People of the Greenways

Meet your neighbors that enjoy the greenways in the St. Louis region!

Meet Amy Rocca

Amy Rocca lives near the Old Chain of Rocks bridge and is an active member (and past president) of the Chain of Rocks Community Association (CORCA).  She has also lead Yoga at a few of our greenway events! CORCA’s mission is to “foster beauty, the natural environment, public safety, recreation, community engagement, and appreciation of history in the Chain of Rocks area of North St. Louis City and adjacent municipalities.” CORCA members have also played a pivotal role in shaping the plans and design for the new Chain of Rocks Park:

“Chain of Rocks Park will be such a wonderful community asset, not only for me and my neighbors, but also everyone who visits the greenway and bridge. I am excited to be able to walk outside and take my dogs right across the bridge! It’s so much more accessible now. It will also be a great place for events and picnics, not to mention our annual Classic Car Show. We’ve worked together for a long time to take care of our neighborhood and keep it clean and beautiful—it’s so rewarding to see this new park come to life!”

You are invited to our community celebration of the new Chain of Rocks Park on Sunday April 14, 2024! Learn more here.






Meet Ricky Hughes

Ricky Hughes describes himself as a “husband, father, community builder and multi-media project manager.” He is also the creator of STL Run Crew—an informal group of people that gathers outside in every Sunday to connect and move:

“I created STL Run Crew back in 2020 as a way of catapulting myself out of a depression. Being outside and moving is a tool that has changed my life…and I want to share it with other people. We meet every other Sunday at Kiener Plaza to connect and move—whatever that looks like for each person! On the alternate Sundays, we mix it up and travel to new locations around St. Louis. The crew is super diverse—all ages, races, ethnicities, orientations, and abilities. You don’t have to run! In fact, I joke that I should change the name to the STL Walk Crew so we don’t scare anyone away thinking they have to be a marathon runner to join us! Last month we had a meetup on the St. Vincent Greenway and almost 80 people joined us! It was a blast. We are looking forward to exploring more greenways in 2024. All are welcome at STL Run Crew. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @stlruncrew to see where we are headed next.”





Meet the McCulley Family

The McCulleys are “frequent flyers” on Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail. In fact, they waited nearly two years to find a home in Crestwood that was on  the greenway. It was convenient for  Sean and Anna as they ran and cycled hours every day in training for their Half Ironman Triathlons. They recently joined the City of Crestwood, Dierbergs and McBride Homes to celebrate the new Crestwood Crossing Bridge and were serendipitously chosen to help cut the ribbon!

“We love living along Grant’s Trail. One of the reasons we moved to Crestwood was to be close to the trail. We were fortunate to find a home where we step out of our backyard and right on the greenway! We were heavily into running and cycling and it was great for our lifestyle. As our kids grew, it was a great place for our running stroller. We’ve been using the new Crestwood Crossing pedestrian bridge all summer. We walk to Dierbergs where we stop for some ice cream before continuing our walk with the kids and dog. We wanted to be a part of the official bridge opening and were delighted to be chosen to cut the ribbon!”





Meet Pacia Elaine Anderson

Pacia Elaine Anderson is a literary artist. She writes, performs and teaches poetry and spoken word. She has worked with several dozen youth, arts, nonprofit, and community organizations across the region and the country, including administrative and consulting work with the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, Americans for the Arts. She is deeply invested in the Gravois Park neighborhood where she lives and also served on Great Rivers Greenway Artists of Color Council. In August, she celebrated her 45th birthday by riding 45 miles on the Gravois & River des Peres Greenways.

“When I finished all 45 miles, I wanted to keep going! I felt so strong. Looking back, I can see how this required many “shifts”—literal, physical and mental. When I first started riding, I didn’t even know how to shift gears! I watched videos and participated in online forums, I learned about mechanics and basic repairs. In preparing for the 45-mile ride, I was consistent and strategic about it. I prepared my body. My friends Karen, Jay-Marie, and Chris at Road Crew Coffee and Cycles helped me out a lot. They supported and encouraged me and introduced me to local biking resources. I went on some no-drop group rides with Black Transcendence/Black Trans Bike Experience and learned about bike courtesy and road cycling safety protocols. One of the best things I did was invest in padded bike shorts! I’m proud of what I have accomplished—it’s been a fun process. I decided this is going to be an annual thing and I’ll add a mile every year. My eye is on an 80-mile ride on my 80th birthday!”




Meet Jessica Page

Jessica Page joined her Equifax St. Louis coworkers on the Fee Fee Greenway last month as part of the company’s Worldwide cleanup Day efforts. Equifax offers all employees two paid days a year to volunteer in the community for causes they are passionate about. Jessica explains why her first greenway volunteer day won’t be her last:

“Great Rivers Greenway is one of my favorite organizations, so I was excited for the opportunity to volunteer. At first, I thought we were doing a trash cleanup, so I was a little nervous when I got there and saw all the tools and realized it was a honeysuckle hack. The crew leaders from GRG explained why it is so important to get rid of the invasive bush honeysuckle and taught us how to use the ‘loppers.’ I had no idea about how bad it is for the environment and now I see invasive honeysuckle everywhere. I feel informed! We got a lot more done in two hours than I expected—it was really motivating to see the before and after. I would encourage anyone who has been thinking about volunteering for a greenway workday to do it! It’s inspiring and fun to be a part of something that makes a positive impact on our environment in just a couple of hours!” (Find greenway volunteering opportunities here.)





