Sometimes it’s fun to get mail. It’s a simple old school pleasure to get a newsletter from an organization you support.
I’m speaking of the “Tower Tribune” publication from the Water Tower & Park Preservation Society (WTPPS), the non-profit organization of local community members who are stewards of Compton Reservoir Park and the Compton Water Tower itself.
The Winter, 2019 newsletter hit my door yesterday and what I read was more cause for excitment for an organization that have proven themselves do’ers and maybe an ideal example of public/private partnership.
I use this park all the time as we live pretty close to hear. The place has improved immensely in recent years.
My Compton Hill Reservoir Park post dates back to August, 2013 when the park was still lacking the care and investment on display today. I reported back in December, 2013 with some good news on the renovations in planning including new tennis courts that were completed in 2016 and the restoration of the ornate light fixtures on the water tower in 2015.
I was thrilled to learn from WTPPS that a long-planned lighting effort has reached a milestone in February. 37 new pink granitoid lightpoles, were installed along the walking path on the east side of the park.
The beautiful, 14-foot lightpoles come complete with 75-watt LED bulbs that are expected to provide 100,000 hours of service are replacing 18 cobra head lights.
This increase in lights from 18 to 37 means they had to upgrade and bury the electrical wiring to support the bump in lighting.
The project, five years in planning, came to fruition due to the hard work of the WTTPS and a partnership with Chritstine Ingrassia, the alderwoman who represents this area. $285,000 was allocated from the 2013 City Parks Improvement Bond Issue funds for the ward.
Like what you see? The WTTPS isn’t done just yet. There are plans to continue the lighting project west along Russell Boulevard on the south side of the park and the western section of the park along South Grand Boulevard. This effort will be huge, requiring 64 new lightpoles (18 along Russell and 46 along Grand), will cost ~$478,000.
WTTPS is in the stage of planning and funding. Public contributions are expected to continue but will only be able to cover 25% of the project. The organization is looking toward grant writing and other partnerships to make up the remainder of the cost.
The WTTPS Board of Directors also voted to commit $100,000 of the organization’s funds raised by donations, dues and ticket sales for tower visits.
Fundraising is not an easy endeavor, but I believe this group has what it takes to plan and execute. This public/private partnership on display in Compton Hill Reservoir Park could be a model for others in the city. The park has vastly improved and is becoming as dignified and well cared for a public space as the neighborhoods surrounding it.
Cheers to the WTTPS and all park lovers involved in these efforts. Not only are the big projects being executed, so are the smaller, upkeep and horticulture efforts of the neighbors. New trees, Spring mulching and bed cleanouts are evident throughout the park.
If you are like me and in awe of what a dedicated group of citizens who love their surroundings can do, you can donate to this tax-deductible non-profit by sending a check to:
Water Tower and Park Preservation Society
P.O. Box 2156
St. Louis, MO 63158
Or visit the website to become a member at:
Keep up the good work, we all benefit from your endeavors.