ST. LOUIS – There are the things we can see with our naked eye and others you cannot; but they’re still there, even if you can’t see them.
Bill Reininger, executive director of Tower Grove Park, says a stream once ran all the way through the park after the turn of the 20th century.
“There were three that ran through the park. The other two are daylighted right now on the west and the middle (of the park),” Reininger said. “So, it’s going to be great to bring that third one back in and have the park look like it did a hundred years ago.”
Buried in 1913 for sanitary reasons in the southeast corner of the park, a series of bridges give the best sign of where the stream should be.
A new, $2 million year-long project will unearth the stream. The 1,400-foot-long path will feature natural play-areas as well as design and an acknowledgment of the Osage people that called this area home long before St. Louis was settled in 1764.
“By having plant material on the sides of it it’s going to add habitat for bugs and bees and birds,” Reininger said. “Build it and they will come, which will be really fun. We’re going to have bioretention areas on it, so we’re going to help with the storm mitigation of the park as well as the surrounding neighborhoods. Cause there’s about 40 acres of surface that drain into this area. So, we’ll help be able to treat a lot of water and help the sewer system out quite a bit.”
The Crawford Taylor Foundation and members of the Taylor family are providing construction and endowment grants for the project set to bring rushing water back to the surface.
“You have these structures that are a part of our historical fabric that look weird,” Reininger said. “It’s a footbridge with dirt right up next to it. So, to be able to bring that channel up to it and have the water run through them again is just really going to be splendid.”