Meet Mary Dueren

Mary Dueren is the Beginner Bird Walk Coordinator for St Louis Audubon Society. She is a retired clinical lab scientist and a veteran birdwatcher with more than 30 years of experience (not to mention a deep appreciation and respect for the natural world!)

“Why should someone join us for a Beginner Bird Walk? There are many reasons!

1. There are expert guides from St. Louis Audubon leading each walk who will teach you about the birds who live here and others that migrate through our region.

2. We walk a leisurely pace on a paved trail (you don’t need a machete to cut through underbrush!)

3. You will have a decent pair of binoculars to view the birds.

4. You will be a part of a group that is coming together around a shared interest.

5. It is an easy way to get close to nature and a relaxing way to spend two hours outside.

6. You will have a good time!

One of my favorite beginner bird walks was along the Fee Fee Greenway. We saw some Great Horned Owls up in a tree; they were perched on some branches facing the sun. It was late in the day, most likely getting ready for their dusk hunt. Our group was so excited to see them, they couldn’t believe these owls were in front of them. It felt like a mini party right there on the greenway!”

We have more Beginner Bird Walks planned for Fall 2023- find them here.



Meet Sarah Lorentz

Sarah Lorentz is an artist, teacher and lucky-for-us one of our volunteer Greenway Ambassadors. Many of her landscape paintings are created ‘en plein air,’ a French term that means “painting outside, on location from direct observation.” Over the next several months, you might find Sarah painting ‘en plein air’ on a greenway as she prepares for 2024 art exhibition at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

“We are so lucky to have so many beautiful and unique outdoor places where we can connect to nature in St. Louis. This collection of paintings will focus on the significant biodiversity of the area. I want to capture all the different types of landscapes and ecosystems found along the greenways; creeks, bluffs, woodlands, wetlands, prairies, forests and more. I hope people who see these paintings will not only be inspired to visit these places, but also want to take care of them.”  To learn more about Sarah’s work, visit her website here.



Meet Doris J. Shaw

April Walker and her mother Doris J. Shaw are a dynamic greenway duo! April is one of our part-time outreach specialists who helps at events and programs across the region- answering questions, sharing project updates and handing out maps and greenway “swag.” After tagging along to several greenway events with April, Doris wanted to get involved too! She is now a trained volunteer Greenway Ambassador–representing Great Rivers Greenway at community events and assisting with other programs.

“I am so happy I was selected as a Greenway Ambassador! I enjoy working outdoors with my daughter and telling people about all the greenways. My favorite is St. Vincent Greenway at Ruth Porter Mall Park because it is close to my neighborhood, and I love walking along and reading the latest storybook.”

[Photo: Doris J. Shaw, Greenway Ambassador at right in green shirt; April Walker, Outreach Specialist,at left in red.]

Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.


Meet the Covid Cycle Capers

The Covid Cycle Capers, a cycling group created by Scott Gurrerro and Rick Schweitzer at the beginning of the pandemic, have ridden every mile of the greenway network! The duo decided to form the Capers after the Magnificent Missouri ride was cancelled in April 2020 and has grown to include almost 15 regular riders.

Rick chronicles one of their regular greenway rides fondly. “Our favorite loop to ride starts at my house [in Webster] down to the Deer Creek Greenway. We ride that down to Maplewood and catch the River des Peres Greenway to Jefferson Barracks Park over the casino bridge to the Mississippi Greenway. From there, we travel back up the River des Peres Greenway over the Carondelet Connector to connect to Grant’s Trail [Gravois Greenway] which takes us all the way back to Kirkwood. We use the city streets to get back home!”

These avid cyclists average 30 miles per trip, twice a week. One member exclaims, “Can you believe our first ride was in the middle of a thunderstorm?! I’ve never biked 25 miles back so fast in my life!”


[Pictured from left to right: Cindy Winter, Rick Schweitzer, Jennifer Judd, Bruce Linders, Louise Bullock]

Meet Molly Daniel

In August 2022, Molly Daniel celebrated her 66th birthday by riding 66 miles on Route 66! She rode solo (with her husband providing “sag support”), beginning in Litchfield Illinois and followed the roadbed of the original Route 66. She crossed the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and followed the Mississippi Greenway (Riverfront Trail) south to the downtown St. Louis riverfront beneath the Gateway Arch. 

“This was a goal 13 years in the making. I was inspired by a friend of mine who had done a similar thing on his birthday. It was a perfect way to spend the day—in a place of history, enjoying nature and quiet reflection. I loved that so much of the route followed the Mississippi River. I stopped at the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing to admire the beautiful mural there and to learn about this history of the site. It was a pretty dramatic ending to finish the ride beneath the Gateway Arch! Setting the goal to ride 66 miles on my 66th birthday was transformational. Like many goals, the journey is just as important as the destination. It got me back on a bicycle and has kept me active. I highly recommend celebrating a birthday this way!”




