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Scroll down for answers to frequently asked questions about planning a greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks.
Cultural History Project: Capturing the Living Past along the Hodiamont Tracks- Saturday April 30, 2022
Are you a current or former resident of the neighborhoods along the Hodiamont Tracks? Check out this event hosted by SLACO, Missouri Humanities and St. Louis Arts Chamber of Commerce:
WHAT: Oral history project to record stories and memories about living near the Hodiamont Tracks, and its rich history and heritage of St. Louis.
WHEN: Saturday April 30, 2022- 10am to 2pm
WHERE: Deaconess Foundation (1000 N. Vandeventer, 63103)
WHO: Former and current residents of Covenant Blu-Grand Center, Vandeventer, Lewis Place, Academy, Fountain Park, Visitation and West End neighborhoods.This free workshop includes storytelling activities, and the latest information about the greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks and a chance to select artwork for a large mural. The event is free, and lunch will be provided, but registration is required here.
We heard you say that you want a greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks, and now we need you to help design it!
Watch a Recording of the Virtual Public Meetings for the Concept Plan for the Greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks
Watch A Recording of the Greenway Plan Kickoff Meeting
Nearly 70 community members applied to be a part of the 21-member Advisory Committee to help guide the greenway planning on the Hodiamont Tracks. Neighbors in the West End, Visitation Park, Academy/Sherman Park, Fountain Park, Lewis Place, Vandeventer, and Covenant Blu/Grand Center neighborhoods are now serving on this Advisory Committee. Click here to view the principles, goals, and objectives that the Advisory Committee has created for this greenway.
Greenway Concept Plan
Throughout 2020-21, Great Rivers Greenway and community members worked together to create a conceptual greenway plan for the Hodiamont Tracks.
Thanks to everyone who is helping to design the greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks by participating in community engagement efforts such as listening tours, pop-up office hours, trash bash volunteer events, and public meetings for the greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks. Check back for future opportunities to get involved in the greenway design!
Share Your Greenway Story
Share your stories of the Hodiamont Tracks! Greenway stories are shared through art and signs, tours, digital content, outreach, and community events. These greenway stories are organized around themes of nature, culture, and history. Share your greenway story by visiting www.GreatRiversGreenway.org/ShareYourStory or recording your story at 314-932-4904.
The tracks start on Enright Avenue, one block west of Vandeventer in the Grand Center Arts District and continue west 3.5 miles connecting the Vandeventer, Lewis Place, Fountain Park, Academy/Sherman Park, Visitation Park and West End neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis to Gwen Giles Park at the city limit. In addition to connecting to existing and future greenways, it would link numerous schools, parks, houses of worship and neighborhoods. Click here for a map.
Community conversations around converting the former Hodiamont Tracks into a greenway began in 2018. A technical study of the area to better understand where utilities and property lines are located was completed in 2019. In 2020 and beyond, Great Rivers Greenway is working with community members to plan and design a greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks that will not only address the issues community members have identified, but also be a space for all people to explore and enjoy.
What We’ve Heard
From door-to-door conversations with neighbors of the Hodiamont Tracks in 2018 asking if they would like a greenway in this space to community meetings in 2019 to hear greenway desires and concerns to office hours on the Hodiamont Tracks in 2020, community members continue to share your hopes and dreams for the future greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks. Click here to view notes from these community conversations.
Concept Plan FAQ
- What is a greenway?
- Greenways are landscaped paths that connect people and places. Greenways provide connections to schools, transit, businesses, and neighborhoods. Greenways reflect the character of the communities they connect and can include trails, nature-based solutions to restore native habitats and manage stormwater, and amenities like benches, wayfinding signs, and drinking fountains, People can walk, jog, ride a bike, have a picnic, push a stroller, or simply enjoy nature along a greenway.
- Who is expected to maintain the greenway?
- Great Rivers Greenway has operations and maintenance agreements with the public agencies that own the land where the greenways are built. In addition, some maintenance is performed by volunteers and some by paid workers.
- Will land or property be taken for this project?
- No, Great Rivers Greenway does not use eminent domain. The area where the greenway will be built is owned by public agencies.
- How is the greenway being funded? How much will this cost?
- In 2000 and again in 2013, voters in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County voted to use sales tax funds to build, promote, and sustain greenways. The Great Rivers Greenway Foundation secures private donations and grants to leverage the sales tax funds. Great Rivers Greenway is currently funding the planning and design of the greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks. Additional funding sources may be used to fund the construction and maintenance in the future. The project cost is not yet known. The cost will be estimated as the greenway is designed.
- How will safety and security be addressed?
- During the planning phase, the project team will ask community members for ideas for safety features which can be incorporated into the design of the greenway. These ideas will be built on what neighbors said in 2018 about what would make them feel safe and secure when using the greenway. Great Rivers Greenway also works to ensure sight lines are clear and hiding spots are avoided along greenways. Local neighborhood groups and non-profit organizations provide programming to increase visibility along the greenway.
- What neighborhoods will the greenway connect?
- When complete, the greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks will span the east-west length of the Hodiamont Tracks (3.5 miles) connecting seven neighborhoods from east to west: Covenant Blu/Grand Center, Vandeventer, Lewis Place, Fountain Park, Academy/Sherman Park, Visitation Park, and the West End.
- How will this affect me as a homeowner?
- Research has shown that greenways make areas more desirable. The project team especially wants to hear from homeowners living directly adjacent to the Hodiamont Tracks.
- Why was this location chosen for a greenway?
- The Hodiamont Tracks were once a streetcar route then a bus route and now mostly an alley. Community members told the project team that many areas along the Hodiamont Tracks allow space for negative activities such as illegal dumping, violent crime, and sale or use of drugs. In 2018, Great Rivers Greenway asked the community along the Hodiamont Tracks if they would like the area to be transformed into a greenway. 95% of community members said “Yes!”.
- Who will have access to this greenway?
- Greenways are open to all people for walking, biking, running, pushing a stroller, or using a wheelchair. Greenways are not open to motor vehicles. Community members will be able to use the greenway to explore and to travel to different neighborhoods. Visitors to the community will have an opportunity to explore new neighborhoods via the greenway. Some neighbors access their homes from the Hodiamont Tracks. In these areas, the space along the tracks is very wide and can be designed to create separate space for people on the greenway and trash/recycling trucks or people driving to access the back of their homes.
- When will the greenway be built?
- Building a greenway is a multi-year process. The project is now in the planning phase. From this plan, the project team, will identify multiple phases to move into design and then construction.
- How can I get involved?
- A Community Advisory Committee will be created for this greenway project. This small group will work directly with Great Rivers Greenway and the design team to offer advice and to serve as a project ambassador, meaning to keep your neighbors and friends informed about the project and to encourage their participation in guiding the plan. Your role also includes communicating with the design team about what you are hearing about the greenway project in the community.
- Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the project team hopes to have a storefront operation. The project team will have scheduled office hours, during which you can meet the team and ask questions. Check the website or call for details.
- Participate in the public meetings. There will be at least two public meetings. At the first one, the project team will recommend the project’s goals for your feedback. Months later at another public meeting, the concept plan will be presented.
- Be on the lookout for communications from Great Rivers Greenway promoting public meetings or other opportunities to be guide the greenway plan.
- Call Great Rivers Greenway at 314-436-7009 to ask questions or share your comments.
- Visit this project website www.GreatRiversGreenway.org/Hodiamont for more information or volunteer opportunities.
- You may see members of the project team along the Hodiamont Tracks in Great Rivers Greenway green tshirts. They are surveying in preparation for the planning phase. If you see them, feel free to wave or stop for a chat, but socially distance at six feet away!