Habitat Restoration along Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail

Great Rivers Greenway works with partners and volunteers to restore and enhance habitats along its network of greenways. As part of these efforts, Great Rivers Greenway acquired ten acres of land between the Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail and Gravois Creek near the Mysun Charitable Trust Trailhead. These parcels, which were once used by a landscaping company and a driving range, have become overgrown by invasive plants and problem trees. Over the course of multiple years, Great Rivers Greenway will restore this land to serve as a native habitat, providing benefits to pollinators, wildlife and the entire community.

2019 River des Peres Trash Bash Recap

Thank you partners and volunteers for another successful River des Peres Trash Bash!

On Saturday October 19, 2019,  424 volunteers came together under sunny skies to clean up the creeks, streams and neighborhoods within the River des Peres Watershed.   Here are some quick highlights and numbers:

Trash Removed

  •  7 tons of trash and 150 tires removed in 3 hours!
  • Of the total, 1 ton of metal and all 150 tires will be recycled

Event Details

  • 15 cleanup sites along the river des Peres Watershed
  • 4 Check in locations- Willmore Park-St. Louis, Heman Park Community Center-University City, Hanley Hills City Hall, and Lorraine Davis Park-Webster Groves

Prizes awarded for: 

  • Strangest Trash Found – 20 year old (approx.) Nintendo Game
  • Most Valuable Trash Found – Power tool bag

Thanks to partners, volunteers enjoyed:

  • free t-shirt
  • breakfast & lunch
  • post event celebration at Willmore Park with DJ, educational booths and entertaining Renegade St. Louis history lesson about the River des Peres

In addition to the major partners, we are grateful for the following events partners who provided, resources, staff and/or hosted cleanup sites:

  • Ladue- three dump trucks and staff
  • Clayton -skid steer, truck and staff, also managed waste processing area
  • Des Peres- one dump truck and staff
  • Shrewsbury- one dump truck and staff
  • Frontenac -one dump truck and staff
  • Brentwood -one dump truck and staff
  • Creve Coeur- one dump truck and staff
  • University City site host, one dump truck and staff
  • Glendale staff-assisted Clayton staff at the waste processing area
  • Crestwood covered part of Domino’s pizza lunch cost for volunteers
  • Webster Groves site host
  • Hanley Hills site host
  • Dobbs, recycled 150 tires

Sound like fun? Join us for the  Confluence Trash Bash on March 21, 2020. Complete the form below to be notified when registration opens! 

Confluence Trash Bash 2020 registration notification



Volunteers Needed for 17th Annual River des Peres Trash Bash Saturday October 19

Great Rivers Greenway District, in partnership with the River des Peres Watershed Coalition, Missouri Department of Conservation, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, and the City of St. Louis invites you to clean up the creeks and streams within the River des Peres Watershed.

This is a family friendly event that improves neighborhoods by removing trash and improving water quality in St. Louis City and St. Louis County.
Volunteers of all ages are needed to clear litter from several sites, including Gravois Creek, Deer Creek, River des Peres and the Mississippi River.

“This year’s floods revealed how trash or plastic bottles dropped on streets and sidewalks winds up in our waterways,” says Tom Schweiss, Great Rivers Greenway Conservation Manger. “At the peak of the flooding, many people were dismayed by all of the trash floating in the River des Peres and wanted to know what could be done to clean it up. The Trash Bash is a great opportunity to get involved and do just that. We need all hands on deck to remove the trash, restore habitat, and improve water quality for everyone who lives in the watershed.”

Registration will take place from 8:00 to 8:45 a.m. at four locations – Willmore Park, located on the east side of the River des Peres and just north of the intersection of Hampton and Gravois Avenues in St. Louis City; the Heman Park Community Center, located at 975 Pennsylvania in University City; Hanley Hills City Hall located at 7713 Utica Drive; and Lorraine Davis Park, located at 145 E. Waymire in Webster Groves Free breakfast will be provided at each location, and all volunteers will get a free t-shirt.

The cleanup will last from 9:00 a.m. to noon with a celebration and appreciation pizza lunch at Willmore Park from noon to 2 p.m. Volunteers will also be rewarded with musical entertainment and prizes for the “best” trash finds in three categories—most valuable, oldest, and weirdest.

Volunteers at the 2018 Trash Bash removed 6.7 tons of debris from streams and creeks within the River des Peres Watershed in only three hours. The final tally included 138 tires, 1.4 tons of scrap metal, .45 tons of recycling material and 4.8 tons of trash. Long-time volunteers, youth and community groups, as well as new faces from across the region, are encouraged at this year’s Trash Bash to work together to improve the River des Peres Watershed.

For more information or to register in advance, STLTrashBash.org.

