Friends of St. Louis Open Space:
St. Louis County is considering the option of selling off half of a local County Park to accommodate the expansion of Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. Sylvan Springs Park, a 70-acre urban green space was the second parcel added to the county’s park system in 1950. This open space near Mehlville provides value to residents who utilize the space for its many recreational amenities, which include a skate park, playground, splash pad, picnic shelters and tennis courts.
Currently, there is a public process to determine the outcome of the proposal to sell off approximately 38 acres of Sylvan Springs County Park for $1.7 million. However, our concern is that if urban parkland is sold, there is no chance to bring it back. The opportunity to find a contiguous open space in the proximate area, especially one with mature trees and the recreational amenities that exist in Sylvan Springs Park, is virtually impossible, much less for a comparable price. Even if the land could be secured, developing the picnic shelters, restroom, and playgrounds would take significant capital.
Should Sylvan Springs County Park be used for burial, estimates are that this would only provide space for an additional 7-10 years. This is a short term solution to a long-term problem. As residents of St. Louis County, we must insist that St. Louis County officials examine longer term solutions to this matter. Other alternatives present themselves, including, but not limited to, expanding the cemetery to the East Side of the Mississippi River, where a space that would lend itself to the long-term needs of the property would be available. A second option would be to explore purchasing a 40-acre tract of land owned by the local school district just South of Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
The public is invited to share their views next week at two public meetings on July 21st and July 23rd at 7p.m. Doors will open at 6:30p.m. Both will be held at the Pavilion at Lemay located at 305 Gregg Road.
In addition to attending the public meeting, we need your support for our public open spaces. Please click here to access a very brief on-line survey to let your voice be heard. Please tell St. Louis County that you do not approve of selling off irreplaceable public parkland.
Thank you for standing with us and supporting our public park lands.