For more than a week, St. Louis commuters may have noticed two unusual billboards going up and wondered just who was putting up the lush and leafy St. Louis Arch display. The mystery ended when Bayer unveiled what’s believed to be the first ever Living Billboards adorned with actual crops that include kale, parsley, collards, and three varieties of chard – Swiss chard, white stemmed chard, and red stemmed chard. The message reads, “St. Louis, let’s grow together.”
The Living Billboards represent Bayer’s commitment to the St. Louis region through a combination of community spirit, agriculture, art, and innovation. Additionally, this unique design represents Bayer’s commitment to social responsibility. The greens will be harvested at maturity in mid-September and donated to the St. Louis Area Food Bank as part of a larger food contribution by Bayer, to those who are food insecure and lack access to healthy nutritional meals.
In consideration of St. Louis’ hot, humid and sometimes dry climate, the billboard’s designers worked with plant experts and other consultants to select crops that would be healthy while withstanding extreme weather conditions, grow in a vertical environment and be maintained by a horticulturist. Each billboard also has its own built-in irrigation system which recycles drainage water from the crops so that it is reused again to hydrate the plants.