The Great Rivers Greenway District has built 113 miles of greenways in St. Louis since a vote passed in 2000 allowing the group to build. Not only does the district provide a way to connect communities and the St. Louis region, it also provides funding for parks and greenways all across St. Louis. The newest addition to the roster of the district’s projects is the Chouteau Greenway — a new greenway that will connect the Arch Riverfront to Forest Park and Washington University. This expansion will unify multiple neighborhoods, including downtown, midtown, Forest Park, the Central West End and more.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with community members and partners on a transformational vision that goes beyond our typical greenway project,” says Great Rivers Greenway CEO Susan Trautman. The competition, which is privately funded by many area schools and businesses, kicks off in September when the district will begin accepting design submissions. A jury of architecture and engineering professionals will then narrow down the design submissions to four in December. According to Great Rivers Greenway, the agency is forming a Citizen Advisory Committee in order to assist in guiding the project. This team of 40 citizens will collect input and help mold the district’s vision. Potential members may apply at and should live in the project area or have experience in the areas affected; the application deadline is Sept. 8.

As part of the district’s commitment to connecting the region, construction has already started on the Chouteau Greenway at the Cortex Innovation Community MetroLink station. The end result of the competition will help other stakeholders plan, design and, ultimately, build the greenway. Through the project, neighborhoods, employment centers, parks, transit systems, museums, schools and many more area businesses will be connected, bringing the city closer together. “The project [will] provide equitable economic opportunity and options for people to get around town and live life outside,” Trautman says.

Donald J. Stastny, the project’s lead architect, says, “The intersection of local ideas and international best practices and perspectives will create a world-class experience for residents and visitors alike.”

Not only does the greenway connect different neighborhoods in St. Louis, it also connects people with new concepts and a sense of community. The agency will also host events and research projects throughout the competition to get feedback from those who live in the area.

For more information, visit greatriversgreenway.orgM