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Great Rivers Greenway and partners delivering vital connections and dynamic experiences with 10 miles of greenways and special places along the way
St. Louis (June 30, 2023) – Great Rivers Greenway’s Brickline Greenway project got another boost this week. This major public-private partnership will link historic Fairground Park, Forest Park, Tower Grove Park and Gateway Arch National Park and hundreds of destinations in between with safe, paved pathways. The initiative, launched with an international design competition in 2017 and celebrated the grand opening of the Pillars of the Valley monument earlier this year, has secured significant funding from the State of Missouri Capital Improvement Budget for 2024.
“This $15 million investment provides powerful momentum for the Brickline Greenway, which has been envisioned with input from thousands of residents, businesses and organizations who understand how civic infrastructure boosts the economy of our city and our state,” said Susan Trautman, Great Rivers Greenway CEO. “We’re so grateful for this bi-partisan effort, championed by Senators Steven Roberts and Karla May, and for Governor Parson’s approval of this funding.”
On the heels of a prominent feature in the New York Times, the signing of House Bill 19 adds to the attention Brickline Greenway is earning as an essential part of St. Louis’ future. The development has received broad-based buy-in from residents and businesses who believe it will provide great benefits to the region. With Brickline Greenway being a key component of their STL 2030 Jobs Plan, Greater St. Louis, Inc. co-funded a study conducted by Ernst & Young on the projected economic and social impact for the city, region and state. The report shows the urban greenway will ultimately create shared prosperity for neighborhoods and boost the local economy with upwards of $462 million invested in construction, operations and maintenance—a 2:1 return on investment.
“My priority every day is to think about what happens next to the greenway, how to strengthen neighborhoods, create jobs and work with partners to influence the kind of equitable economic impact the community needs and wants,” said T. Christopher Peoples, Equity and Economic Impact Director for Great Rivers Greenway.
The total project budget is $245 million, with nearly 40% of that already secured through a diversity of sources, including $28 million in federal grants; $15 million from the State of Missouri; a recent $2 million in Missouri state tax credits to incentivize further private donations; $15 million from Great Rivers Greenway’s local tax dollars; $2 million from the City of St. Louis to fund improvements on North Grand; and more than $36 million in corporate and private gifts from early investors such as Edward Jones and the Berges Family Foundation.
Currently, two segments are complete, three more are being designed with community engagement, and several more are in planning. Brickline Greenway construction will continue through 2030.
“The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive and these public and private contributions are an extension of that excitement,” said Trautman. “We are grateful for the shared commitment to this bold vision and look forward to bringing more sections to life throughout the next 5-8 years.”
Here are three greenways with lots of trees for cool & shady walks, bike rides or runs:
Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave Park
There are almost seven miles of paved greenway for walking, riding and running in Cliff Cave Park. If you prefer unpaved routes, you also have your choice of the Spring Valley and River Bluff trails. If you want to avoid the sun, stick to the upper section of the park. Start your adventure at the new parking lot on Cliff Cave Road, or in the lower parking lot by the pavilion and walk up the bluff. You’ll enjoy a mostly shady 2 mile walk or ride as well as sweeping views of the Mississippi River as you explore this newest segment of greenway! Plan your trip here.
Busch Greenway:Katy Trail to Missouri Research Park to August A. Busch Conservation Area
The Busch Greenway stretches 4.73 miles from the Katy Trail to the August A. Busch Conservation Area. If you want to avoid the sun, stick to the .75 mile section between the Duckett Creek Trailhead (in Missouri Research Park) and the Katy Trail. For a longer walk or ride, jump on the Katy Trail where you will enjoy plenty of shade beneath the trees lining the river. Plan your visit here.
Meramec Greenway: Glencoe to Sherman Beach Park
There are several trails that meet in this stretch of the Meramec Greenway, making it possible to walk or bike for several miles on paved and unpaved paths surrounding the Meramec River.
The Al Foster Trail and the paved spur known as Rock Hollow are both beautiful places for a cool summer’s walk or ride. The Rock Hollow Trail stretches from atop Ridge Road, 2.2 miles down the bluff where it connects to the Al Foster Trail. Rock Hollow is paved and mostly shady, with soaring bluffs through a dense forest.
The Al Foster Trail is flat, shady and made of crushed limestone. It is 3.21 miles long stretching from the trailhead near the intersection of Old State Road and Highway 109 by the Wabash, Frisco and Pacific miniature railroad to Sherman Beach. It offers tremendous views of the Meramec River as you pass besides soaring limestone bluffs. Click here to plan your trip