Environmental Stewardship

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
Genesis 2:15

Mission and Commitment Statement

We joyfully strive to be careful stewards of the environment as we honor God’s covenant with all of creation.

We welcome all people to our church and all living creatures to our earth by committing to preserve its beauty and longevity.

As followers of Christ, we seek to live the love of Christ by protecting all of God’s creation; with Christ’s humble and wise demeanor we enjoy the gifts of our environment without wasting God’s generosity.

Webster Groves Presbyterian Church is committed to environmental stewardship and implementing sustainable practices as an integral part of our ministries. We strive to minimize the environmental impact of our church, workplaces and all the events we support, in coordination with our staff, church officers and congregants.

Birds! 2021-2022 Focus Area

Each year Environmental Stewardship chooses  an area to focus their attention and education. Past years have included water, trees and bees. In 2021-2022 the focus is birds. In October WGPC welcomed guest speaker Bill Rowe, Vice President of Education and Outreach, St. Louis Audubon Society. Click here to view the Zoom recording of his presentation. In April guest speakers Jean Favara, Vice President of Conservation, St. Louis Audubon Society and Janet Hoyne, member of BirdSafe STL presented protecting birds in St. Louis during high migration. Click here to view a PDF of their presentation.

photos by Beth Kazlauskas

WGPC is the newest Lights Out Heartland "Building Partner"

The Mississippi Flyway is used by 60% (over 325 species) of North American songbirds as a migration highway in the spring and fall. Unfortunately, St. Louis is one of the deadliest cities in the country for migrating birds. Lights Out Heartland, a local nonprofit, is asking building owners to help protect birds during the high migration intensity months of May and September by turning off or dimming outdoor building lights. WGPC will join this effort in 2022 as a "Building Partner."


WGPC is proud to have been approved as an Earth Care Congregation by the PC(USA). To achieve this recognition, our Session committed to the Earth Care Pledge, which challenges us to live in a manner consistent with God’s call not only to care for creation but to commune with creation because of our love for Christ. Please contact our Mission Outreach Coordinator, Beth Kazlauskas, if you have any questions.


Are you looking for an easy way to get started with composting your kitchen food scraps? Table to Garden is an organization whose primary goal is to divert residential food scraps from landfills to compost piles. Terri Ruitcel started Table to Garden to facilitate composting in St. Louis, and she hosts a collection site at her home in Webster on Clark Avenue near Glen Road. She provides buckets with lids that people can pick up at her house, fill, return, and replace with another empty bucket to fill, all for free! If you're ready to get started, just click Sign Me Up! If you have questions before getting started, you can also contact Terri at ttgtabletogarden@gmail.com

WGPC to Participate in Air Quality Study

The Community Based Air Quality Monitoring Program is a congregational led action after the publishing of the Washington University Environmental Racism Report in 2019. There was a need to have more monitors to see if areas through the city were impacted differently, and there was a need to have them in a secure location for consistent data. So, Webster Groves Presbyterian is holding an air monitor on our property, which is one of 14 monitors in congregations through the St. Louis Area. This program is funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health, and we have been working with Washington University-Jay Turner Lab & Environmental Studies Department, Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). We have conducted a site visit, attended MCU's Environmental Task Force Meetings, and installed so we can have data from the monitor to share with our community. The information from the monitors can be found at this website: https://airwatchstl.mcustlouis.org .

For people that suffer from allergies and asthma, this can be a resource to manage your health. This monitor is reading PM 2.5, which is particulate matter that is small enough to impact lung health on "red" days. We will be holding informational meetings soon, and we hope the whole congregation might be interested in learning about these results and other ways we can care for creation. MCU invites us to sign a petition of support around air permit reform and come together as a St. Louis Region at the Air Quality Bridge Rally on July 23rd 9am: tinyurl.com/7-23-22Air-Quality-Rally. If you have questions about the monitor, please contact Beth Gutzler; beth@mcustl.com, please reach out to TNC for more information about nature based solutions to air quality issues."

Three Seconds

Watch this epic presentation of where humanity stands today and how we must all work together to make it to the fourth second.

1st Prize Short Film Winner of the Film4Climate Global Video Competition

Recycling 101

The average American generates 4.48 pounds of trash a day, adding to a monstrous 262 million tons of trash per year in the United States.   Approximately 35% is recycled.

Aluminum, such as beverage cans, pet food cans, aerosol cans, aluminum foil, and cookware, can be recycled.  It takes 60 days to repurpose aluminum cans.  It is cheaper to make material from recycled material than it is to make the same material from scratch.

Recycling Tips

1.  Walmart, Target, Dierbergs, and Schnucks recycle the film or stretchy plastics..that is grocery bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, zipper sandwich bags, and plastic cereal bags.  Curbside pick up does not accept these items.  We knew that, but we didn’t know any paper labels on this type of plastic needed to be cut off first.

2.  Rinse bottles with hot water and shake well.  Pour out the water, allow to dry and replace the lid back on the bottle.

3.  Any item with more than one material cannot go in your recycling bin.  For example a Pringle can has a metal base along with the cardboard round container.  One could cut off the bottom, then the container might be recycled.

Recycling Information

Our Recycling Station in Fellowship Hall accept the following:

  • batteries (rechargeable, alkaline, hearing aid)
  • cell phones/chargers
  • corks
  • eyeglasses
  • hearing aids
  • printer cartridges
  • electric cords
  • candles

For locations to recycle other items, see Where to Recycle in St. Louis

ReUse Opportunity:

WGPC is collecting "loose parts" for Urban Sprouts Child Development Center. The Center is a joyful, encouraging, and diverse educational community located in North University City. As evidenced by the 300 families on the wait list, many people are in need of high quality, predictable child care to enable them to enter the workforce. The Center is inspired by the Reggio-Emilia approach and to that end, it builds learning toys from many "loose parts." WGPC has a new collection center in Fellowship Hall to gather the following for Urban Sprouts:

  • Washers and Bolts
  • Napkin Rings
  • Wood Frames
  • Buttons
  • Bracelets
  • Thimbles
  • Wood Scraps
  • Embroidery Rings
  • Thread and Ribbon Spools
  • Cabinet and Drawer Knobs

We seek to live Christ's love, welcome all people and joyfully serve God.