HARTFORD — New trees, shrubs and flowers will grace the landscaped areas around the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower in Hartford Friday, April 22, as part of an Earth Day celebration.
Heritage Environmental Services and Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery have teamed up to plant more than 100 perennials at the Tower to celebrate Earth Day. The donated plants and labor are part of Heritage Environmental and Phillips 66 commitment to support the region through outreach efforts.
“Heritage feels that it is important to mark this date by continuing our mission to protect human health and the environment and we are honored to be a part of a project that showcases both the historical significance of our region as well as the two great rivers which can be seen from the Confluence Tower,” said Sheila Morris, senior area manager for Heritage.
A total of five maple trees, two rose of Sharon bushes, 40 coneflowers and nearly 60 additional flowers will be planted by the tower’s welcome sign and around the tower grounds. Employees from Heritage and members of the refinery team from the Community Relations and the Environmental Department at Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery will volunteer their time to replenish the landscaped areas.
“Phillips 66 is committed to the region through various outreach efforts,” said Melissa Erker, director of government and community affairs. “Our partnership with the Lewis & Clark Confluence tower dates back to its conception in a village meeting. As we celebrate Earth Day and conservation of our great natural resources, it is exciting to be beautifying a location that is so significant to the mapping of our nation’s resources and waterways through the work of Lewis and Clark.”
Planting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and should be completed by 11 a.m., according to Deanna Barnes, special projects manager for the village of Hartford.
“The new plants will help replenish our existing landscaping,” Barnes said. “We are so pleased with the continuing spirit of community involvement shown by Phillips 66 and Heritage Environmental, particularly on Earth Day. This is a great way to help beautify the grounds of the tower.”
The tower has a formal garden area on the south side of the property. It features many plants discovered by Lewis and Clark on their historic journey west to discover a river route to the Pacific Ocean. Many of these plants were sent back to President Thomas Jefferson by the explorers. Interpretive panels dot the garden with information about the journey and the native plant life discovered.
Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery has been a sponsor of tower activities since the inception of the facility more than six years ago and continues to sponsor the annual award-winning Eagle Season.
The tower is seeking garden enthusiasts to maintain the gardens. For information, contact Deanna Barnes at (618) 251-2681.
Visitors are invited to view the gardens and take a tour of the tower to view the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The tower is open five days a week. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Guided daily tours are available throughout the day. Admission to the tower is $4 for adults, $3 for adults 62 and older, active military and military veterans, $2 for children 12 and under and children 2 and younger are free. Group rates are available for 12 or more people and reservations can be made by calling the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau at (618) 465-6676.
Twilight Thursday series
The tower has kicked off its Twilight Thursday series.
Admission is $5 per person, which includes unlimited trips up to the 180-foot tower’s three viewing platforms at 50, 100 and 150 feet. Visitors are encouraged to bring cameras and binoculars for viewing.
Visitors will be able to view the spring sunset over the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi river. Make sure to check the times of the sunset to plan trips accordingly.
“The view of the sunset from the top of the tower is breathtaking,” said Don Russell, longtime tower volunteer. “It’s the greatest place to be if you want to sit back and enjoy the view unfold in front of you. Visitors can come and make memories they’ll never want to forget.”