06/20/13 – Great Rivers Greenway Seeks to Expand Trail System in West County

St. Louis, Mo., June 20, 2013… Pedestrians and cyclists using the popular Monarch Chesterfield Levee Trail in Chesterfield Valley could soon be connected to the Meramec River through a proposed 15-mile expansion of the Western Greenway. The Great Rivers Greenway District (the District) is inviting area residents to an interactive open house, from 4:30 – 7 p.m. on June 25 at Wildwood City Hall, located at 183 Plaza Drive, to learn more about the proposed greenway and provide feedback that will help shape the project.

Great Rivers Greenway, in partnership with the City of Wildwood, is working with residents and stakeholders in the area to extend the current Western Greenway Trail from the existing Monarch Chesterfield Levee Trail, which is part of the Missouri River Greenway, to Babler Memorial State Park in Chesterfield, and Rockwoods Reservation and Greensfelder County Park, which are both located in Wildwood.

The vision for the Western Greenway includes approximately 15 miles of multi-use pathways. A 1.5-mile segment of the Western Greenway, the Hamilton Carr Trail, is already complete and currently connects Rockwoods Reservation to the Al Foster Memorial Trail in the Meramec Greenway. The Western Greenway will eventually interconnect existing public parks and open space between the Missouri River Greenway in Chesterfield and the Meramec Greenway, largely through the city of Wildwood. The greenway is an integral part of Great Rivers Greenway’s 600-mile planned system of regional trails known as the River Ring.

“Our greenways connect communities and the people within them to nature, and to one another,” said Susan Trautman, Executive Director of Great Rivers Greenway. “This project represents an incredible opportunity for the District to connect its residents to some of the region’s most precious natural assets. We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring this project before the residents we serve, and excited to work with them to create a greenway that reflects this area.”

Babler Memorial State Park is one of Missouri’s most popular state parks, with nearly 2,500 acres of land dedicated to hiking, camping, nature study and wildlife viewing.  Rockwoods Reservation, home to Hamilton Creek, is a popular destination for bird watching, hiking and camping, and home to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s wildlife education programs. Greensfelder County Park provides visitors with opportunities for equestrian activities and orienteering at the foothills of Missouri’s Ozarks.

The Western Greenway will provide residents and tourists with an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature and history along the nearly 6,000 acres of public park lands it will link, allowing residents to easily access historic structures that are listed on the National Register, walk or bike through sites that were once inhabited by Native American cultures, visit Missouri’s first conservation area and experience a rich diversity of plant and animal life, as well as caves and rock formations.

The open house being held next week will offer residents the chance to review existing trails, learn the goals of the Western Greenway and provide project feedback. Information will also be available about the role of trails in Wildwood’s past, as well as current and future plans about how The District, in partnership with the City of Wildwood, Missouri State Parks, the Missouri Department of Conservation, St. Louis County Department of Parks and local residents, is working to expand its trail system in West St. Louis County and improve quality of life of residents throughout the region.

The open house is the first of two taking place this summer that will focus on the future expansion of the Western Greenway, connecting the Missouri River to the Meramec River. A second public meeting will be held on August 1st at the Wildwood City Hall from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

About Great Rivers Greenway:

The Great Rivers Greenway District was created by a vote of the people in 2000 with the goal of making the St. Louis region a better place to live. The public organization is carrying this goal by creating community connections with the River Ring, an interconnected system of trails and greenways. The District also works to provide transportation alternatives, preserve nature, improve health and increase the economic vitality of the region. Great Rivers Greenway’s district includes St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County. For more information, visit www.greatriversgreenway.org.

For more information, contact:

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

Danni Eickenhorst, Great Rivers Greenway. (314) 932-4910 office, (314) 580-8874 mobile