Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing: Mississippi Greenway

As a major city in a slave state just across the Mississippi River from the free state of Illinois, St. Louis was a pivotal point in the Underground Railroad.

On the night of May 21, 1855, in the area that is now part of the Mississippi Greenway: Riverfront Trail north of the Merchant’s Bridge, Mary Meachum attempted to help a small group of enslaved people cross the Mississippi River to Illinois where slavery was outlawed. However, enslavers and law enforcement officials caught at least five of the enslaved people and arrested Mary for her participation in the plot. She was charged in criminal court for helping the “fugitives” escape. In 2001, the National Park Service recognized the site as part of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Ruth Porter Mall Park: St. Vincent Greenway

The St. Vincent Greenway passes through Ruth C. Porter Mall Park between Delmar and Etzel in the West End Neighborhood of St. Louis. The park is named for Ruth C. Porter, a tireless activist dedicated to eradicating inequality and discrimination in St. Louis.

Lorraine Davis Park: Deer Creek Greenway

Located along the Deer Creek Greenway, this park honors Lorraine Davis, a North Webster resident, educator, volunteer and community leader.

Father Dickson Cemetery: Gravois Greenway (Grant’s Trail)

Located along Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail at Sappington Road, Father Dickson Cemetery was one of the first public cemeteries available to African Americans in the St. Louis area. More than 6,000 people were interred there before it closed in the 1970’s. Without a perpetual care endowment, the cemetery fell victim to abuse and neglect and was at risk of commercial development. Friends of Father Dickson Cemetery organized in 1988 to restore and preserve the historic 13-acre site and more than 167 years of African American History.

Submit your comments about the Centennial Greenway in Olivette for federal funding consideration

Through February 26, 2021, you have the chance to submit your comments about projects seeking federal funding through East-West Gateway’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). TAP funds can be used for projects such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, Safe Routes to School infrastructure or programming, community improvement and environmental mitigation activities, and preservation of historic transportation facilities.

Among the projects currently under funding consideration is the first phase of a new extension of the Centennial Greenway in Olivette. This one mile project will extend the greenway from Dielman Rd to Warson Park, immediately adjacent to the 39 North Ag-Tech district.

There are two ways to add your support to this project.

Option 1

Click here, scroll down, select “OLIVETTE,” then click on “ CENTENNIAL GREENWAY, PHASE 1” and follow the instructions.

Option 2

Send an email to TIP@ewgateway.org and paste “Comment on TIP 7162-22, CENTENNIAL GREENWAY, PHASE 1” into the subject line. Then copy and paste the questions below into the body of the email, and type in your answers in the spaces below each question.

  • Do you live or work in the community where the project is proposed?
  • Do you support, have concerns about or oppose this project?
  • What are the key reasons for your position?
  • Anything else you’d like us to consider or comments you’d like to share about this project?
  • Name or organization:

 

Thanks in advance for taking the time to provide your support for this project! This is a competitive grant process, so your voice will greatly improve this project’s chance of selection for funding.

Four Great Reasons to Get Outside RIGHT NOW

Feeling cooped up? Need a change of scenery? Our region’s 128 miles of greenways are the perfect place to spend a winter day. Here are four great reasons to get outside right now:

What Made Us Smile in 2020

As we look back on this year like no other, we hope you’ll smile at a few of these memories, moments & milestones from around the greenways in 2020.

Envision the Next 20 Years of Greenways

Great Rivers Greenway is celebrating its 20th anniversary and seeking input to envision the next twenty years of connecting the region with greenways. Area residents are invited to guide Great Rivers Greenway’s work by providing feedback through January 15 at www.GreenwayPlan.org. While anyone is welcome to share ideas, the greenways are funded by sales tax revenue from St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, so people who live and work in those three counties are especially encouraged to participate. One of the survey participants will be randomly drawn to receive a $300 grocery gift card.

Over the last twenty years, civic engagement has guided the agency to build more than 128 miles of greenways that connect people to their jobs, schools, parks, rivers, neighborhoods, business districts, transit and more. Greenways typically include a paved, accessible trail, conservation projects to enhance the environment, amenities like restrooms or benches and connections to nearby destinations. The map below shows the progress throughout the region to date and some of the future possible routes. The agency—created by a vote of the people in 2000—updates their long term strategic plan every five years with community input.

“Your voices are central to bringing the greenways to life – these are your tax dollars at work,” said Dr. Bernard J. DuBray, Board President. “A vision this bold takes all of us – thank you to all our partners and community members for their collaboration.”

In addition to building the paths to connect the three counties together, Great Rivers Greenway works with partners to promote and activate and take care of the greenways and surrounding habitats. The agency was originally set up to build the greenways, with local municipalities or other entities managing the day-to-day care. Due to varying capacity of partners, the operations and maintenance sometimes varies from place to place. Input on past plans led to a team that supports greenway care with staff, vendors, volunteers and trainings to help maintain the greenways more consistently across the region. Long-term care is just one of the topics on the survey, along with project prioritization and how people can get involved with conservation work and establishing relationships with their communities.

“We’ve heard time and again that the greenways are an important part of people’s quality of life and our region’s well-being overall,” said Susan Trautman, Chief Executive Officer. “That has been loud and clear in 2020 – more people than ever have turned to the greenways for fresh air, to stay active and connect to nature. These regional assets belong to everyone and we welcome your ideas to envision the next 20 years!”

Tracked by electronic counters, visits to the greenways have risen 72% in 2020 as compared to 2019. The survey will remain open until January 15, 2021. To learn more, request a copy be mailed to you, take the survey by phone or learn about the history of Great Rivers Greenway, visit www.GreenwayPlan.org, call 314-436-7009 or email info@grgstl.org.

 

Share the Greenways!

This year, more people than ever have been out walking, running, riding a bike, pushing a stroller or just getting fresh air on the greenways. Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail has been especially busy, so we put out some temporary signs with tips for sharing the greenway. No matter which greenway you visit, here’s how you can do your part to ensure a great experience for all:

  • Stay to the right except to pass. When passing, please announce yourself: “I’m coming up on your left” or “on your left.”
  • Keep your speeds low so you can adapt to whatever you might encounter.
  • If you need to slow down or stop, please move off the greenway ASAP!
  • Look and listen for others to communicate successfully!
  • Keep your pets close and on a leash, please! (and clean up after them)