Meet Monica Brown-Harris

Monica Brown-Harris is a long-time participant in the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration. First as a singer with her church’s Gospel choir and now as a repeat performer in the historical reenactments. This year, her daughter will join her on stage! She explains why she devotes her time to this annual celebration (and why you should attend):

“There is so much Black history we don’t know about in St. Louis and beyond—events and stories that have been hidden, rewritten, or never told before. The Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration is unique because it allows people to “sit amongst history.” I love hearing people’s reactions and seeing the wonderment on the faces of the children as we bring these stories to life. Not just the injustices, but also the many accomplishments of African Americans. The games, live music and vendors make it even more special. I encourage everyone to come out to this historic site and discover something new about Black history in a fun and interesting way!”

The Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing is happening Saturday October 1, 2022 from noon to 5 on the Mississippi Greenway (Riverfront Trail). This year’s reenactments will be drawn from past themes including the “The Unfair Fair—racism at the St. Louis World’s Fair,” “Buffalo Soldiers and Bicycles,” “The Great Jubilation” and more! Free live music all day, children’s games, food & drink for purchase and local vendors. Find all event details here.



Meet the Hampton Family

Stephanie and Mark Hampton have always loved the outdoors and hiking. As their family has grown to include three daughters, so has their knowledge of local and regional parks & trails. Stephanie’s Instagram blog @explorestlparks is a popular resource for parents & caregivers looking for places to go and things to do outside with kids. Stephanie has also launched a free monthly meetup for moms and kids called “Nature Play STL.

“Our middle daughter, Holly, was born three months early. She spent 58 days in Mercy’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and needed leg braces. When she started walking, her medical team (Neonatologist, Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist) prescribed “walking on different surfaces” to help her get stronger and steadier on her feet. Walking and running on different surfaces, like grass or pavement, walking up and down hills, and standing on uneven surfaces along the edge of a trail would be a fun part of her therapy. So that’s where the greenways, parks and trails came in! Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, we have hiked over 175 trails & have visited over 150 parks. Holly graduated from the NICU program a year earlier than her team expected and she is strong and steady on her feet! Fresh air works wonders and is so healing. We are so grateful for all of the beautiful parks and greenways in our area and across the state.”

Home Greenway: Fee Fee


Meet Caleb

Sixteen year old Caleb G. is a member of Greater St. Louis Boy Scout Troop 585. For his Eagle Scout Project, he volunteered to design and build a ramp to one of the two new spotting scopes on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge  so wheelchair users or people who use mobility aids can use it:

“I wanted to build a platform and ramp that would not only stand up to the weather, but also meet accessibility guidelines. It was a little tricky to come up with a solution for the transition from the bridge to the ramp but I was able to make it work. While I have never been in a wheelchair, I imagine there is a lot of frustration when everyday things aren’t accessible. I am so happy that people using a wheelchair can now enjoy the amazing views from the bridge and try to find eagles. They’re no longer just looking at the rails of the bridge.”

The spotting scopes were made possible thanks to generous donors the Great Rivers Greenway Foundation. Learn more about the Foundation here.


Meet Erin

Erin Wilson is a Great Rivers Greenway Outreach Specialist. These valued team members help out at events and programs across the region- answering questions, sharing project updates and handing out maps and greenway “swag.” Erin explains why she wanted to join our team:

“My desire to work with Great Rivers Greenway stems from the passion I have around living a happy and healthy life, outside. As a runner, I am always looking for new  places to train for whatever race is next. I found that I consistently turn to the greenways. With so many choices, running and training on the greenways lets me see parts of the city and county I otherwise hadn’t considered exploring. As an Outreach specialist, I am happy to help people get outside, explore, and exercise in areas they may not have previously considered.”

Home Greenway: Fee Fee


Meet Angela

Angela da Silva is the President of the National Black Tourism Network, an adjunct professor at Lindenwood University, and the driving force behind the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration on the Mississippi Greenway. The theme of the event changes each year and shines a spotlight on important—yet rarely-told or not widely-known—Black history in St. Louis. In addition to organizing the event with partners, Angela writes, directs, and performs in a living history reenactment that brings each year’s theme to life. Angela shares why she is so passionate about teaching and sharing Black history:

“I was about eleven when I first heard about slavery. My grandmother and I were hanging up sheets on a summer day, when out of nowhere she says, “My grandmother told me the worst beating she ever got was from her mistress who said the sheets weren’t white enough.” After me asking many questions, she explained that White people used to own us … and that started my journey on the quest of discovering my history. As an adult, I realized, that Black history wasn’t widely known, but for only a few individuals such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harriet Tubman. We have had previously unknown heroes and “she”-roes such as Mary Meachum…and their stories are just as important, or maybe more so. A light needs to be shined on them whenever and wherever they are found.”  (Learn more about Mary Meachum here.)


