Learn about 16- acre Chain of Rocks Park beginning construction in 2023, visit historic bridge, and enjoy live local entertainment!
You are invited to come celebrate the improvements coming to the Mississippi Greenway at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge! The event will take place on Saturday October 29, 2022 from 10am to 11:30am at the Missouri entrance to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge at 10840 Riverview Drive, St. Louis MO.
Music and dance performance begins at 10am, then speakers at 10:30am followed by a ceremonial “prairie seeding.”
The new Chain of Rocks Park—a 16-acre public park on the Missouri side of the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge on the Mississippi Greenway (also known as the Riverfront Trail), includes upgrades to the existing trailhead and habitat. The park site is bounded by I-270 to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, the City of St. Louis Chain of Rocks water treatment plant to the south, and Riverview Drive to the west. When complete, there will be:
A better visitor experience and place to host events and programs:
- Restrooms and drinking fountains for daily use
- Local artwork that reflects the Mississippi Flyway migratory route and Chain of Rocks river geology
- Picnic pavilion for group gatherings
- Direct walking and biking access to historic bridge with river overlook
- Event lawn and food truck area with water and electricity for community gatherings
Restored habitat and ecosystems:
- Restoration of wetlands and woodlands that provide food and shelter for native wildlife on site including migratory birds
- New 1.5 acre reconstructed prairie (already underway) with future unpaved footpath running through
- Permeable parking lot (to allow water to flow through), an overflow grass lot and rain gardens to reduce stormwater runoff from the site
Safety and security on site:
- Fence around site and gated entrance with staff on site during peak hours
- Lighting in parking lot and video surveillance cameras
- Emergency phone
The project is being funded by local sales tax dollars, federal grants and generous donors to the Great Rivers Greenway Foundation. In August 2021, the project was awarded a $990,000 grant from the National Park Service through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program—one of just 19 projects nationwide. This grant was matched by donations from the Mysun Charitable Foundation and the William R. Orthwein Jr. and Laura Rand Orthwein Foundation. Restoration of the prairie will be reimbursed in part by a cost sharing program with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“Since 2019, we have been working with Old Chain of Rocks neighbors and other stakeholders to plan and design a new vision for the western end of this beloved and historic bridge on the Mississippi Greenway,” says Susan Trautman, Great Rivers Greenway’s Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to their ideas and feedback, we are ready to make Chain of Rocks Park a welcoming place for local, national and international visitors to enjoy the bridge, the park, the Mississippi River and the greenway.”
Construction of the improvements are expected to begin in early 2023 and be complete in early 2024. Work on the reconstructed prairie is already underway and will be a multi-year process.