden seeks to “preserve and enrich life” by illuminating the importance of plants to the balance of life on Earth. Garden scientists estimate that there are 400,000 species of plants on Earth, but less than one in eight have been evaluated for human use. Catharanthus roseus, a plant native to Madagascar and known to fight childhood leukemia, is an example of the healing power of plants. The garden’s research collaboration with the Siteman Cancer Center, an international leader in cancer treatment, research, prevention, education and community outreach, has led to the “Healthy You, Healthy Planet Festival,” to promote the connection between good health and green living.
Become inspired to lead a healthy lifestyle and learn about the positive choices you can make to benefit both your health and the health of the planet. Expert-led talks will discuss the benefits of adopting healthy cooking habits, ways to prevent diseases, screening guidelines for breast cancer, and medicinal plants.
Have health questions? Washington University experts and physicians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital will offer free health screenings and opportunities to “ask the expert.” Talk one-one-one with physicians and experts about a variety of health issues including: colon and rectal cancer, pancreas and upper GI cancers, gynecological cancers, lung and esophageal cancers, hereditary cancer, dermatology and melanoma, and breast cancer. Relaxation techniques and traditional remedies will also be presented.
Learn about colon cancer and walk through the human colon. The 20-foot-high, 40-foot-long inflatable colon offers an up-close look at healthy colon tissue, colorectal polyps and various stages of colorectal cancer.
Visit the women’s area to get information on breast health screenings and talk to physicians about correct methods of self-examination. The Siteman Cancer Center’s Every Woman, Everywhere Mobile Mammography Van will be available for screenings by appointment only. To schedule a mammogram, call 800-600-3606. Mammography is an X-ray examination of the breasts and is the best test for identifying breast cancer before it can be felt – when cancer is more likely to be curable.
Explore the Zimmerman Sensory Garden and learn about the process in which plants and gardening are used to improve the body, mind, and spirit. Horticultural therapy is the engagement of a person in gardening-related activities to achieve specific treatment goals. People of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities respond positively to green plants and colorful flowers. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA), gardening offers relief from physical and cognitive limitations, reduces stress, gently exercises aging or arthritic joints, and stimulates memory.
Throughout the day, work off stress by participating in fit-for-life routines including yoga, tai chi, belly dancing and more. Participate in “Turbo Kick,” “Punk Rope” and “Zumba” demonstrations by the YMCA of Greater St. Louis. Hula hoop your way to a healthy body with demonstrations from the St. Louis Hoop Club or participate in a morning yoga-based stretch amid the beauty of the Garden with Big Bend Yoga. Stretching is an important aspect of healthy living and one of the most overlooked. Active stretching helps avoid injury and improve balance.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital will offer healthy activities for children in the “Kid’s Corner,” including face painters and “Fit & Fun” activities. Make your own trail mix and learn how to “Punk Rope,” with the YMCA of Greater St. Louis and jump rope your way to being a fit child. Children can also make a seed packet to take home and learn about the importance of recycling.
The “Healthy You, Healthy Planet Festival” is included with garden admission of $8; St. Louis City and County residents enjoy discounted admission of $4 and free admission on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until noon. Children ages 12 and under and garden members are free.
The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine is an international leader in cancer treatment, research, prevention, education and community outreach. It is the only cancer center in Missouri and within a 240-mile radius of St. Louis to hold the prestigious comprehensive cancer center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Siteman Cancer Center offers the extensive expertise of more than 300 Washington University research scientists and physicians, many of whom provide care for nearly 7,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients and more than 30,000 follow-up patients each year at Siteman’s main St. Louis campus and at satellite facilities in two adjacent counties. These scientists and physicians hold $130 million in cancer research and related training grants. The results of basic laboratory research are rapidly incorporated into treatment advances, a process that is enhanced by patient access to more than 350 cancer clinical trials. In addition, Siteman’s cancer screening and educational efforts touch tens of thousands of lives annually throughout the St. Louis region.
The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 151 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.
The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis, just south of I-44 at Vandeventer-Kingshighway (exit 287B). Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Dec. 25. Grounds open at 7 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays (exception: special admission rate events). Admission is $8; free children ages 12 and under and garden members. St. Louis City and County residents are $4 and free Wednesdays and Saturdays until noon (exception: special admission rate events – third weekend of May, Labor Day weekend, and first weekend of October). Park for free on site and two blocks west at the Shaw-Vandeventer intersection. The garden is easily accessible by taking the MetroLink commuter rail line to the Central West End station and picking up a Metro bus. Visit the Metro website for more details.
For general information on the Missouri Botanical Garden, visit the website or call the 24-hour recording at 314-577-9400 or 800-642-8842. For membership information, visit the website or call 314-577-5118 during weekday business hours. For volunteer opportunities, visit the website or call 314-577-5187. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a tobacco-free environment.