Meet Dave

Dave Goldsby is a Great Rivers Greenway Outreach Specialist. These valued team members help out at events and programs across the region- answering questions, sharing project updates and handing out maps and greenway “swag.” Dave explains why he wanted to join our team:

“Why did I want to be an Outreach Specialist? The greenways have been a positive part of my family’s life, with many fond memories made on rambling walks and nature strolls. As a cyclist, they provide me a quiet refuge from motorized traffic and beautiful connections to other cycling routes in the region and help maintain my physical and mental health. The greenways help connect diverse neighborhoods and many municipalities, improving the region’s physical and social infrastructure. I personally benefit from them, and see how they improve our region’s livability. For all these reasons, I get a big kick out of helping people discover and enjoy their greenways!


Meet Leslie

Leslie McCarthy is an executive editor for University Marketing & Communications at Washington University in St. Louis and a local St. Louis free-lance writer. Recently, she became one of 150 women to be selected for the “Over 50 Outside” challenge, a national campaign initiated by the team that started the 52 Hike Challenge to encourage women over 50 to get outside — at least 52 times in a year:

“How many miles of greenways are there? I aim to find out. The first thing I’ve learned through ‘Over 50 Outside’ is that a hike can be any length and anywhere, as long as there are green spaces and it’s outdoors. There are so many great trails in Missouri and the Great Rivers Greenway system is a huge part of it. No trail is the same on any given day — even if you’ve walked it before.” #over50outside

Home Greenway: Gravois Greenway (Grant’s Trail)

Meet April

April Walker recently joined Great Rivers Greenway as an Outreach Specialist. These valued team members help out at events and programs across the region- answering questions, sharing project updates and handing out maps and greenway “swag.” April shares why she wanted to get involved with Great Rivers Greenway:

“I was ecstatic to be selected as an Outreach Specialist. I am excited to work with the community to encourage life outside on the greenways! I take my grandchildren to the Storybook Walk at Ruth Porter Mall Park and I live in walking distance of Trojan Park. We also visit Forest Park regularly by way of the St Vincent Greenway. The museums, water features and the Muny are our favorite places to go. We enjoy picnicking in the parks on the greenway too. I look forward to seeing the development of the greenway on the Hodiamont Tracks, which is also really close to home for me. Hope to see you outside on a greenway!”

Home Greenway: St. Vincent

Meet Lionel

Meet Lionel Phillips, CEO & President of Phillips Concrete Services. His company has helped build several greenway projects. Right now, they have the unique distinction of building a greenway right outside their own front door! We caught up with Lionel as his crews were pouring concrete on the St. Vincent Greenway extension in Wellston.

Meet Travis

Travis Newberry is the Senior Planner for one of our partners, the City of Wildwood Department of Planning and Parks. He is also one of our former interns!

“Great partnerships and an enthusiastic and involved community are what it takes to protect and enhance great natural and recreation areas in the St. Louis region. One example is the Meramec Greenway: Glencoe to Sherman Beach Park. It’s a hidden gem worth exploring with so many connections to parks and trails and sweeping views of the Meramec River Valley. I am proud to be part of the City of Wildwood team as we work with many partners like Great Rivers Greenway, Missouri State Parks, Gateway Off-Road Cyclists (GORC), St. Louis County and many others to make this greenway a premier destination for people to get outside and have fun! I have also enjoyed volunteering with the Open Space Council to remove invasive Bush Honeysuckle along this greenway. You can see the result of everyone’s hard work as views of the Meramec River open up again along the Al Foster Trail. I encourage people to come out to Wildwood to see this greenway and others—fall is the perfect time to do it! ”

Home Greenway: The Meramec Greenway: Glencoe to Sherman Beach Park (after work) and Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave Park (on the weekends)




Meet Riz

Riz Khan recently joined the Great Rivers Greenway as an Outreach Specialist. These valued team members help out at events and programs across the region- answering questions, sharing project updates and handing out maps and greenway “swag.” Riz shares why he wanted to get involved with Great Rivers Greenway:

“For most of my career I have worked in the corporate world across the globe (India, UK & in US). I recently started to feel something was missing in my life. One day I came across an article about Great Rivers Greenway that really piqued my interest. I realized that the greenways are more than just trails… they are places where you can spend time outside and also connect to trains, buses, markets, neighborhoods, businesses, parks and more. I am totally in love with the mission to connect this region with greenways and encourage people to live life outside. To be honest, I wasn’t much of an outdoors person before, but now I am. I believe the more time we spend outdoors, the healthier and happier we are. I think it also creates better bonding with our family. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this mission.”

Home Greenway: Centennial Shaw Park to Olive


Meet David

The Meramec Greenway is the perfect neighbor for an athlete and outdoorsman like David P. Always looking for a new challenge, he took advantage of this nearby greenway connection to create his very own Bike-Paddle-Run Triathlon.

