Your Environment, Your

Future

Greenway Network is a grassroots volunteer based organization. Our mission is to conserve natural resources, encourage sound management of the watersheds and protect the quality of life for the residents of the greater St. Louis area.

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 Celebrating 25 Years of Greenway Network

 Looking forward to a great 2019!

Share your stories and pictures with us on our Facebook Page.

Join us in the fun and become a member!


River Soundings

Life with the River:

Clean Water &

Citizens Advocacy

 
WHEN:  Wednesday, June 26 at 12:30 PM - 7:30 PM

WHERE: Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center (Forest Park Visitor's Center), 5595 Grand Dr, St. Louis 63112

This River Soundings Conference will feature lectures and panel discussions from scientists, regulators, and environmental activists. The conference is focused on river policies around St. Louis, including flood control, river restoration, floodplain development, and much more. 

Featuring: A keynote address by Chad Pregracke of Living Lands and Waters, an organization dedicated to keeping the Mississippi River clean and healthy. 

MC: Tim Convy, Comedian & Y98 Morning Show Co-Host

Additional presentations by: Earth Economics will be presenting their paper on the Melvin Price Lock and Dam Cost-Benefit Analysis.
 
Presentations begin at 1:00pm. Keynote speech by Chad Pregracke at 6:00pm.
 
CLICK HERE for more information and registration or phone 314-918-1007. 
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19th Annual

Spring Dardenne Creek Monitoring Day

SUCCESS!!!

Two times a year Greenway Network members collaborate with Stream Team volunteers and students from local high schools and colleges to sample the entire length of Dardenne Creek in St. Charles County. This semiannual event provides the State of Missouri and interested members of the public with a snapshot picture of the health of the creek. This data allows for planning and can identify areas of concern along the Stream.

Thanks to all who participated on June 1 & 2!!

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Kayak The Cuivre! 

4-mile kayak race, canoes and rafts welcome

What: The City of Old Monroe Bicentennial Kayak the Cuivre

When:  Rescheduled for September 14th

Where: Heitmans Launch Area, Cuivre River, Old Monroe, MO

Cost: $10 before September 1st, $15 after September 1st

Payment Options: Registration, payments will also be accepted in advance at City Hall.


Trophies and Prizes Will Be Awarded!
C
lick here to register

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BIG MUDDY SPEAKER SERIES

"Meet Your Missouri Waterkeeper (Riverkeeper}"

Presented by  Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper co-founders - Bob Menees, Attorney with Great Rivers Environmental Law Center and Rachel Artels, Director of Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper.

WHEN:  Wednesday, July 10, 2019 @ 7:00pm  Social hour @ 6:00pm 

WHERE:  Big A's on the Riverfront, 308 N. Main St., St. Charles, Mo 63301 (map)

Bio: The origins of the Waterkeeper movement date back to 1966, when commercial and recreational fishermen, many of them veterans, united to save the Hudson River in New York. Their outspoken, citizen-led advocacy ensured that laws were enforced and that their river, livelihood, and the health of their families were all protected. With this, the first Riverkeeper was born.

In 1999, Waterkeeper Alliance was founded to support the growing number of Waterkeepers, Riverkeepers, Baykeepers, Coastkeepers, etc. popping up to protect local waterways across the country. Today, Waterkeeper Alliance is the largest and fastest growing network of clean water advocates in the world.

Waterkeepers are the voice for the rivers and defenders of the fundamental human right to clean water. These water wardens patrol local waters, identify and investigate pollution, monitor water quality, work collaboratively to address river issues, advocate for compliance with clean water laws, and prosecute those who willfully violate them. Through community engagement and education, their goal is to energize local communities around water issues and empower you to protect your right to drinkable, fishable, swimmable water.

Come out to Big A's on the Riverfront in St. Charles for the July Big Muddy Speaker Series. Meet our local Missouri Waterkeeper, learn what they are doing to protect clean water in our region, and how you can get involved!

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

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BIG

Bangert Island Greenway

The Louis H. Bangert Memorial Wildlife Area in St. Charles County and nearby the Katy Trail State Park provides recreation opportunities to the community and valuable wildlife habitat.  Greenway Network suggests the formation of a partnership of local, state and federal agencies, community organizations and citizens to work to develop a plan and funding for a greenway in the Bangert Island area in order to enhance and conserve the Wildlife Area and the Katy Trail. The greenway partnership could work to improve the facilities and access at the Bangert Wildlife Area Trailhead and work to buy properties from willing sellers along the corridor between the Katy Trail and Bangert Island.

Those properties and other nearby Federal, state, county and city properties could then be included in a Bangert Island Greenway. Planning concepts and designs incorporated in the City of St. Charles Eco Park and ideas in Protecting Our Resources St. Charles County Strategy for Floodplain management could be incorporated into the planning for the greenway. The properties in the area are very flood prone and some were included in the 1993 flood buyout program. The proposed Bangert Island Greenway would enhance the Katy Trail and the Bangert Wildlife Area providing citizens with more recreational opportunities and help grow Eco tourism in the region.

