The St. Charles County Parks Department is moving forward with plans for the Sammelmann Farm, which was acquired by St. Charles County in July 2014. The land will be developed into a new park with amenities for residents of all abilities.
The property, situated between Pitman Hill and Kisker Roads, was purchased through the County’s Park Fund, a local use tax approved by voters in 1997 dedicated to park acquisition, development and operations. While most County parks are located in rural settings, this new 120-acre park is surrounded by residential development. It will join Heritage Park, College Meadows, and the Youth Activity Park as facilities in suburban settings.
“The residents in the area are excited about having a County park so close to their homes, and we are just as excited to get started,” says Bettie Yahn-Kramer, Director of Parks. “This is going to be an amazing attraction for the community.”
In 2014, the Parks Department surveyed residents on amenities they would like to see in the new park and later held a public meeting to unveil conceptual plans and gather further feedback. SWT Design of St. Louis, the lead design and engineering firm, gathered public and stakeholder feedback into a comprehensive design plan presented recently to the St. Charles County Council. The entrance to the park will be situated along Kisker Road, and highlights include:
- A walking and biking trail system, specifically a 1.6 mile trail on the perimeter of the park with smaller trails inside the perimeter.
- A destination playground for children of all abilities that encompasses social/emotional, physical, sensory, cognitive, and communication development. The playground includes an interactive water play area with features initiated by motion; a music play area; an adventure play areas with climbing features; as well as inclusive swings and a hillside slide.
- Two lakes stocked with fish.
- An off-leash dog park divided into small and large dog areas.
- Three open play fields encompassing 6 acres.
- A 100-person signature picnic shelter overlooking one of the lakes and surrounded by a garden, along with another 50-person picnic shelter.
Additionally, the silo on the property will be preserved and integrated into the design. At the top of a hill, a boardwalk from the silo will span out into the park, allowing visitors to have a full scenic view of the property and the playground below.
Initially, 90 acres will be developed, with the remaining 30 acres reserved for future development. Estimated construction cost of the park is $9 million, which will be taken from the Parks Fund. The project went out for bid on November 18 and construction is expected to start in February 2017. The park is expected to be completed by spring 2018.
“Through their feedback, the citizens of St. Charles County played a huge part in shaping this project, and each and every one deserves a thank you,” says Yahn-Kramer. “We worked to include as many features requested as possible, and I think citizens are going to be very happy.”
For future news and more information about St. Charles County Parks, visit stccparks.org.