“I decided to put my love of running, paddle sports and biking together for an all-day adventure. I loaded up my inflatable stand up paddleboard on a trailer, hitched it to my bike and rode down to the Meramec Greenway at Greentree Park. I hid my running shoes behind a tree and then rode out to the Al Foster Trail at Grand Avenue (combined on road and greenway route.) I locked up my bike and trailer, pumped up the board, and jumped on the river. I had a great day on the water paddling all the way back to Greentree Park. I left the board on the river bank, grabbed my running shoes, and ran up the hill to my house and car. I backtracked to grab my paddleboard and then my bike and trailer. All together it was a 16 mile bike ride, 9 mile paddle and 1.2mile run. The Meramec is wonderful for a paddle and just as much for a lazy drift with the current.”

Home Greenway: Meramec


Meet Kevin

Kevin Cobb a.k.a “Kernel Cobb” sells a rotating selection of fresh-popped kettle corn and fresh-squeezed “Lemon Shakeups” on the Mississippi Greenway beneath the Gateway Arch. After a year of historic flooding followed by a global pandemic, he is back for the third year as a Riverfront vendor. 

“It’s pretty cool to be able to work in the shadow of the Arch. It’s an amazing structure that we locals sometimes take for granted. It looks different every single day. I have hundreds of pictures of the Arch on my phone because I am always trying to capture the way the light hits at different times. I also love meeting people from around the world. Last summer there were mostly visitors from just 4 or 5 hours away—it was the year of RV’s and campers! Sometimes we’re slammed with customers and other times we are slow—but we take it all in stride down here on the Mississippi River!”

See all 2021 Riverfront Vendors here.


Meet Karlton

Karlton Thornton is Great Rivers Greenway’s newest board member representing St. Louis County. He has dedicated thousands of hours to St. Louis area organizations and schools serving on the board of Hazelwood School District, The United Way, Annie Malone Children’s Home as a Child Advocate, Job Corps St. Louis Community Response Committee member, former Board member and Administrator advisor of Day Spring School of Arts and Education, The Black Rep and more. He is also a four-time cancer survivor. When you meet him, it’s hard to believe that he once weighed 300 pounds after a difficult recovery from cancer left him bedridden. He has survived cancer four times; Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma twice, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Melanoma. He shares why he said yes to serving on Great Rivers Greenway’s Board:

I remember feeling so sick I could not even walk down the hallway of my house.  I decided to turn back to my childhood where I found energy and connection to nature through the joy of scouting, swimming and visits to my family’s farm. I wanted to tap into prayer and nature’s proven healing properties and get better so I could be there for my wife and daughters.  Lucky for me, I lived close to the Sunset Greenway in Florissant. My recovery mirrored the progress of the first phase of the greenway as it was built from Sunset Park to St. Ferdinand Park. As construction progressed, I slowly started to walk from my house to the greenway. I would walk, and follow the path as it grew: one step at a time. I am so happy to be able to walk here with my family in good health…and to serve the agency that is connecting people to nature and the outdoors.

Home Greenway: Sunset!

Meet Amy

Amy Marxkors is the co-host of the Charlie Brennan Show on KMOX, an author, a former hockey player and a marathon runner (occasionally ultra-marathoner!) She happily logs thousands of miles running on the greenways:

I love how the greenways connect so many places. My friends and I use them to meet up for runs. We can cross the Missouri River between St. Charles County and St. Louis County just using greenways and the KATY Trail. They are such a great asset for our region. I also appreciate the change of scenery on the greenways—everything from city environments, to the woods to conservation areas. It gives me a nice sense of calm when I am out on a long run.
Home Greenway: Meramec at Rock Hollow; Missouri Greenway: Monarch Chesterfield Levee; Busch Greenway; Centennial Greenway: Heritage to Kay Trail

Meet Mona

Mona Vespa is the President of GO! St. Louis.  GO! is a local non-profit organization that encourages individuals and families in the #STL region to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle year round. They accomplish this through community collaborations, school-based programming and the creation of new and fun fitness events:

“Running is my sport, my hobby and my profession! Personally, I can’t imagine a better way to explore your own city than on foot, and the greenways are the perfect way to do that! Every time I run a greenway, I am reminded that our city is incredibly diverse in landscape and character, but is also comprised of neighborhoods and communities who are all working towards a similar goal: to make their part of our city a vibrant and welcoming home. And as a part of my job, what a joy it is to share that with the runners and walkers of our area. I’ve used greenways for several GO! St. Louis race routes, and our Summer Passport program’s entire focus is to introduce more runners to the incredible gem of these paths throughout our city. GO! St. Louis is thankful for GRG’s work and dedication to outdoor recreation in our region!”
Home Greenway: All of them!

Meet Kurt

Kurt J. rolls all over the greenways on his ElliptiGO elliptical bike! Last fall, he placed 3rd in his age group at the World ElliptiGO Championships up Palomar Mountain in North San Diego County. Find out which greenway offered a steep enough hill for Kurt to train for the 11.69 mile route with a 5000 foot change in elevation. Any guesses? Watch the video and find out!

Home Greenway: All of them!

