Gateway Design Studio, a professional planning, landscape architectural and environmental design firm located in St. Louis, was one of the key partners on hand at the ribbon-cutting event for the recently completed Pine Lawn Community Park project. The event commemorated the completion of both Pine Lawn Community Park and Pasadena Blvd Parkway — a new walkable environment along Pasadena Blvd.
The highlight of the project is the transformation of vacant, derelict buildings into the 3.3-acre Pine Lawn Community Park — a new neighborhood park and hub for community activity that includes a playground, walking paths, and a multipurpose field. The project also includes the transformation of a half-mile stretch of Pasadena Blvd into a new walkable environment with sidewalks, street medians, and a roundabout to slow down traffic and increase safety for residents and students at the nearby Barack Obama Elementary School. The new neighborhood park is situated across from Beyond Housing headquarters in Pine Lawn.

Both are the result of Heart of Pine Lawn/Northwoods — a $5.6 million project and collaboration between the two cities, community development organization Beyond Housing, and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s (MSD) Project Clear. Through a Rainscaping Large Grant, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s MSD Project Clear initiative contributed $3.1 million to the project. The 24:1 Community Land Trust funded the remaining $2.5 million.

The Heart of Pine Lawn/Northwoods beautification and water management project was funded by MSD Project Clear, 24:1 Community Land Trust, and NeighborWorks America, and managed by Beyond Housing (BH). BH bought out all the properties, which were abandoned, unsafe, and in poor condition in order to create this new park. The project started in 2014 as part of MSD’s Project Clear initiative, which allows communities to receive grant money to help mitigate and control storm water runoff within certain areas of the St. Louis Metropolitan area.

Gateway Design Studio (GDS) was the landscape architect for both the Pasadena Blvd road improvements and the community park (all part of Project Clear). GDS provided concept plans, construction documents, and construction phase oversight for both projects, and worked with the following project team to implement the project – KPFF Engineers (civil/site); G & W Engineering (civil/site/electrical); Fingerhut Consulting (owner rep); EM Harris (general contractor); NuToys Leisure Products (playground consultant); and Focal Pointe (playground contractor).

In addition to the landscaping, GDS utilized trees acquired from Missouri Releaf program. The park includes a bio-retention basin designed as part of the MSD Project Clear program with plant material specified as per MSD’s requirements. Many trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, and perennial flowers were selected to be drought, urban tolerant, and primarily native to Missouri.

Park highlights include:

  • A 6-foot-wide, ADA-accessible walking trail and ramps
  • The all-Inclusive playground designed by GDS and NuToys Leisure Products
  • Picnic benches
  • Park benches/trash receptacles
  • Graffiti-proof coatings on the playground equipment, park furniture, and monument sign
  • A dedication plaque at the founder’s circle, which tells the history and story of the Pine  Lawn community

Click here to see MSD’s video highlighting the Pine Lawn Community Park ceremony and grand opening.