Lewis and Clark Trail
Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum (BCA) is delighted to announce the development of a new garden space and walking trail dedicated to the Lewis and Clark Corp of Discovery Expedition (1803-1806). The garden and trail will be open to the public on Saturday, September 23, 2023.
The resting place of William Clark has long been a popular stop for many visitors to the cemetery. This new garden space will feature a seating area along the road across from the William Clark family lot.
Visitors can also walk along a newly-developed trail system along the expansive natural areas. The trail connects to existing trails established in the last several years that meander through Evergreen Meadow and surrounding restored natural areas.
Several interpretive signs will be in the garden and along the trail highlighting information about the expedition. The vegetation within the garden will focus on plants noted within the expedition, particularly woody trees, and shrubs. These plant species will be notated with unique plant tags and information.
To celebrate the opening of the Garden, BCA will distribute special commemorative seed packets containing seeds unique to the Corp of Discovery Expedition story. These seed packets will be available for pick-up at numerous BCA events throughout the year and at the office or gatehouse during a visit.
The seed mix contains plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), godetia (Clarkia spp.), blue flax (Linum lewisii), and blanket flower (Gaillardia aristate). All these plants have a unique connection to the expedition; some even named species for the team’s leadership and their botanical contributions. All are annual or short-lived perennial species for a quick fill and color.
Distribute seeds evenly across a 5-square-foot area in full sun. Lightly tamp seeds into the surface and keep them evenly moist until they germinate and are 4 to 6 inches tall. With one of these seed packets, you can watch your very own historic garden grow and practice plant identification skills and nature study just as it was done on the expedition.
Much work is ahead for the BCA staff and volunteers to develop this garden space. This unique landscape should be an asset to the organization, providing a new place for tours and educational programs to explore and discover.
YOU CAN HELP US!
Follow these links to donate to our cause.
On our website,
If using Paypal or Venmo, please specify in the memo section of the donation that this is for the L&C Garden.
If you would like more information on this project, please get in touch with our Development Officer Joe Sheilds via email or call him at 314-880-8579.
This project has been made possible by generous gifts of expertise and funding from our partner organizations.
Missouri Department of Conservation
The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation