Butterflies, Bees & Native Plants on the Greenways: 5 Places to Find Them Right Now

Whenever possible, we incorporate habitat restoration into our greenway projects. One way is by removing invasive plants—such as bush honeysuckle—and replacing them with native plants and trees to improve habitat and support pollinators. We also create rain gardens filled with native plants that not only attract bees and butterflies, but also help capture and filter storm water runoff. Here are 5 places to find native plants (and the pollinators they attract!) along greenways:

Great Rivers Greenway Foundation Update

Since its inception as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit in 2016 the Great Rivers Greenway Foundation has received $12.7 million from individuals, other foundations and businesses to fund greenway projects, conservation efforts and improvements along the greenways.

Connecting the Centennial Greenway

Olivette Update

Since 2018, we’ve been working with the City of Olivette to extend the Centennial Greenway from its current endpoint at the Olive Blvd. and I-170 intersection through Olivette so people can connect on foot, bicycle, stroller and wheelchair to Warson Park, the new Olivette Community Center, Indian Meadows Park and the Olive Blvd. stores and restaurants.

Over the past year, we’ve asked for additional feedback from community members to help guide the final designs and ensure a great greenway experience.

This extension will be brought to life in multiple phases. Greenway design from Warson Park to Dielman Road and along Olive Blvd. near I-170 is expected to be complete this summer. In the fall, we’ll break ground in Warson Park, in coordination with the construction of the new Olivette Community Center. In 2022, construction will continue from Warson Park to Dielman Road and along Olive Blvd. near I-170, in coordination with the Olive Crossing Development. The timeline for the design and construction of the final stretch of greenway from Dielman Road to Olive Blvd. is dependent on the acquisition of the Union Pacific Railroad property. We’ll keep you posted on how this process will impact the project schedule.

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St. Charles Update

Community members and our partners at the cities of St. Charles and St. Peters have helped plan the next segment of the Centennial Greenway in St. Charles County. The goal is to extend the greenway (which connects the Katy Trail to the Heritage Museum plus a 0.7-mile walking/biking connection over highways 364 and 94) from its current endpoint at Old Highway 94 to Schaefer Park.

This also sets the stage for future connections that will make it possible to walk or ride a bike on dedicated walking and biking paths all the way from the St. Peters Rec-Plex to the Katy Trail as well as schools, parks and neighborhoods along the way.

Design is almost finished; the project is expected to be bid for construction in 2021-2022. We’ll also add wayfinding signs along the planned Centennial Greenway project being constructed by the City of St. Peters, which extends from Hackmann Road to Spencer Creek Trail, adjacent to Harvester Church of the Nazarene.

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University City Update

The Ackert Walkway — part of the Centennial Greenway linking Forest Park, Washington University and the Delmar Loop — extends north from Delmar Blvd. to Vernon Avenue. With the goal of improving the experience for greenway visitors, we worked with operations and maintenance partners on a betterment project in University City, the City of St. Louis and on the Washington University campus. The improvements included new wayfinding signage across the entire length of the greenway, replacement of aging concrete, new lighting, benches and trash cans. This work was wrapped up in early 2020. Future plans call for an extension of this greenway from Vernon Avenue to Heman Park.

We can’t wait to connect this entire greenway across all three counties for you to explore and enjoy!

Storybook Walks on Greenways

Storybook Walks are a fun way to read a book while enjoying a walk along a greenway. (Not to mention instilling a love for books as little readers burn up some energy!) Books are displayed page -by-page on progressive signs along the paved path. There are Storybook Walks on greenways in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County. Plan a visit to one or all of them!

Greenway Alerts: June 2021

There are some planned  maintenance projects underway (or about to get started) that will be impacting greenways around the region.  Heads up on the following greenway alerts so you can plan your walks and rides accordingly.

 

New Storybook Walk on St. Vincent Greenway in Partnership with St. Louis Public Library

We have teamed up with the St. Louis Public Library on a new Storybook Walk at Ruth Porter Mall Park on the St. Vincent Greenway. The goal is to provide a fun outdoor learning activity, while promoting physical activity on the greenway.  The first book is Cannon’s Crash Course, a story about a boy who is eager to ride a bike, but does not know how.  Take in this great children’s story written by Mon Trice and beautifully illustrated by Cbabi Bayoc as you enjoy a socially distanced walk.   (Fun Fact: Both the author and illustrator live in St. Louis!)

 

Each month will feature a new story:

  • April/May: Cannon’s Crash Course by Mon Trice and illustrated by Cbabi Bayoc
  • June: Hair Love by Matthew Cherry
  • July: Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
  • August: When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan
  • September: I Got the School Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison
  • October: Scaredy Kate by Jacob Grant
  • November: Grandma’s Tiny House by JaNay Brown-Wood
  • December: Snow Globe Wishes by Erin Dealey

The books  will be displayed page-by-page on progressive free-standing posts along the greenway. The posts were designed and built by Perennial, a local nonprofit, using 342 pounds of reclaimed material. Ruth Porter Mall Park  is located near the intersection of Delmar and Debaliviere on the St. Vincent Greenway. Plan your visit here.