You are invited to celebrate the opening of the Maline Greenway: Bella Fontaine County Park! We’ve teamed up with our project partners, St. Louis County Parks, to cut the ribbon on Thursday, May 9 in conjunction with their Food Truck Fest in Bella Fontaine County Park!
This project creates 1.6 miles of the planned seven-mile Maline Greenway, an east-west link that will connect the Mississippi and St. Vincent Greenways. This phase of the new greenway was built primarily within Bella Fontaine County Park and includes new and refurbished, ADA accessible walking and biking paths and the replacement of three bridges. There is also a new underpass beneath Highway 367/Lewis & Clark Boulevard, providing a safe, seamless connection between both sides of the park and two Metro transit stops. (Bella Fontaine County Park is located at 9565 Bellefontaine Rd, St. Louis, MO 63137)
Additional improvements include a new rain garden (native-to-Missouri plants that absorb storm water) and streambank restoration along Maline Creek to help improve water quality and reduce erosion. This section of Maline Creek drains a developed urban watershed that generates high volumes of rushing water during heavy rainstorms. To mitigate this, portions of the stream bank were reshaped, sloping outward to create a place for water to spread out and temporarily pool. Two rock riffles—a wall of rocks across the bottom of the creek bed, perpendicular to the water flow—were also installed to help slow down the flow of water. The reduction in water flow not only prevents erosion at the site of the rock riffle, but also downstream as the creek heads toward the Mississippi River. Construction was coordinated with Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) to coincide with planned improvements to the waste and storm water infrastructure in the area. Improvements made to the MSD sewer system will now prevent any sewage from entering into the creek in this area.
There is also new landscaping including more than 300 trees and shrubs and new seating areas for people to relax and enjoy the fresh air.
“Thanks to the new Maline Greenway, people of all ages and abilities have a safe, seamless connection between both sides of Bella Fontaine Park and the bus stops on Lewis and Clark Blvd.,” says Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway. “Neighborhood residents and park visitors can enjoy the walking and biking paths, playgrounds, ball fields, and other park amenities without having to navigate across four lanes of a busy highway when they are out walking, riding a bike, or pushing a stroller.”
Area residents can see the recently completed greenway and other park improvements during the May 9 St. Louis County Parks Food Truck Fest. The free event includes a lineup of popular area food trucks and live music by the Steve Ewing Duo. The event runs from 5-8 pm with live music from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Project partners, contractors, and elected officials will officially open the new greenway with a ribbon cutting during the band’s intermission at approximately 6:30 pm. Food and drinks are available for purchase; no coolers are allowed.
“The new Maline Greenway makes this park more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. We are excited to deliver an improved Bella Fontaine Park to the people who live and work in North County and beyond,” says Gary Bess, St. Louis County Parks Director. “We encourage the community to join us on May 9 as we celebrate all the improvements to this popular St. Louis County park.”