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Community leaders and residents of the City of Pine Lawn and City of Northwoods will be celebrating community partnerships and progress with the Pine Lawn Community Park Grand Opening on Saturday, June 1st 2019. The event commemorates the completion of both Pine Lawn Community Park and Pasadena Parkway—a new walkable environment along Pasadena Blvd.
Both are the result of Heart of Pine Lawn/Northwoods—a $5.6 million project and collaboration between the two cities, community development organization Beyond Housing, and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s (MSD) Project Clear. Through a Rainscaping Large Grant, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s MSD Project Clear initiative contributed $3.1 million to the project. The 24:1 Community Land Trust funded the remaining $2.5 million.
The highlight of the project is the transformation of vacant, derelict buildings into the 3.3-acre Pine Lawn Community Park—a new neighborhood park and hub for community activity that includes a playground, walking paths, and a multipurpose field. The project also includes the transformation of a half-mile stretch of Pasadena Blvd into a new walkable environment with sidewalks, street medians, and a roundabout to slow down traffic and increase safety for residents and students at the nearby Barack Obama Elementary School.
The MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Large Grant paid for the construction of nine bioretention basins and several rain gardens. The basins and rain gardens replaced hard impervious surfaces – such as cement and blacktop – that generated stormwater runoff into area wastewater sewers. During moderate to heavy rains, stormwater runoff can overwhelm wastewater sewers and cause basement backups and sewer overflows into area creeks and streams. Rainscaping – which is using any combination of plantings, water features, catch basins, permeable pavements, and other activities to manage stormwater as close as possible to where it falls, rather than moving it someplace else – is a cost effective and multifaceted means of protecting wastewater sewers from excessive stormwater runoff. In turn, protecting sewers from excessive stormwater runoff helps alleviate basement backups and sewer overflows.
This project is just one example of the collaborative work and positive developments taking place in 24:1 Community, which comprises 24 municipalities within the Normandy school district footprint.
The Pine Lawn Community Park Grand Opening will take place Saturday, June 1 from 12 to 3 p.m. at Pine Lawn Community Park (6500 Pasadena Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63121). The event will feature music, children’s activities, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:30 p.m. featuring City of Northwoods Mayor, Everett Thomas, City of Pine Lawn Mayor, Terry Epps, former County Councilwoman, Hazel Erby, MSD Assistant Director of Engineering Bruce Litzinger, as well as project partners and residents who have been impacted by the project.
The Heart of Pine Lawn/Northwoods beautification and water management project was funded by MSD Project Clear, 24:1 Community Land Trust, and NeighborWorks America, and managed by Beyond Housing.
About MSD Project Clear
MSD Project Clear is Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s initiative to improve water quality and alleviate many wastewater concerns in the St. Louis region. MSD Project Clear will invest billions of dollars over a generation in planning, designing, and building community rainscaping and system improvements, along with an ambitious program of maintenance and repair and the disconnection of some residential downspouts in parts of St. Louis County’s separate sewer area from the wastewater sewer line. This work is an agreement between MSD and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The St. Louis region’s success with MSD Project Clear will only be possible through strong partnerships and clear communication with the public.
To learn more about the MSD agreement with EPA, please visit http://www.stlmsd.com/aboutmsd/organization/consentdecree. For more information on MSD Project Clear, visit ProjectClearSTL.org or follow us on Twitter @MSDProjectClear.