8/27/12 – New Great Rivers Greenway Trail at Jefferson Barracks Provides Accessibility and Connectivity to South County Residents and JB Veterans

Trail to open September 8, in conjunction with annual Freedom River Walk event

St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 27, 2012…  On Saturday, September 8, Jefferson Barracks will be bustling with activity. The annual Freedom River Walk, co-sponsored by the South County Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis VA Medical Center and St. Louis County Parks, will commence immediately following a ribbon cutting ceremony on the Mississippi River Greenway.

The ribbon cutting will officially open the newest trail connection in the Great Rivers Greenway District’s River Ring, an interconnected system of trails designed to provide connectivity and transportation alternatives to the St. Louis bi-state region. The new 1.8-mile connector will run from Jefferson Barracks Park to River des Peres, along the Mississippi River. The project, made possible in part by federal funds, seeks to ultimately connect the Jefferson Barracks County Park to the River des Peres Greenway and the widely popular Grant’s Trail, as development of the River Ring continues.

The already widely used 12-foot-wide asphalt trail provides recreational opportunities along the Mississippi River and historic interpretation of the sites within Jefferson Barracks County Park. Additionally, it will provide ADA accessibility for persons with disabilities, including the injured veterans at Jefferson Barracks Veterans’ Hospital, giving them a safe and stable path to explore the grounds along the river.

For veterans like Jeremiah DeGuire, who is paralyzed from the waist down, the accessible nature of the Greenways trails provide recreational opportunities and transportation alternatives he never had before. “There is no doubt that I am healthier and happier because of these greenways. Their accessibility and proximity to where I live make them the perfect place for me and my family to stay fit. For me, Great Rivers Greenway is a real treasure to our region.”

“The Jefferson Barracks trail is made possible by the cooperative efforts of Great Rivers Greenway and its partners – St. Louis County Parks, River City Casino, the Metropolitan Sewer District, the St. Louis County Economic Council, the St. Louis Port Authority and the Missouri Department of Transportation,” said Susan Trautman, Executive Director of Great Rivers Greenway. “We were thankful to have such visionary and helpful partners at every step of this process. Providing this trail to the South County community has truly been a labor of love, and we can’t wait to hand it over to them on September 8.”

The ribbon cutting will commence at 9 a.m. at the trailhead within the park at Gark and Bagby. Brief remarks from local officials and dignitaries will be followed by the start of the Freedom River Walk, a commemorative walk along the trail, and a service of recognition for the loss and sacrifices following the events of 9-11. Refreshments will be available following the ribbon cutting.

For more information on the ribbon cutting, reach out to Carey Bundy of Great Rivers Greenway at (314) 932-4907.

For additional information on the Freedom River Walk, call Donna Schumann at (314) 894-6800.

About Great Rivers Greenway:

Great Rivers Greenway is a public organization developing an interconnected system of trails and greenways to make the region a better place to live. These linear green spaces link neighborhoods and communities, increase the economic vitality of the region, preserve nature, provide transportation alternatives, and improve health. Great Rivers Greenway includes St. Louis City and County and St. Charles County. For more information, visit www.grgstl.org.

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For more information, contact:

Pamela Powell, The Hauser Group, 314.436.9090

Danni Eickenhorst, Great Rivers Greenway, 314.932.4910 or 314.580.8874

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