Mississippi River Park Draws Opposition

St. Louis – There's opposition to a plan to turn three empty islands in the Mississippi River into a park with trails for biking, hiking, and horses.

Some landowners fear the park would draw more people to remote areas of the island and increase dumping or vandalism; others just don't want to sell their land.

The islands total about 5,500 acres, 1,500 of which are still privately owned. Public officials have agreed not to force landowners to sell, even though the project calls for eventual public ownership of the entire islands area.

A cleanup last spring removed 1,500 tons of discarded furniture, old refrigerators and construction debris from the islands.