Area residents and local elected officials cut the ribbon on first 1.6 miles of the planned 7 mile greenway in North St. Louis County
Great Rivers Greenway, St. Louis County Parks, elected officials and area residents celebrated the opening of the Maline Greenway in North St. Louis County at a ribbon cutting Thursday, May 9 in Bella Fontaine County Park. The event was held in conjunction with St. Louis County’s Food Truck Fest.
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. When complete, the Maline Greenway will travel along Maline Creek through the cities of Berkeley, Kinloch, Ferguson, Jennings, Moline Acres, Bellefontaine neighbors and Riverview in St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis.
The first 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.
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 help 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.