Emerging from the St. Louis 2004 Parks and Open Space Task Force, Gateway Parks and Trails 2004 was incorporated in January, 1999. Its purpose is to oversee the Clean Water, Safe Parks and Community Trails Initiative, a proposal to create a metropolitan recreation district that would:
- Improve water quality
- Increase park safety
- Provide community trails
- Improve, restore and expand local parks
- Provide expanded disabled public access to recreational areas
- Preserve natural land for wildlife habitat
Gateway Parks and Trails is leading a planning and public engagement effort which to involve citizens in finding cost-effective solutions. Missouri Senate Bill 405 and Illinois House Bill 702 allow each county in the St. Louis metropolitan areas to join the metropolitan recreation district by passing a referendum.
Benefits of the Clean Water, Safe Parks and Community Trails Proposal
- Surveys indicate strong support for improving water quality, increasing park safety and providing community trails, and this proposal provides a coordinated and cost-effective approach that benefits people in all communities.
- Natural lands along our rivers, streams and watersheds would be preserved to filter pollutants that would otherwise foul our water.
- Wildlife Habitat would be protected
- Families and children would have safe places to play and recreate, and public access to recreational areas would be expanded
- Trails would create pathways between community assets, such as schools, and provide recreational opportunities for biking and walking.
Improvement of lands along rivers and streams to filter pollutants, preserve habitat, and provide open space or recreational corridors
- Repair or replacement of out-of-date and unsafe equipment and facilities (such as playgrounds, sidewalks, fencing, bridges, restrooms, and improved storm water drainage)
- Development of new, safe parks in newer communities that want them
- Well-lit and marked walking and biking trails
- Reforestation and preservation of open spaces
Robert J. Hall, CLP
Executive Director, Gateway Parks and Trails 2004
20 Hancock, St. Louis, Missouri 63125
Web site: www.gatewayparks.org