A rare total solar eclipse will occur on August 21, 2017, bringing thousands of sky-watchers to the St. Louis region. The partial eclipse is set to begin just after 11:45 a.m. reaching totality around 1:15 pm. The length of totality depends on your location, lasting for just a few seconds or as long as 2 minutes 40 seconds. The eclipse event will end entirely around 2:45 pm. All three campuses of the Missouri Botanical Garden are within the path of totality, but each site will bring a different experience.
Missouri Botanical Garden
The Garden is situated on the northern limit of the total solar eclipse, and expects to experience about 30 seconds of totality. While visible throughout the grounds, the Japanese Garden will be one of the best spots to see the eclipse because of its southern location and open views around the lake. The first 500 visitors will be provided with free viewing glasses beginning at noon the day of the eclipse.
The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House
The Butterfly House is closed as usual on Monday during the eclipse, but the surrounding Faust Park provides a great backdrop for eclipse viewing. Visitors to the park should expect to see about 70 seconds of totality.
Shaw Nature Reserve
Our Gray Summit campus is arguably one of the best places in the region to view the solar eclipse. Shaw Nature Reserve will experience 2 minutes and 26 seconds of totality, just shy of the maximum. And with wide open prairie habitat, there will be incredible vantage points throughout the Nature Reserve.
Parking will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, with a fee of $20 per car. Visitors will receive a pair of solar viewing glasses along with a safety guide and map of viewing areas, while supplies last.
Visitors are also encouraged to bring a lawn chair, picnic lunch (learn how to pack a waste-free picnic) and plenty of drinking water. Local officials are expecting extremely heavy traffic in the area, all day. Please expect travel delays.
Cassidy Moody, Digital Media Specialist