Following up from the “Future of Bangert Island” meeting Greenway Network is working with other concerned citizens and stakeholders to organize a partnership to support a Bangert Island Greenway. The partnership is named the Bangert Island Greenway Project Committee [BIG Project committee] which will work to support the development of the Bangert Island Greenway. The BIG Project committee will encourage a watershed plan on Crystal Springs Creek.

The Committee’s work include having a Stream Team monitor Crystal Springs Creek which runs though the Bangert Island area and  Greenway Network Board Member Larry Ruff and Bob Virag will be working on monitoring water quality on the Crystal Springs Creek. The BIG Project will look into flooding history and water quality of the creek which would important part of planning for the Bangert Island Greenway. The Project Committee will work to encourage citizens help conserve the key elements of the proposed greenway which are the Bangert Wildlife Area and the Katy Trail. The committee will also work to encourage citizen to make public comments on the USACE/St. Charles Bangert Island Flood Risk&Riverfront Transformation Project study [if St. Charles authorizes public comments] and to make public comments supporting the Bangert Island Greenway any changes in zoning by St. Charles County near Bangert Island and on any changes to the nearby City\County boarders. The BIG Project Committee will work to learning what land use restrictions there are on public lands near Bangert Island to help with the greenway planning. The committee will work to develop suggestions for alternative options for development in St. Charles then the Bangert Island area. Greenway Network member Robby Greve has volunteered to chair the BIG Project committee and will be holding a meeting on March 14 to organize the committee.

The first BIG Committee meeting will be held on April 4 @ 6:00pm, 524 S. Main St., Unit 4, St. Charles, Mo. If you are interested in working with the committee or just wanting to attend the committee meeting please register here.

BIG Project action plan

  1. Work with BIG stake holders to organize the BIG Project Committee to support the greenway development.
  2. Develop opportunities for public comments in support of the Bangert Island Plan for the Bangert Island Flood Risk & Riverfront Transformation. The Comprehensive Plan presently calls for no public input opportunities unless St. Charles allows it.
  3. Suggest nonfloodplain options for development in St. Charles then the Bangert Island area.
  4. Develop BIG planning funding.
  5. Inventory legal easements on properties near Bangert Island and support any conservation easements on the properties.
  6. Support a watershed study on Crystal Springs Creek which runs through Bangert Island.
  7. Locate willing sellers of properties near Bangert Island.
  8. Finish BIG planning.
  9. Develop BIG funding sources.
  10. Start BIG development.

The February, 2019 Big Muddy Speaker Series topic was "The Future of Bangert Island' which was  well attended and provided an opportunity for citizens to learn more about the recently authorized Bangert Island Flood Risk & Riverfront Transformation Project. The City of St. Charles has recently paid the USACE Kansas City Dist. 1 million dollars for their cost for the Comprehensive Plan for the Bangert Island Flood Risk& Riverfront Transformation Project under a USACE Assistance to States grant and the Corp will also spent 1 million dollars on the two year planning project. This plan could have a major impact on the Bangert Island area and information on the project and the proposed development are attached to this email.

Greenway Network has concerns about the proposed development near the Louis H. Bangert Memorial Wildlife Area and adjacent to Katy Trail State Park located in the Missouri River floodplain in St Charles County, Mo.  Greenway Network is concerned that permitting development in this area will have negative impacts on the environment such as the loss of wildlife habitat, increased non-point source water and lighting pollution associated with the development having negative impacts on the Wildlife Area. Other concerns are that development in this area will result in a more constricted floodplain resulting in increased flooding raising the taxpayer costs of repairing flood damages and that the development will increase traffic thereby increasing traffic dangers for people on the Katy Trail.

Greenway Network supports economic development on properties near Bangert Island which would be compatible with the Bangert Island Wildlife Area and Katy Trail State Park. We suggest future economic developments in the vicinity of the Wildlife Area and the Katy Trail State Park be located along the west side of South River Road and the Katy Trail and away from the river.  Rather than increasing taxpayer costs associated with construction of new infrastructure in floodplains and the cost of maintaining water features included in recent development proposals Greenway Network supports the redevelopment of non-floodplain properties in St. Charles.

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Join a Greenway Network

Conservation Team

Volunteers are needed for picking up trash, planting, removing invasive plants and doing other needed work on public lands and to help at events such as Earth Day, National Public Lands Day, Mission:Clean Stream, Confluence Trash Bash and Race for the Rivers. Service days will be held at many sites, including Riverlands, in West Alton, Riverwoods in Bridgeton and many local parks near you.

Team members are asked to pledge to support three service events this summer. Members will receive gloves, a water bottle, and a t-shirt at their first volunteer event.

Team leaders are needed to help coordinate service projects. Team leaders will receive special training to support events. Pledge to support five volunteer events and you are eligible to be a team leader and receive special recognition.

Single day volunteers are welcome and make up the majority of our volunteers! The work is rewarding, enjoyable, sometimes wet and muddy, but always worthwhile. Look for volunteer opportunities on our website or to join Greenway Network Conservation Team's monthly work party at the Riverlands area in West Alton, Mo.

To register for monthly volunteer work days at Riverlands, click here. 