Meet Bomi

Bomi Park is the Assistant Project Manager for the World Trade Center St. Louis & St. Louis Mosaic Project. She is an unofficial “greenway ambassador” and enjoys introducing them to people who have come from around the world to live in St. Louis:

“Walking on the greenways reminds me where of where I come from. I think many other foreign-born people would agree that the Greenways are special to us for similar reasons. People walk and ride bikes more and drive less in South Korea, and the places for walking and biking are separated from cars. I live close to Grant’s Trail and like seeing all people and getting a different view of things. I also like how it can take you to so many places—the library, the Clydesdales at Grant’s farm, stores & historic sites. I love being out on the greenways!”

Home Greenway: Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail

Meet Geoffrey

Geoffrey Soyiantet, a native of Kenya, is the founder of Vitendo 4 Africa, a nonprofit organization that helps African immigrants connect and adapt in their new home in Missouri. Vitendo is a Swahili word that means “action.” One of the many programs offered by Vitendo4Africa is the New Look Bikers Club. Geoffrey leads group rides on the Katy Trail and greenways across the region:

“Our biking club connects people from different nationalities. You may think you have nothing in common but once you are out riding a bike together, you get to know each other and find out you have a lot of things in common. It’s also important to spend time outside and be healthy. When we ride, we see different views of natural areas. Many of us grew up along forests, and the greenways and trails give us good memories of where we came from. They also let us experience different scenery and views of where we live now.”

Home Greenway: All of them!

Meet Peggy

A long-ago viral infection eventually caused Peggy’s heart to fail. Her only hope for survival was a new heart; on May 23, 2019 she received a heart transplant. Riding her pedal assist electric bike has been a vital part of her physical and emotional recovery:

“I am determined to live every day in gratitude to my donor—a nineteen year old woman. She gave me an incredible gift and I have had a hard time accepting it…I cry when I think about it. I bought this bike after my transplant to help me recover and get stronger. Riding it around the greenways has given me freedom and independence. I feel like I did when I was a little girl riding around my neighborhood. It nurtures me and connects me to nature. I’ve gotten my balance back—physically and emotionally. And every time I ride it, I take her along with me.”

Home Greenway: All of them!

Meet Korri

Korri has lost 70 pounds and transformed her health. She took her first step towards wellness on July 24, 2017 with a walk on Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail:

“I was experiencing a variety of health problems and undergoing tests—it was a really uncertain time for me. I knew that no matter what the diagnosis was, I needed to make some changes. I was house sitting for a friend who lived next to Grant’s Trail and I decided to take a walk. That’s where my fitness journey began—right by the Clydesdales! I kept on walking. I tried to start running but couldn’t even make it from one utility pole to another. I joined a gym and started working with a trainer. After a year, I ran a half marathon! On October 4, 2020 I ran a full marathon right where it all started—on Grant’s Trail. Being able to run a marathon is something I never thought would be possible, and finishing one has taught me that I can always redefine impossible for myself. When I got down to the last six miles I was able to dig deep and keep going because I knew I could do hard things. Starting a fitness journey is hard and learning to fuel my body properly is hard, but I did it and will continue to strive to be better for myself. Running the greenway reminds me that anything is possible!”

Home Greenways-Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail, Meramec Greenway: Lower Meramec Park.

Meet Kelly

Kelly H. cycles 40 miles a day, five days a week, from her home in Soulard to her job in Crestwood. When the Gravois Greenway extension opened up in June, she starting riding on the greenway. It’s made all the difference in her daily commute:

“I was 100 percent on the road before. When the new section opened up at River City Blvd., I tested it out and loved it. I prefer being away from the cars and I like being around other people who are riding their bikes. I like seeing all the families walking and riding together. There is a sense of community on the greenway-much better than driving to work in your car. If I have a bad morning, by the time I get to work everything is better. I can’t wait until the bridge over the River des Peres opens!”

Meet Michael

Michael H. is a former long distance runner turned long distance walker. He’s currently training for a walk on the 62.3 mile Wabash Trace Nature Trail in Southwest Iowa. He plans to cover all 62 miles in one day to celebrate being 62 years old!

“I train on the greenways because it keeps me away from cars. There’s also both sun and shade. I like walking along the River des Peres and can get there from my house on the connector from Carondelet Park. I see animals every so often and I like that too. Someone pointed out to me today that they saw a bald eagle. I see hawks, geese, and ducks …even a great blue heron. So that’s kind of neat. You can connect with nature even in the city.”

Home Greenway:River des Peres Greenway

Meet Hogan

Have you ever seen people riding uni-cycles on a greenway? There’s a good chance it’s Hogan H. & his son Corvin:

“I’ve lived in St. Louis for 15 years and been an active distance uni-cyclist for about 10 of those years. Many people have seen my son and I uni-cycling on the greenways. I enjoy the dedicated spaces to ride and be safe. It allows me to explore the city and enjoy an interesting method of traveling. A typical ride for me is 5 – 10 miles out and back. My longest ride to date was the MRT loop in downtown St. Louis. When I finished, my GPS logged just over 26 miles-it was quite an accomplishment for me! I’m currently on a quest to unicycle for 1 hour in all lower 48 US states with my son Corvin. To date, we have uni-cycled in 35 states.”

