In five to 10 years, St. Louis city’s infrastructure will be completely transformed and changed.
Forest Park, Tower Grove Park, Fairground Park and Gateway Arch National Park will become connected with up to 20 miles of welcoming pathways and greenways.
A greenway is an outdoor space that typically includes four elements: trail, conservation, amenities and connections.
Great Rivers Greenway is a public agency that strives to recreate connections throughout St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles, Missouri.
This new greenway, called the Brickline Project, will connect 17 neighborhoods.
“It really is much more than just a trail, it is creating connections and becoming a catalyst for public art, transportation, exercise, mental and emotional health and more,” Emma Klues, vice president of Communications and Outreach of Great Rivers Greenway, said.
Over the years, Great Rivers Greenway has created and completed a total of 28 greenways throughout the St. Louis and St. Charles region.
These greenways allow people to have safe, accessible options to get to school or work, exercise, read a book, appreciate nature, explore and much more.
Great Rivers Greenway also focuses on connecting communities to help them collaborate and explore new places.
“We’ve seen neighborhoods and communities meeting to throw a 5k or organize a block cleanup,” Klues said. “They weren’t doing those things before because they had not been connected to each other.”
This agency makes sure it is being conscious and mindful to the community and considers the possible unintended consequences a greenway might have.
With its Equity and Economic Impact director, T. Christopher Peoples, the agency makes sure that there is still affordable housing in the areas and the paths will benefit the environment and economy. They consider possible jobs the project could bring.
“We want to make sure the project has prosperity for everyone,” Klues said.
Located on the Gravois Greenway on Grant’s Trail, co-owner of Pedego St. Louis, Carla Sauerwein, has already seen the benefits of greenway paths.
Pedego is a store that sells and rents electric bikes.
“The greenways benefit cyclists by providing a safe space to ride that connects them from home to work to beautiful St. Louis sites,” Sauerwein said.
Sauerwein states that they have many customers who will not bike on roads for safety reasons, but the greenways are a great way for cyclists to ride their bike and stay safe.
She hopes that, with the increasing number of cyclists, the trail system will continue to grow and connect active people to their destinations.
“We appreciate the Great Rivers Greenway and all the work they do to build trails and promote health and a greener environment,” Sauerwein said.
Great Rivers Greenway estimates the Brickline Greenway project will be done in five to 10 years. The organization is always open for ideas and for more people to get involved. To get involved or check out more information, visit bricklinegreenway.org.