St. Charles County residents have been anticipating the opening of Veterans Tribute Park for months and the wait is over! The St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department is debuting its newest park with a ribbon cutting and opening from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20. The 120-acre park is located at 1031 Kisker Road in Weldon Spring. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.
“Veterans Tribute Park is unique in many ways,” says County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “It is the only County park of its kind surrounded by residential development in a suburban setting, and there are numerous amenities to enjoy – there is something for everyone. This park will be a destination for families in St. Charles County and throughout the region.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for 1:15 p.m. at the Sammelmann Shelter, which overlooks the park’s two lakes. County Executive Ehlmann and District 2 County Councilman Mike Elam, District 7 County Councilman John White and Parks Director Ryan Graham will participate in the ceremony. The St. Charles County Police Honor Guard will present the flags.
Visitors are encouraged to try out the new playground equipment, walk the trails, enjoy the lake views and learn about all the park has to offer. Activities at the opening include a Storybook Walk with the St. Charles City-County Library District, pet adoptions in the dog park with the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center and a chance to win a complimentary picnic shelter rental to accommodate up to 100 guests. Parks staff will be available for tours and to answer questions. Representatives from Great Rivers Greenway and Missouri Master Naturalists Confluence Chapter also will be on hand.
Highlights of Veterans Tribute Park include:
- A destination playground for children of all abilities that encompasses social/emotional, physical, sensory, cognitive, and communication development. The playground is divided into zones: interactive and motion-activated water play; music play; adventure play with climbing features; inclusive swings; and a hillside slide.
- A paved walking and biking trail system – a 1.6-mile trail on the perimeter with smaller trails inside the property.
- Two lakes stocked for catch-and-release fishing.
- An off-leash dog park divided into small and large dog areas.
- Three non-reservable, open-play fields encompassing 6 acres.
- Three reservable shelters that accommodate at least 100 guests each.
- A veterans’ memorial plaza in development that is scheduled to open in 2019.
The silo on the property, built in 1916, has been preserved and integrated into the playground design. A boardwalk from the silo spans out into the park, allowing visitors to have a full scenic view of the landscape and of the playground. A canopy of trees at the end of the boardwalk provides shelter for viewing the lakes below.
Ninety of the 120 acres of the park have been developed, with the remaining 30 reserved for future development. Construction costs were approximately $7 million, which came from the County’s Parks Fund. Money from the fund is through a local use tax approved by voters in 1997, and is dedicated to park acquisition, development and operations.
Two other parks were added to the St. Charles County Parks system this year. In August, Riverside Landing opened, giving boaters free access to the Mississippi River. Located between Kampville Drive and Huster Road in St. Charles, the 7.73-acre park will be further developed into a unique recreational attraction.
And in September, The Park at New Melle Lakes had a soft opening for the public. This new park, located at 400 Foristell Road, features an 18-hole championship disc golf course, five lakes for catch-and-release fishing, a 25-acre lake for canoeing and kayaking, hiking and biking on paved trails, and picnic areas. Future plans for New Melle Lakes include a dog park, restroom facilities, playground, shelters and camping. The home on the property is being upgraded to meet ADA standards and will be used as a rental facility.
For more information, visit sccmo.org or call the St. Charles County Parks Department at 636-949-7535.