10/10/12 – Neighborhood Celebration Springs Up with Opening of Great Rivers Greenway Trail

St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 10, 2012…  Charles E. Little, author of Greenways for America said, “To make a greenway is to make a community.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the heart of St. Louis, along the St. Vincent Greenway.

On Saturday, Oct. 20, the newest portion of the St. Vincent Greenway, which originates at Porter Park on Delmar Blvd. in St. Louis City, will be opened to the public and celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony and a series of all-day neighborhood events by various groups tied to this community corridor. A jazz festival, neighborhood yard sale and farmer’s market will all be held in Porter Park to bring residents onto the greenway to experience the green space and trails for the very first time.

The St. Vincent Greenway will tie together NorthPark, near I-70 & Hanley Road, to Forest Park when it is complete. Along its seven-mile path, municipalities and neighborhoods that were previously separated by class, race and geography have found a bridge to one another. Residents are finding that the urban green spaces and trails have done more than create a bikeable, walkable community, but they have also encouraged deeper inter-community neighborhood relationships, ultimately making this region of St. Louis a better place to live.

“We are excited to have had the opportunity to build a new park in the St. Vincent Greenway,” said Susan Trautman, Executive Director of Great Rivers Greenway. “Our goal is to provide a better place for residents in this neighborhood to connect, play and explore the outdoors. The residents along this greenway were very clear about what they hoped would be built and we are very proud to have been able to make that happen.”

The new connection is a 1.3-mile long asphalt trail, which runs north from Delmar and DeBaliviere through Ruth Porter Park and continues west to Skinker and Etzel. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Great Rivers Greenway will announce and kick off the start to the DeBaliviere phase of the greenway, which will be constructed as part of the Loop trolley project. The DeBaliviere phase will provide a critical connection along the greenway into Forest Park. Later that morning, the district will break ground on the Wellston phase of the greenway on the northern end of the trail at Skinker at Etzel.

In addition to creating stronger community relationships, Great River Greenway strives to improve the quality of life of the residents along its greenways. To carry out its mission on this particular project, Great Rivers Greenway added benches, bike racks, splash pads and shade umbrellas along the trail for recreation and safety and accessibility. Public art pieces, including a peace pole and several sculptures will also be installed and dedicated along the greenway during the celebration. The amenities promise to make Porter Park a more attractive destination for residents. New disabled access ramps have also been installed throughout, making rolling through the park in a wheelchair feasible for the first time. Additionally, Great Rivers Greenway worked to include design features that increase both visibility and safety for the neighborhood.

For more information, contact:

Pamela Powell, The Hauser Group (314) 436-9090

Danni Eickenhorst, Great Rivers Greenway (314) 932-4910