Home greenways: Deer Creek, Gravois (Grant’s Trail), Meramec: Greentree Park to Arnold’s Grove Park, Mississippi: Riverfront Trail, Missouri: Monarch Chesterfield Levee & River des Peres Greenway

Meet Maxwell

Whenever we are out and about, we always like meeting new people and learning about their connection to the greenways. One person we had the great pleasure of meeting recently was Maxwell (and his mom):

“Maxwell has always loved to go fast. In his earlier years, he rode the greenways on a child’s bike seat that was attached to the front of my Workman tricycle. One of his first phrases was “go, go go!” Max now has an adaptive recumbent bike with rear steer. He still loves to go fast—and thanks to the wide and accessible greenways—he can! His phrase now is “let’s get ‘em” as he gleefully pedals away trying to catch up with other cyclists.” ~Max’s mom, Heather

Meet Ernest

Ernest Jordan is the President of Friends of Father Dickson Cemetery. 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 12,000 people were interred there before it closed in the 1970’s. Without a perpetual care endowment, the cemetery fell victim to abuse and neglect. 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.

Meet Shelby

Ambassadors are trained volunteers who help staff our booths at community events, assist with volunteer work days and tell people about all of the fun things you can do and see on the greenways. Meet one of them:

“Whether I’m out for a run on the Centennial Greenway in the summer heat or volunteering for Eagle Days on the Mississippi Greenway in the bitter cold, I love my greenways! As a Greenway ambassador, the thing I love most about Great Rivers Greenway is the people. I get the wonderful opportunity to work with, and meet people from around the region, and talk about some of our favorite things to do outside. What’s better than that?”

Shelby Miller, Great Rivers Greenway Ambassador
Home greenway: All of them!

(Want to learn more about this and other volunteer opportunities? Go here:

Meet Trevor

“I am a physical training fanatic. I love running. So when I had my traumatic brain injury back in 2011, they said I wasn’t quite stable enough to be on two wheels. They told me they had recumbant bikes, and I said “what’s that?” They told me it was a three wheel bike to keep my exercise going. I was like, okay, that is kind of nice, I had also just gotten a total hip replacement in 2015 which is even better. That way I can stay in shape. It’s like being on a motorcycle. Wind therapy is always great. Get a little sweat on and everything is gravy.”

Trevor L. US Marine Corps
One of the AMBUCS Veterans who ride together on greenways throughout the St. Louis region

Meet Sr. Laura

We crossed paths with two smiling Daughters of St. Paul last month on the Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail. We asked each of them what they enjoy about walking on the greenway:

“I come from a family of hikers. I’m from North Carolina and we would take Sunday hikes up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Now this isn’t the Blue Ridge Mountains but it is green and there are trees and the sunshine and the blue sky and the fresh air. I love being outside and am glad this is close to our house!” ~Sr. Laura

Meet Sr. Mary Francis

“The people are wonderful-they always greet you. They are very friendly. Sometimes they’ll start up a conversation-it’s a great place to meet people. I like having the library on the way. You can pop in and see what’s new. I enjoy praying for everyone here as I pass by the cemetery- I think about all of the history and all of the people who lived here in the past. It’s just refreshment!” ~Sr. Mary Francis

Home greenway: Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail. Pauline Books & Media

Meet Monica

Monica Huddleston was appointed to the Great Rivers Greenway Board of Directors in 2009. She has served as Vice President, Treasurer and on multiple committees as a member of the 12 person board:

“I accepted my appointment to the board of Great Rivers Greenway because of the mission. There is no gray area about what we are trying to do. We are connecting the region with greenways. The people decided that this mission was important enough to approve a tax. And when the people put their vote and their YES behind something like this, why wouldn’t I want to be a part of it, do you see? The other reason is the whole diversity, equity and inclusion angle. At the time I was appointed, there were no other African-Americans on the board at all. I wanted to make sure that the great trails and other wonderful projects get to be in other areas that typically don’t get those types of things. It’s important to me to see that the Black community and the Hispanic community gets a piece of this wonderful action. I read everything that is sent to me. I analyze it and I offer very solid input not only from my personal viewpoint but the viewpoint of my community where I come from. I am really proud of the work we do-especially the St. Vincent Greenway. I am excited to see what happens when it is all connected. “

~Monica Huddleston, one of six Great Rivers Greenway Board Members representing St. Louis County. St. Vincent Greenway is her home greenway!

Meet Tracy, Vito, Frankie

“My youngest son has autism and we are working on helping him develop his core muscle strength and balancing skills. We have equipment that attaches to the back of my husband’s bike, making into a sort of tandem bike for my son to ride with him. He also has his own bike with training wheels. We live by St. Charles Community College and Legacy Park and often ride on the Dardenne Greenway. However, my son loves bridges! So, we recently rode on the Centennial Greenway that connects to the Page Avenue bridge. He LOVED it! Every morning as we cross the bridge when I take him to school he calls it “his bridge” and asks when we can ride our bikes over it again. He has difficulty expressing himself and finding topics he is excited about helps encourage him to work on these skills. We often use the greenways/biking as a go-to subject!”