Restoring a Wetland along the Gravois Greenway Extension

Construction to connect the Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail and River des Peres Greenway continues despite heavy rains and historic flooding throughout the region. While work in certain areas of the project has been put on pause due to conditions, work in other areas is set to begin. Work to restore a wetland area near Gravois Creek and to construct a raised greenway through this flood prone area will soon get underway! We caught up with the project’s architect – Vern Remiger of DGRE Studio – to learn more about the wetland area and the restoration project.

Maline Greenway: Stabilizing Stream Banks

Before installing three new bike and pedestrian bridges in Bella Fontaine County Park as part of its Maline Greenway project, Great Rivers Greenway had to address erosion issues along Maline Creek and two other waterways within the park. Project engineers and landscape architects took a close look at the problem and developed a solution that utilized a combination of stone and green infrastructure. The improvements will protect the stream banks during storm events and flash flooding and reduce the amount of downstream sediment pollution within the waterways.

Willow Staking along the Meramec Greenway

To help stabilize an eroding stream bank near the Meramec Greenway: Lower Meramec Park, Great Rivers Greenway partnered with Saint Louis County Parks and the Open Space Council to plant more than 300 willow stakes. But before the stakes could be planted, staff from each of the organizations and community volunteers came together to harvest stakes from another park along the Meramec River. These stakes, cut from live willow trees, will provide protection for the stream bank and provide many other ecological benefits in the process.

Volunteers Needed for Confluence Trash Bash March 23, 2019

Join  Great Rivers Greenway and our partners at Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Missouri American Water, and Missouri Department of Conservation Stream Team for the 11th annual Confluence Trash Bash on Sat. March 23, 2019, from 8 a.m. to noon. Area residents are invited to join the cleanup efforts to improve the condition of our waterways. To date, volunteers have removed more than 150 tons of trash and about 6,700 tires from area streams and rivers.

Volunteers can choose from the following locations to check in and receive a free bagel breakfast and T-shirt from 8-8:45 a.m.:

  • Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, 801 Strodtman Rd, St. Louis, MO 63138
  • Creve Coeur Park, 2160 Creve Coeur Mill Road, St. Louis, MO 63146
  • Chesterfield River’s Edge Park, 17089 North Outer 40 Rd #140, Chesterfield, MO 63005 (Open to ages 16 and older only; head into Bike Stop Cafe for breakfast and registration)
  • Florissant Sunset Park, 2300 Sunset Park Drive, Florissant, MO 63031
  • Bridgeton Government Center, 12355 Natural Bridge Road, Bridgeton, MO 63044
  • Hanley Hills City Hall, 7713 Utica Dr., St. Louis, MO 63133
  • Overland Wild Acres Park, 2500 Ashby Road, Overland, MO 63114
  • Dellwood Recreation Center, 10266 W. Florissant 63136
  • Greenwood Cemetery, 6439 St. Louis Ave. 63121

Specific cleanup sites will then be assigned near each of the starting locations.

“It’s amazing to see how much trash and debris our volunteers can clear out of our rivers and creeks in just a few hours,” says Charlene Waggoner, Greenway Network, Inc. Board President. “The energy and enthusiasm are contagious as people from across the region come together to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. It feels good to make a difference in the community, and it keeps volunteers coming back year after year.”

All are welcome, and no experience is required. Individual volunteers, civic groups and youth organizations are encouraged to attend. Volunteers should dress for the weather and bring a water bottle and gloves. Trash bags will be provided. Transportation is available for school and other groups by contacting Colleen Scott with the Missouri Department of Conservation via email at Colleen.Scott@mdc.mo.gov.

Partners on this event include St. Louis Audubon, Greenway Network, League of Watershed Guardians, St. Louis Brightside, St. Louis County,. Participating municipalities include St. Louis County, cities of St. Louis, Maryland Heights, Creve Coeur, Florissant, Bridgeton, Overland, Hanley Hills, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Jennings, Normandy, Black Jack, Hazelwood, Breckenridge Hills, Chesterfield, Berkeley, Dellwood, and Ballwin.

For more information, email greenwaynetwork@gmail.com. To register online, click here.

Deer Creek Honeysuckle Walks

The City of Webster Groves is testing chemical-free methods of honeysuckle removal along the Deer Creek Greenway. Watch and learn more about these methods and how you can help during the month of March!

Boy Scout Conservation along Deer Creek Greenway

We recently caught up with James Karslake, a young conservationist who spent part of his 12th birthday fighting soil erosion along the Deer Creek Greenway. James has volunteered more than 400 hours of his time to this project, which he researched and worked with a conservation advisor to plan. This is his fourth conversation undertaking around the St. Louis region in the last year and a half. James has been conducting this work in hopes of earning a Hornaday Award, a highly prestigious award the Boy Scouts describe as an “Olympic Medal Bestowed by the Earth.” Earning the award takes a lot of hard work and James is well on his way!