Marker to Commemorate Lewis and Clark in Hazelwood

The City of Hazelwood has announced that on  Saturday, May 24, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) commemorative marker will be installed at the St. Stanislaus Historic Conservation Area, located near Aubuchon and Charbonier Road along the Missouri River.

As part of celebrating the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Lewis and Clark Historic Foundation places markers along the trail they took from St. Louis on the Mississippi River, making their way up the Missouri River to its headwaters and then to the Pacific Ocean via Columbia River.

These markers represent points of interest they encountered along the way.

The City of Hazelwood’s Charbonier Bluff, which is in St. Stanislaus Park, was one of those points of interest mentioned by William Clark in his Journal dated May 16, 1804.  It is one of the highest vantage points in the area, which allows an observer to see long distances in several directions.  Historians believe Clark ordered someone to climb the bluff to see how far away they were from the City of St. Charles, which could be seen to the southwest.  Clark also noted the exposed coal seam at the base of the bluff.

The St. Stanislaus Historical Museum Society, in conjunction with the National Park Service as part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the Missouri Department of Conservation, is hosting a dedication ceremony on May 24 for the installation of this NOAA commemorative marker at St. Stanislaus Park.  Other organizations participating in this program include The Lewis and Clark Trust, Inc., and The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles.  The event starts at 11 a.m. with local and regional dignitaries invited to attend

The program will feature the following guest speakers: Jim Mallory, Lewis & Clark Historic Foundation (NE); Esley Hamilton, preservation historian of St. Louis County Department of Parks; Rosemary Davison, historian; Mayor Matthew Robinson  and Christy Love.  Representatives from other organizations such as the National Park Service, Missouri Department of Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers – St. Louis will be participating as well.

“It was an honor for me to be invited to speak at this historic occasion which celebrates the installation of a Lewis and Clark Trail marker at St. Stanislaus Park here in Hazelwood,” said Mayor Matthew Robinson, City of Hazelwood.

“There are a lot of people who follow the trail that Lewis and Clark took on their expedition.  And, since this marker will have its specific location posted on the Internet, many of them will be visiting our community to see it and experience everything Hazelwood has to offer.”

In 1998, former state representative Carol Stroker, who currently serves as Hazelwood’s Ward 1 City Councilwoman, introduced a bill approved by the state legislature that appropriated $70,000 to create the 811-acre St. Stanislaus Conservation Area as a state park in North County.  At the time, tax payers in the St. Louis area were contributing one-third of all revenue from the state’s 1/10-cent sales tax for state parks, but they had very little access to state park land.  She wanted North County to have its share.  This funding for improvements to St. Stanislaus came out of the Department of Natural Resources capital improvements budget; not the state parks budget.

Wildlife management biologist Tom Leifield supported this effort because the state could provide educational opportunities for local citizens with these park enhancements.  The state’s conservation department placed several self-guided informational signs in the park and state naturalists offered wetland tours.

Since St. Stanislaus Park was in Hazelwood, the city’s superintendent of parks and recreation back then, Darlene Harrison, expressed interest in participating in joint educational projects.  She felt it was very important for local residents to have a state park where they could see wildlife in their natural habitat and to go on hikes throughout the park.  Harrison applied for a $65,000 municipal park grant which was approved for additional park improvements.

 



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