Open House March 27 to Discuss Improvements to Bella Fontaine Park
Great Rivers Greenway, in conjunction with St. Louis County Parks, is inviting area residents to an interactive open house on Thursday, March 27, to view and discuss proposed improvements to Bella Fontaine Park, which is located in Bellefontaine Neighbors and Moline Acres. The improvements are part of the planned 7.5-mile Maline Greenway, which, once complete, will run through Bella Fontaine Park, connecting 10 North County communities and providing residents with direct access to the Mississippi riverfront. The open house will take place at Bellefontaine Neighbors Recreation Center, Room 101, located at 9669 Bellefontaine Road. Residents are welcome to stop by anytime between 5 and 6:30 p.m.
The proposed improvements would enhance safety and connectivity within Bella Fontaine Park. The plans include constructing a crosswalk that will allow residents to safely connect to trails in the adjacent Bella Fontaine County Park West and replacing three existing pedestrian trail bridges that have deteriorated. One of the three bridges will be relocated in an effort to link the existing Cardinal Trail and Maple Trail, while also allowing for direct access to the new Maline Greenway trail that will be constructed near the main shelter of the park. The new greenway and connections will create 3.5 miles of connected trails between the two parks. Improvements are also proposed to the existing trails to ensure ADA compliance. In addition, plans call for the removal of invasive plants, a new storm water management system and the restoration of Maline Creek, which has suffered severe erosion.
Those attending the open house will be able to provide feedback on proposed improvements and also view finalized plans for the Maline Greenway, which serves as an important connector in Great Rivers Greenway’s planned 600-mile interconnected web of greenways, parks and trails known as the River Ring. The Maline Greenway will eventually form an east-west link between the Confluence Greenway and the St. Vincent Greenway near the University of Missouri – St. Louis campus, traveling east along the Maline Creek and connecting six parks, including Bella Fontaine and Bella Fontaine West. Once complete, Maline Greenway will end at the North Riverfront Trail, which, situated near the 112-acre North Riverfront Park in St. Louis City, links residents to a vast network of trails in Madison and St. Clair County, Ill., via the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.
For more information regarding the open house or Maline Greenway project, please call 314-436-7009 or visit www.greatriversgreenway.org.
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