The Open Space Council recognizes how important St. Louis County Parks are for residents by providing important assets such as historical, cultural, and recreational opportunities and natural resources for our communities to thrive. It is important for the use and management of County Parks to align with these assets. It is also essential that the historical and natural assets of our parks are properly maintained and that there is adequate funding for this to happen. OSC supports Proposition D because allowing the Raintree Foundation to occupy the Jarville House complex and a small portion of Queeny Park will result in an overall benefit for the park and the community. The Raintree Foundation shows a demonstrated commitment to stewarding the natural environment and is fit to be a responsible tenant of a historical building. The public will have access to even greater facilities and resources at the Jarville House complex. St. Louis County will have a reliant funding stream for ongoing maintenance – a win-win for public access and historic preservation.
What is the Raintree Foundation?
Raintree School is a forest school whose curriculum encourages students to learn through the environment. The school currently generates 85% of its electricity from roof-top solar panels and composts 50% of its food waste. Since the school’s founding, Raintree School has maintained a commitment to accessibility for as wide a range of families as possible, and their relatively low annual tuition reflects this value. The Raintree School reserves at least 20% of its seats for students who require tuition assistance. Tuition for the 2021-22 school year is one of the lowest among non-parochial private schools in the area. To learn more about Raintree School, please visit online at www.raintreeschool.org/about.
We are hopeful that this lease agreement will lead to a new partnership between OSC, St. Louis County Parks, and the Raintree Foundation to increase environmental stewardship in Queeny Park. We are also hopeful that the reduced financial burden on St. Louis County for maintaining the Jarville House complex can result in additional funding for other needs such as natural resource management across the County park system.
Thanks to the hard work of the Open Space Council and its partners, Proposition 2 was successfully passed in 2018 which amended the County charter to require the county to place a countywide proposition on a ballot to sell parkland or to build or lease commercial facilities on parkland. Because of this win, the public and park users have a chance to raise their voices and promote collaboration on these decisions affecting their county parks. OSC wants to encourage our members to exercise this new opportunity to voice their opinions and vote yes on Proposition D during the April 5, 2022, General Municipal Election. This is your chance to show your support for the necessary investment in the Jarville House and Queeny Park to maintain this historical structure and increase stewardship in the park.