Another favorite announcement in 2018 was from the Clifton Heights Neighborhood. The neighborhood worked to develop a masterplan that will help guide park improvements, fund raising, etc. in the future.
I did an analysis on all elements of the plan back in March, 2018. You can read that full rundown with lots of renderings and pictures from the full plan by clicking HERE.
I’ve blogged on all 108 parks, and Clifton Heights stands out for its incredible topography. The homes, which are truly unique to St. Louis, it’s reminds me of Webster Groves, MO, are perched atop the park hugging its curvy streets. And all paths lead down toward the lake.
This park is something special and the Masterplan will help guide the neighborhood and city in their future endeavors.
Some key aspects of the plan that stood out:
focus on traffic calming and pedestrian access from the surrounding homes that hug the park.
Emphasis on the lake, adding three floating fountains that will be lit up at night, aquatic plantings that will give fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds a place as well as define the lake as more of a natural setting with interests in five different sections.
Making the boathouse the centerpiece of the park. If this comes to fruition, I could see this park being on the short list of best parks in St. Louis.
Another key element of the park is place-making and highlighting the key entry areas at the east and west. For both main entries, the plan calls for two crosswalks at each entry marking the area as another important place to slow down. The west entrance is my favorite. It includes nice looking, contemporary signage and a tiered "overlook plaza" complete with wrought iron gates to gaze over the lake and the rest of the park from the highest elevation of the property. A great place to stop and sit and look over the park. A great place to set up lawn chairs for a picnic.
Natural, no-mow area throughout the park. This will be a drastic change. Once the no-mow areas establish, the sound of the park will change. You will hear insects all day and night. Then the birds and small mammal come. It will make the park look native and sprawling. It’ll be picnickers paradise.
I visited the park today to try and envision the changes proposed in the Masterplan. The park looks great and even in 30 degree temperatures, there were still people using the park to walk dogs.
There is a beautiful grove of bald cypress trees on the north side of the lake, and new water fountains have been placed by the playground and basketball court.
But overall, it can use less mowed areas and more diversity in plantings and species. That is definitely an element of the Masterplan.
The neighbors have planted a pollinator garden that flanks one of the entry points to park. This is exactly what is needed.
The lake and boathouse provide a beautiful setting, but the potential seen in the plan is one worth working toward, it will transform this park into a showplace.
I hope the neighborhood uses this Masterplan to prioritize ward funds, it can and happen if the people get behind it.
Well done Clifton Heights!