Murray Award – City of St. Charles

In memory of Mike Murray, who was always grounded in the mission and collaborative model of Great Rivers Greenway, nonprofit, municipal, government or corporate partners that go above and beyond the call of duty to contribute to the mission of Great Rivers Greenway over the course of a given year will be recognized annually. This year, we celebrate the City of St. Charles. Read on about their dedication and celebrate with the community on April 7!

The City of St. Charles strengthens the collaboration with Great Rivers Greenway to make the St. Louis region a more vibrant place to live, work and play by developing a network of greenway to connect people to our rivers, parks and communities. The dedication and commitment of City staff, elected officials, residents and business owners to enriching the quality of life for residents and visitors is evidenced by their spirit of partnership.

As the operations and maintenance partner on the Boschert Greenway, the willingness and capacity of City staff to care for the greenway allowed for unique enhancements to the greenway such as the Living Wall of native grasses and the bicycle-themed public art sculpture. The planning, design and construction of the first two phases of the Boschert Greenway were led by Great Rivers Greenway in partnership with the City of St. Charles. Currently, the City of St. Charles is championing the expansion of the third phase of the Boschert Greenway expansion by acquiring an abandoned railway and integrating the design of the greenway with the Foundry Arts Centre. Also near the Boschert Greenway, the City of St. Charles worked with Boeing Missile Defense to create a walking and bicycling connection between the defense facility and the Katy Trail so that the large number of employees who use active transportation to get to and from work have a more safe and convenient connection. This project also has an on-street facility that connects up Little Hills Expressway to the Boschert Greenway from Boeing. This collaboration has increased the impact on the community by creating additional connections to residences, businesses, places of employment, and cultural destinations in Historic St. Charles and has increased the programming opportunities on the Boschert Greenway.

In 2016, the City of St. Charles worked with consultants Trailnet, Heartlands Conservancy and Alta Planning and Design to develop a citywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan was guided by a Steering Committee made up of city staff, elected officials, and representatives from the Parks and Recreation Board, School District, Lindenwood University, local bicycle shop, Delta Center for Independent Living, County Highway Department, Chamber of Commerce, MoDOT, area residents, and Great Rivers Greenway. This plan includes a review of existing conditions and recommendations for walking and bicycling education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation, and engineering. Route maps for both walking and bicycling were identified along with design guidelines and funding sources. The plan identified and implemented a public engagement process throughout its development. The City of St. Charles Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was presented to City Council in November 2016.

Since 2013, the City of St. Charles has been working with Great Rivers Greenway to expand the Centennial Greenway over highways 364 and 94 to connect residents in St. Charles City and County, and St. Peters with their rivers, parks and communities in St. Charles and across the Missouri River in St. Louis County. The City of St. Charles played an integral role in engaging residents and elected officials in the development of this project. Once complete, the City of St. Charles will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of the bridges over 364/94. Though the construction will not be complete until 2018, the City of St. Charles has proactively included bridge inspections in their maintenance contract. The City of St. Charles cites the successful collaborations with agencies and neighboring municipalities such as St. Charles County, MoDOT, the City of St. Peters, and Great Rivers Greenway for their ability to go above and beyond in their spirit of partnership that is necessary to execute the citizens’ vision for the Centennial Greenway.

As stated in their Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, “The City of St. Charles is an attractive destination for tourists, families, and businesses alike. The City has numerous enjoyable and walkable attractions, including historic Main Street, the Katy Trail, and the scenic Missouri River. Creating stronger multi-modal connections to these destinations will provide healthier, safer, and more economical options for both tourists and residents.” The City of St. Charles recognizes the power of partnerships in connecting people to the destinations within their city via greenways and connecting people to the greenways as standalone destinations. The City of St. Charles staff, elected officials, residents and business owners are excellent partners of Great Rivers Greenway who give plentifully of their time and resources. Their vision for making the region a more vibrant place to live, work and play extends beyond municipal boundaries and considers the greenways as connections to our rivers, parks, communities and the larger St. Louis region.