The final hurdle (pun intended) for the GoApe Adventure Course in Creve Coeur Park is a hearing at the Maryland Heights Planning Commission on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center.

The full proposal with details on the course location, design and operation can be found by clicking here.  Anything passed by the Planning Commission must be voted on by the City Council, so if you have opinions on the matter, please contact your council representatives directly.

Not sure who they are?  In the left navigation panel on this page, select "Maryland Heights Officials" and you're on your way.



 
 
Citing the zipline adventure course proposed for Creve Coeur Park as a benefit for area residents, the St. Louis County Council passed the proposal in a vote of five to one in tonight’s meeting.  Councilman Quinn, whose district includes Greensfelder Park where the course was initially proposed, was the only dissenter, saying he was uncomfortable with using public lands for profit.

More than 15 county residents spoke about how the proposal would undermine the value of the park, focusing on loss of wildlife habitat and quiet green space.  The lack of public hearings and input on the project was another deep concern.

One speaker spoke in favor of the course, in addition to Acting Parks Director Tom Ott, who said the project will benefit many people in the county and provide 12 jobs.  Proceeds from the operation will go into the parks budget.  The course is expected to open this summer.






 
 
After speaking with the STL County Parks Department, we found out that the revenue from the Go-Ape tree-line adventure course WILL NOT go to the County General Fund. The money will stay in the Park Department budget. That information was from a newspaper article and we apologize for not double-checking before we posted it.

Also, please understand that MHRRG is not taking a position for or against the Go-Ape course. We are advocating for Public Hearings and the same chance for public debate that the users of Greensfelder Park had.

If you are looking for more information, here is the Go-Ape informational page that is posted on the STLCounty Parks' website.
It lists what the company will be paying to build in Creve Coeur Park and has a 'new course' informational brochure you can download. There are also links that contain letters from another Park and a "Park Friends" group that already have this  zip-line course set up in other states.

One piece of information that hasn't been in the news so far: In order for the Go-Ape course to be placed in the area by the old Trolley Station, the Parks Department will be moving the large Corporate Picnic shelter out of that portion of the park.
Currently, events in that shelter hold up to 500 people who mostly drive to the park in separate vehicles. The Go-Ape program is by reservation only: weekends it allows only 14 people per 1/2 hour and weekdays 14 people per hour on the course. 50% of their reservations are families who usually ride together in one vehicle.

Please direct questions about the ropes course to the St. Louis County Parks Department 314-615-5454. Direct questions about environmental/wildlife concerns with the course to the St. Louis Audubon Society 314-599-7390.
 
 
If you can only call one, make it Kathleen Burkett, as it is in her district and the other Council members defer to the one in which the project is located.

Email addresses 
You can get them all at once in one email.
If you email, they would like you to include your full name.

cdooley@stlouisco.com   County Executive Charlie Dooley
herby@stlouisco.com  Hazel Erby (District 1)
kburkett@stlouisco.com   Kathleen Kelly Burkett (District 2)
cwasinger@stlouisco.com  Colleen Wasinger (District 3)
momara@stlouisco.com   Mike O’Mara (District 4)
pdolan@stlouisco.com    Pat Dolan (District 5)
sstenger@stlouisco.com   Steve Stenger (District 6)
GQuinn@stlouisco.com    Greg Quinn (District 7)

Phone numbers
If you call, remember that Council persons are part time. and they have full  time office assistants.

Hazel Erby
Phone: (314) 615-5436 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Phone: (314) 615-5386 for Executive Assistant: Jacqueline Carr

>>>>Bill's Sponsor: Kathleen Burkett
Phone: (314) 615-5437 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Phone: (314) 615-5451 for Executive Assistant: Loraine Miller

Colleen Wasinger
Phone: (314) 615-5438 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Phone: (314) 615-5438 for Executive Assistant: Mike Chapman

Mike O'Mara
Phone: (314) 615-5439 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Phone: (314) 615-0393 for Executive Assistant: Jo Roche

Pat Dolan
Phone: (314) 615-5441 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Phone: (314) 615-5434 for Executive Assistant: Eric Fey

Steve Stenger
Phone: (314) 615-5442 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Phone: (314) 615-0159 for Executive Assistant: Linda Henry

Greg Quinn
Phone: (314) 615-5443 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Phone: (314) 615-5443 for Executive Assistant: Jordan Fears
 
 
Speak Up NOW for Creve Coeur Park's Future! 
Tuesday, February 19 at 6 p.m.
St. Louis County Council Chambers 

41 S. Central Ave., Clayton, MO 63105

To Go Ape or Not Go Ape: This Is the Question
St. Louis County Council Wants to Squelch


We think the public has an important role to play in determining the nature and scope of changes made to St. Louis County's most popular park: Creve Coeur Park. With over 1 million visitors a year it is the people's park, bought and maintained by the taxpayers and voters of St. Louis County.

In a proposal produced last fall, St. Louis County sought to enter into a contract with Go Ape, a developer of adventure activities, to install a tree-top adventure course in Greensfelder Park. They held two community forums to inform the public, only to find out the public did NOT want the course located there. After significant public debate, that proposal was withdrawn.

This winter, the St. Louis County Council moved the proposed course to Upper Creve Couer Park without any attempt to involve the public in a discussion of the merits of the project in the new location. There has been NO attempt to bring park users & taxpayers into the conversation with community meetings and detailed information on the scope of the proposed development by Go Ape.

There are other troubling aspects to the process of approving this major change to Creve Coeur Park:
  • The St. Louis County Council has quietly put the project on a fast track to a contract approval. It has already passed a preliminary plan approval in Bill No. 26, 2013 at last Tuesday's county council meeting.
  • This Tuesday, Feb. 19, they fully intend to commit to the contract with Go Ape.
We believe there is a serious lack of public input and a breech of trust with St. Louis County residents in this attempt to force through a speedy vote on the Go Ape contract. 

We need clarification on several issues:
  • Why is the council circumventing the normal public-engagement process?
  • What's the hurry? Why is it being fast tracked in two consecutive meetings over 8 days?
  • St. Louis County Parks have a detailed master plan for the parks and this type of use is not mentioned. Why are they circumventing the parks' well-considered master plan?
  • Why are they allowing Go Ape to stipulate the required environmental assessment comes after contract approval? There will be significant changes made to the tree canopy and disruption to the internationally designated important birding area.
  • Is the modest income projected from this adventure course worth disturbing the people's park for private profit?
  • As it currently stands, any monies paid to St. Louis County will go into the general fund, NOT St. Louis County Parks. How does that help the parks?

With so many open questions, we believe it is important to slow the process down and conduct full public hearings on the Go Ape contract proposal.

Here's what you can do:
  • Attend the St. Louis County Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. and voice your opinions.
  • Contact your St. Louis County Council member and let them know you want public input on this proposed contract.
  • Contact the bill's sponsor, County Council District 2 Council Member Kathleen Burkett, and let her know what questions you have and what you think of the project.

Contact Us
| Phone: 314-283-2328 

E-Mail: marylandheightsresidents@gmail.com