Tracy, Vito and Frankie
Home Greenway Dardenne Greenway and Centennial Greenway in St. Charles County

Meet Kenny

Kenny F. is a volunteer ambassador for Great Rivers Greenway. Ambassadors are trained volunteers who represent Great Rivers Greenway at a variety of daytime, evening and weekend events such as Life Outside, earthday365, Pedal the Cause, GO! St. Louis® and more: “I volunteer because I love everything that Great Rivers Greenway represents. As a Greenway Ambassador, I get to talk about and do all of things I love. I’ve been into fitness for almost 50 years. I remember so often when I was one of very few runners out there. Now it’s exciting to see so many more people involved in exercise and being outside. I love meeting fitness and health minded individuals and talking to them–whether they are an ultra-marathoner or just like to walk. It’s fun to talk about the greenways and see the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic responses about what’s happening and what’s coming next. Whether I am on a greenway or driving by I give everyone I see a thumbs up. I’ve been doing the same to all the construction workers building the Gravois Greenway extension- a big cheer and a thumbs up!” (Learn more about Great Rivers Greenway Volunteer Opportunities here:

Home Greenway: River des Peres and Gravois Greenway

Meet Angelica

Angelica Gutierrez is a Great Rivers Greenway Project Manager. Some of her current projects include the Gravois Greenway connection to River des Peres, Centennial Greenway in Olivette and St. Charles MO, and the Deer Creek Greenway in Webster Groves and Maplewood. She also oversees our Betterment Projects-ongoing efforts to improve the user experience across greenways:

“I love that we build places for people to be outside. Not just for now, but for future generations. We all need more time and places to disconnect – to take a break from “screens” and breathe fresh air. I see it with my own two daughters. On a beautiful day, I’ll say – ‘Let’s go to the Meramec Greenway!’ They grumble a little bit- I feel like I have to drag them outside. But as soon as we get to the greenway they are all smiles. We walk, we talk, we ride bikes and sometimes even dance – it makes all of us happier.”

Home Greenway: Tie between the Meramec Greenway and Missouri Greenway: Monarch Chesterfield Levee

Meet Cathy & Roy

Every morning, volunteer bridgekeepers open up the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge so people from across region–and around the world–can explore and enjoy this historic bridge! Meet two of these amazing volunteers- Cathy and Roy.

Meet Mariah, Aubrey, Jaziah, Zosar

“I discovered the St. Vincent Greenway while walking one day and fell in love with it! I love peaceful areas surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers and designs and we love spending time on the greenway. It has been a great place for daily running or for taking walks to gain a piece of mind. It has also become one of our favorite places for enjoying family time and outdoor reading.”

~Mariah Patton, with Aubrey Sturdivant and children Jaziah and Zosar along the Ruth Porter Mall section of the St. Vincent Greenway

Meet Joe

Joe is a legendary St. Louis County Parks volunteer who has been removing invasive plants along the Mississippi Greenway in Cliff Cave Park.  Not only has he opened up views of the river for greenway users, he’s also lost 135 pounds!

“I started around 2013. I like to make places look better. I just did it because it needed to be done. Before you couldn’t see the river down here- you’d walk along the greenway and you could hear the boats but you couldn’t see them. It was a shame…that’s a good attraction! I can see the progress I made, and so can everybody else. A lot of the people who walk down here know my name. They say “Hi Joe- you sure got it looking great!” It’s like a pat on my back- I like that! ~ Joe M. Mississippi Greenway: Cliff Cave Park

Meet Denise, Steve, Izzie

“She has to go everywhere with us. This was her first trip-she’s finally calmed down a little. Best part of the bike ride has been laughing at Izzie…and the reaction from people seeing her in the trailer!” ~Denise, Steve and Izzie the dog

Home greenway: Gravois Greenway: Grant’s Trail

Meet Linda

Meet Linda, a Greenway Ambassador and one of our Outreach Specialists:
“After being mostly a stay-at-home mom for 25 years, I was seeking new opportunities to learn and explore. While perusing my parents’ Oasis catalog, I noticed that they had a Hiking group. The first one I attended was on the Riverwoods Park/Earth City Levee Greenway. I had never even heard of the greenways before, but that encounter was enough to get me hooked. I didn’t attend another Oasis hike for a year after that, but once I went back, I was hooked on those, too! I became a Greenway Ambassador, and did a lot of studying on my own to learn everything I could about the Greenways and be involved in the greenway events and activities as possible. In conjunction with this, I got involved with a lot of Great Rivers Greenway’s partners, my own neighborhood’s Bird Sanctuary and Tree City activities, Beyond Housing/24:1, etc. Now I’m an Outreach Specialist, and loving it, especially sharing the Watershed Education Table. I still love hanging out with my family, and they like coming along to many of the outreach activities I’m working at, or attending just for fun! In our spare time, I play tour guide and plan fun “staycation days” for my family. These ALWAYS include an activity sponsored by Great Rivers Greenway or one of their many partners!”

(Linda center, daughter Sarah right, sister Carol on the left)
Home Greenway: St. Vincent