With partners, community members, and 125 members on working groups, Great Rivers Greenway’s planning effort over the past year on the Chouteau Greenway project has culminated in the release of a Framework Plan, available online at www.GreatRiversGreenway.org/
The original concept for the Chouteau Greenway called for an east-west connection through the city. After the last two years of civic engagement and planning, the geography of the effort has evolved. The plan now connects Forest Park to the Gateway Arch National Park, Fairground Park to Tower Grove Park, and a loop in the middle linking many destinations in between. The scope and potential impact of the project have also changed.
“We’ve listened to thousands of people and heard loud and clear that this is more than just a trail,” said Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway. “Both the project and the process are chances to think differently about how St. Louis collaborates to bring about change and equitable opportunities for all.”
Great Rivers Greenway is now asking the community for name ideas to capture the spirit and impact of this project. People can submit their name ideas (unlimited entries) through January 31, 2020, either by texting the word “NAME” to 77222 or going online to www.NameTheGreenway.org. The website also has a toolkit with basic information, criteria for names, and brainstorming exercises to help get creative ideas flowing.
“We invite anyone to submit their ideas for a name that is fun and inviting while also being unique and meaningful to St. Louis,” said Shaughnessy H. Daniels, civic engagement manager for the project. “Host a party with your friends, family, or co-workers to see what you think up!”
The project, which is a public-private partnership, was launched through an International Design Competition in 2018. A year-long planning process throughout 2019 incorporated the expertise and feedback of 125 working group participants plus thousands of area residents at multiple community events and through online surveys. The results to date include a Framework Plan, described as a “roadmap” that sets a tone and overall recommendations for the project and process. This document outlines a master plan, potential routes and projects, how the greenway could create and influence equitable economic opportunities, what it could look and feel like, and how it could be brought to life and sustained long-term.
The full plan and a short summary called “Making of a Greenway” are both available online at www.GreatRiversGreenway.org/
Next steps for Great Rivers Greenway and its partners include continuing civic engagement, designing specific greenway segments, exploring public and private funding options and governance models, coalition building for the economic development and equity plans, and coordination with other projects in the city.
The Steering Committee from the 2019 planning process will meet in February 2020 to narrow down all of the submitted name ideas. After a vetting process for copyright considerations, approval by Great Rivers Greenway and the City of St. Louis, the new name will be chosen in spring 2020.
Image: Draft concept of the greenway connecting the City Foundry and Armory District areas in midtown. Courtesy of Great Rivers Greenway.