Monday, July 28, 2014

River Des Peres Park

River Des Peres Park is 1 of 108 St. Louis city parks.  This 145 acre park was placed into ordinance in 1926 and is located just south of the Shrewsbury Metrolink stop at Landsdowne on the St. Louis City/St. Louis County border in both the St. Louis Hills and Lindenwood Park neighborhoods, extending all the way to approximately Morgan Ford Road (although the city website claims Landsdowne to Weber Road):

green strip just south of River Des Peres

This park is really a narrow strip of land along the western edge of the city as well as some islands of land in sections where River Des Peres Boulevard splits.  The land in between the north and southbound lanes of River Des Peres should really be no-mow, not unlike much of the easements of I-255 in Illinois.  See the areas to the right in the photos below:



The strip of land to the west of River Des Peres Boulevard has seen some amazing changes in the last year when Great Rivers Greenway has planted hundreds of trees and perennials along this stretch while widening and resurfacing the pedestrian trail.



This park hasn't looked this good in years.

As I mentioned above the park starts at the intersetion of Landsdowne and River Des Peres Blvd at the southern terminus of the Metrolink blue line.






Not unlike my suggestion above for no mow areas, GRG is doing just that in areas marked off for no-mow and perennial plantings.



There is a nice little playground complete with bike racks, benches and trash cans beside a rain garden planted with bald cypress and other water loving species.



The retaining walls on a couple bridges were planted as "living walls" where perennials are planted in patterned spaces on the wall.  This makes for a striking visual interest as well as having a cooling effect on the hard surface.


You'll see several of the stone, brick and slate roof bathroom and utility buildings.







There is also nice baseball and soccer fields.  The nicest being Fultz Field which has my favorite bench shelters in the entire city.




There is a playground in this stretch of the park too, one that as of publishing date is getting a major upgrade to the gym equipment and removal of pea gravel to rubber surfacing.



This park continues with the River Des Peres Extension to connect with the Christy Park Greenway.

The first phase of the River des Peres Greenway Trail opened in 2005. A second phase, Morganford to I-55 opened in the fall of 2008. And now, construction of the third phase from I-55 and Germania to Germania and Alabama is complete.






There are side connectors to the neighborhoods and sub-divisions that borders the park.


This trail system is something special and is one of the best things to happen to the area in the last 10 years.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I ride my bike there all the time and it really has undergone quite a transformation. My only problem with the new trail is that the old path seemed to just follow the curves and hills of the terrain there. They really did some grading for the new trail, making it look less like it was supposed to be there and more like it was put there. They also made some of the funner hills and curves boring as well as less challenging.

Anonymous said...

The so-called living wall never works. It eventually turns to weeds. And that is exactly whats happening to this one.