Lots of good news from around the greenways in 2021! Thank you for your continued input, support, volunteering and visits to the greenways- here are a few highlights:
Greenway Construction Progress
- Together with the City of Olivette, we broke ground on the new greenway in Warson Park! This is the first phase of a greenway extension project that will connect the park to the existing Centennial Greenway at Olive and I-170. Learn more here.
- We broke ground on two of the three projects that will close the gap between the existing sections of the St. Vincent Greenway and create a continuous paved route between Forest Park and the University of Missouri-St. Louis! The first is the connection from the greenway in St. Vincent County Park to the Rock Road Transit Center along St. Charles Rock Rd. The second is a half mile extension from Trojan Park to Robert. L. Powell Place in Wellston. See the St. Vincent Greenway Master Plan here.
- The vibrant green Visitor Services building at Kiener Plaza is complete, offering seasonal retail, visitor services, storage and a high-visibility workspace for the 24/7 on-site security. Read all about it here.
Leveraging Sales Tax Investment with Federal Dollars: nearly $23 million awarded
- The Mississippi Greenway: Old Chain of Rocks received a $990,000 award from the National Park Service through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program. This award will be used to add security features, habitat restoration, nature-based storm water management, and amenities for daily use and special events to this historic site. See the plans here.
- A part of the northern segment of the Brickline Greenway—from Fairground Park to Forest Park Avenue—was awarded $15 million in federal construction funding! This was part of The United States Department of Transportation RAISE discretionary grant program (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity)—one of only three grants awarded in Missouri. This was made possible thanks to the great support of Senator Roy Blunt and Congresswoman Cori Bush! Read more about it here.
- The St. Vincent Greenway in Pagedale—the third and final project to close the gap on this greenway —was awarded $2.75 million in construction funds. We are working to prepare the project for construction in 2024.
- The segment of the Brickline Greenway from Sarah Street (near Cortex MetroLink station) to the Grand MetroLink station, including the bridge over Vandeventer Avenue was awarded $4 million in federal funds. Subscribe to get the latest updates on the Brickline Greenway here.
- With the help of partner organizations across the region, 1753 volunteers removed 45 tons of trash from public lands, greenways & waterways, planted 471 native trees and shrubs, and cleared nearly an acre of invasive plants.
- Our partnership with Americorps St. Louis cleared nearly 23 acres of invasive species and planted 161 native trees and shrubs along six greenways—enhancing the area for wildlife and visitors alike!
- Together with the City of Maplewood, we kicked off a streambank restoration project along the Deer Creek Greenway that will improve water quality in Deer Creek and drainage in Deer Creek Park.
- Learn more about our conservation work here. Want to get involved? Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.
Planning & Design Advanced with Community Input
From the Brickline Greenway Northside Night Out, to the Maplewood City Council, to the Chain of Rocks Community Association, our civic engagement team connected with thousands of people across the region to help shape future greenway planning and design. We engaged community members across the region to gather important feedback on projects such as the Greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks, the Maline Greenway in Ferguson, the Deer Creek Greenway connection to River des Peres and more.
We’ll be looking for more input as we advance planning for different segments of the Brickline Greenway and launch pilot projects from the St. Charles County Greenway Plan. Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved! Find all project updates here.
As part of the strategic planning effort we undertake every five years, we conducted civic engagement activities to make sure we’re on track and looking forward to the next 5, 10 and 20 years:
- More than 6600 people weighed in on the initial survey in 2021. See the responses here.
- We convened workshops with a Community Advisory Committee, Conservation Technical Advisory Committee, and Public Safety Technical Advisory Committee to develop recommendations.
- We continued to advance strategies to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion across all regional plan issue areas and in our day-to-day work. Read our full diversity, equity and inclusion plan here.
- This planning effort will wrap up in the first part of 2022; we will keep you posted on how you can provide your crucial input!
- In 2021, we introduced you to several “People of the Greenways” including some of our new Outreach Specialists who help out at events and programs across the region- answering questions, sharing project updates and handing out maps and greenway “swag.”
- We welcomed wonderful new team members including Jaquaylah Bossert as Volunteer Coordinator, Harry Hensley as Operations Supervisor, T. Christopher Peoples and Grace Wright as Senior Project Managers, Kaitlyn Service as Civic Engagement Manager and Susan Armacost as Chief Development Officer. Meet our whole team here.
- The 72% increase in greenway visitors recorded by our trail counters from 2019 to 2020 held steady in 2021. We estimate more than 3 million trips were taken on the greenways this year!
In October, we joined St. Louis City SC, Harris-Stowe State University, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones, local author Vivian Gibson and local artist Damon Davis to share plans to commemorate the Mill Creek Valley neighborhood in its former footprint along a one-mile stretch of the future Brickline Greenway along Market Street between Compton Avenue and 22nd Street. We hosted a panel discussion to talk about how this once thriving neighborhood of 20,000 Black residents was demolished in the name of “urban renewal” and the monuments that will rise along the greenway to tell this important story. Watch “A Conversation about Art, History & Community Along the Brickline Greenway” here.
We launched the “Behind the Brickline Greenway” Podcast to tell the story of how the Brickline Greenway is connecting St. Louis to a future of equity, growth, sustainability and potential. Listen to all 45 episodes at Audible, iheart & apple podcasts.
Together with the St. Louis Audubon Society, we hosted more than 100 people on Beginner Bird watching tours on greenways. More than 88 different species of birds were seen on eight different greenways.
During April and May, we invited you to participate in the Life Outside Challenge. People of all ages completed nature, creativity, health, play, and photo activities on greenways, in parks, and right outside their front door to win greenway prizes.