12/20/12 – Great Rivers Greenway Measures its Progress in 2012

 District releases list of accomplishments that are making the St. Louis region a better place to live

St. Louis, Mo., Dec 20, 2012…  Great Rivers Greenway was tasked with the goal of improving the quality of life for the entire St. Louis region when voters created the organization in 2000. In order to judge how well it’s delivering on its mission, the Great Rivers Greenway District measures its progress by the communities it has bettered in a given calendar year. Today, the organization released a list of its accomplishments that have positively impacted the St. Louis region in 2012, with highlights that include more than $187,675 invested in community program grants, sponsorships and safety programs and nearly 11.5 miles of trails that were either started or completed this year.

“Because the people have entrusted us to carry out the mission of making the St. Louis region a better place to live, and because they made it clear that their priorities were clean water, safe parks and community trail connections, we feel it is incredibly important that we share and celebrate these successes with them,” Susan Trautman, Executive Director for the District said.

Some of the highlights from the past year include the following:

  • The District invested more than $187,675 in community programs to promote clean water, good health, transportation options and safe trails, through grants and sponsorships, including regional ranger programs, Operation Clean Stream, Trailnet’s Bike to Work Day, Livewell Ferguson’s resident rides and more.
  • Great Rivers Greenway opened 6.2 miles of new greenway trails to the public, bridging critical connections within the River Ring. These projects included the Boschert Greenway Phase II project in St. Charles, which connected New Town to the Katy Trail; the Al Foster Memorial Trail in Wildwood; the Mississippi River Greenway trail segment that runs from Jefferson Barracks to River City Casino; the Wayne Goode Trail Extension, which is a portion of the St. Vincent Greenway that runs across the UMSL campus and connects students and residents with Ferguson; and the St. Vincent Greenway segment that runs through Porter Park in St. Louis City’s West End neighborhood.
  • The organization also broke ground on 5.25 miles of new projects that are currently under construction, including trails on the Centennial, River des Peres and St. Vincent Greenways.
  • In November, plans were unveiled to extend Grant’s Trail to the River des Peres Greenway. The plan ultimately provides more than 15 miles of connectivity.
  • Great Rivers Greenway also partnered with a variety of organizations on projects that stand to promote economic vitality within the region including participation in the final design of the St. Vincent Greenway alongside the Loop Trolley project on DeBaliviere Avenue, and the development of greenway connections within the campus of life science incubator Cortex.
  • The District was awarded $1.4 million in Federal Transportation grant funds for Bike St. Louis and $4 million in funds for the reconstruction of the Lenore K. Sullivan Blvd in front of the Gateway Arch.
  • In 2012, the organization began work to rehabilitate the abandoned Iron Horse rail trestle in North St. Louis. The Trestle project was formally launched with a public event in June 2012 with more than 450 in attendance.  The I-70 overpass was repaired and painted to bring new awareness of Great Rivers Greenway and the Trestle. In December, Great Rivers Greenway was recognized for its Trestle project by Next City’s “2012 Disruption Index” as an organization doing work to change an American city for the better.
  • The Safe and Accessible Arch and Public Parks Initiative was presented in December to officials in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County for consideration in the upcoming April 2013 election. The legislation would support maintenance and upgrades to local parks and greenways and partially fund the CityArchRiver 2015 project, if passed. In conjunction with CityArchRiver, Great Rivers Greenway also launched a series of public events to get resident feedback on the CityArchRiver 2015 project.
  • An initiative to promote parks and healthy living was launched in cooperation with the National Parks Service with artwork on buses and bus shelters throughout the region.

For a more detailed list of Great Rivers Greenway’s accomplishments in 2012, visit www.grgstl.org.

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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