Earthways Center of Missouri Botanical Gardens
As Director of EarthWays Center of Missouri Botanical Garden, Ms. Abney provides overall management for the department’s programs, projects and staff. EarthWays Center is in the sustainability division of the Garden with a focus to promote sustainability in the community through environmental education and improving the built environment. Ms. Abney brings a wealth of experience in fundraising, supervising, coordinating and delivering programs in environmental education and improving the built environment. She obtains nearly a million dollars of department funding annually through grants, contracts, foundations, fee for service programs and other funding sources to support over 20 community-based programs and projects.
Ms. Abney developed the first Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and ENERGY STAR New Homes programs in the Greater St. Louis area in 2003. She continues to provide essential direction for all contracted residential energy efficiency programs including HPwES in MO and IL, ESNH; utility energy efficiency rebate programs, low-interest loan programs for energy efficiency, Green Homes programs; the Green Business Challenge (an RCGA program) and the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter. EarthWays Center is a BPI Test Center; staffs are active on the MO and IL HBA Green Builders Councils, the local APEC Chapter, various trade organizations, Missouri Energy Initiative, and several committees of the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter.
Ms. Abney also completed the design of the SEED (School Energy Efficiency Development) program for use in k-12 schools and coordinated and edited development of the comprehensive air quality education “In the Air” for use with k-12 and adult audiences. She provides essential direction for all environmental education programs: including SEED, LEAP (recycling education program); Schools Going Solar; In the Air (air quality education program); and all Green Schools and Sustainability Education programs. She also coordinates divisional offerings to help the public and all audiences advance their sustainability efforts, including having a Green Resources Answer Service; a Sustainable Business Network; EarthWays Center E-Newsletter; previous tours of EarthWays Center (an 1885 Victorian home rehabbed to be a model of energy and resource efficiency); development of a new sustainability demonstration home on Garden grounds, adult education classes; and special events such as the annual Green Homes Festivals and Green Balls.
In addition to serving on the Executive Committee and Board of MEI, Ms. Abney also serves on the Missouri Environmental Literacy Advisory Board; on the OAKS Outdoor Action Committee of the Conservation Federation of MO and she served the Missouri Environmental Education Association as Past President and Past Conference & Committee Chair. She served ten years as a Board Member of the Henry Shaw Ozark Corridor Foundation.
Ms Abney has a M.S. in Environmental Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.