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The list of reasons why the Missouri Bluffs subdivision is a bad idea is just about endless.
We have picked this list as our Top 10.  
Click here to see the subdivision plan.
Top 10 Reasons Why St. Charles County Should Say NO
to Missouri Bluffs Subdivision
 

1.     This development has nothing to do with conservation and is not a “conservation subdivision.” It is a 360 home golf course community being built on steep, wooded slopes that surround the Missouri Bluffs Golf course. The project is being cloaked in conservation terms and called a “conservation subdivision” in a bold effort to divert attention from the damage that building 360 homes and two miles of roadway will do to the river bluff landscape. This is why the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 8 to 1 against it!

2.     It will blemish a remarkable corridor that has been preserved as the result of an 80-year history of events, conservation work and philanthropy. This area of forested valleys, expansive river views, conservation areas and trails sets St. Charles County apart and can be a source of long-lasting tourism and lifestyle benefits.

3.     The proposed subdivision lacks any significant common ground or open space and has no enforceable tree preservation restrictions.  Due to the extremely steep terrain surrounding the golf course homes have to be sited only 15 feet from the street on narrow, deep lots with side setbacks from neighboring houses as small as 7 feet. Because of a terrain unsuitable for homebuilding the streets have to be extremely narrow (20 feet).

4.     Stormwater management is non-existent.  The grade changes and tree removal for homesites and roads will force more stormwater into the valleys which will further damage trees, cause erosion and increase downstream flooding.  The development utilizes ALL of the space around the golf course for homesites with no remaining space for stormwater retention.

5.     Following construction there are NO enforceable regulations that prevent homeowners from clearing trees and other native vegetation to provide better views of the golf course fairways that the homes are built around.

6.     Included in the subdivision are homesites near a sewer treatment plant and a manufacturing facility with 24-hour operations which will create continuing unavoidable problems. 

7.     Some of the homesites border on the Katy Trail and the Great Rivers Greenway trail and will visually detract from the experiences they provide. The development borders the Weldon Spring Conservation Area and is near Busch Conservation Area. The subdivision is in the midst of conserved areas where dense residential development has never occurred. 

8.     The proposed development violates the intent of the county’s 2025 Master Plan which clearly identifies this area as greenspace.

9.     The owner of the property, the University of Missouri has the resources and ability to find alternative uses for this land as it is currently zoned. Denial of this rezoning request will require them to use those abilities to benefit the future of St. Charles County - not just themselves and the developer - it will not take away their ability to sell the land. 

10.  While hundreds of opponents from St. Charles have attended four public hearings and many have spoken in opposition, not one member of the public has appeared to speak in favor of this project. Only the paid consultants, contractors and attorneys who work for the developer have spoken in its favor.

 


Congratulations to

Larry Ruff!

Each year, the Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (MOAFS)recognizes an individual not directly employed in the aquatic field for their outstanding contributions to our aquatic resources.

Stream Team staff are excited to announce Larry Ruff (Team 463) as the recipient of the 2018 MOAFS Lee Redmond Citizen’s Award, which was presented at the annual Missouri Natural Resources Conference.

Larry has over 25 years of substantial contributions to the aquatic resources of Missouri through education and stewardship activities. When he became the Science Department Chairperson at Francis Howell High School in 1992, he quickly realized there was a lack of hands-on, science-based curriculum, so he co-authored the design for an Environmental Studies course. While seeking supplies and materials needed to implement the course, Larry discovered Stream Team, formed Stream Team 374 as Francis Howell North Environmental Studies, and attended workshops held by the fledgling VWQM Program that had just begun taking flight. His students gained a greater appreciation for Spencer Creek as they performed regular monitoring and worked with the City of St. Peters to label every storm drain in the watershed. Over the years, Larry continued to attend VWQM classes and provide his students with valuable experiences in stream stewardship activities. After retiring in 2000, he became more involved with Greenway Network (Team 463) and expanded his monitoring efforts on Dardenne Creek in St. Charles County, introducing hundreds of volunteers to the Stream Team Program. Larry also helped create the semi-annual Dardenne Day monitoring event which brings volunteers together to monitor 17 sites at each road crossing on Dardenne Creek in a single day.
Some of Larry’s additional contributions for the benefit of Missouri streams include:
  • Co-authoring an EPA grant allowing the incorporation of Stream Team activities into schools across St. Charles and St. Louis Counties, resulting in thousands of students having hands-on experience caring for area streams
  • Playing a major part in in the EPA’s assessment of Dardenne Creek and its listing on the 303(d) list, resulting in numerous best management practices becoming implemented in the watershed, which ultimately led to reduced sediment inputs and de-listing of six miles of stream
  • Supplying 17 years of consistent data for Dardenne Creek by submitting nearly 1,800 data collections from 73 sites
  • Facilitating, in partnership with the Division of Environmental Health and Protection, the recruitment of volunteers to mark all 9,000+ storm drains in St. Charles County
  • Reporting 75,184 hours of dedicated volunteer service on behalf of Missouri’s stream resources.

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Greenway Network Race for the Rivers  Race for the Rivers  Confluence Trash Bash  Mission: Clean Stream/GM Earth Day