St. Charles County is opening a new park Saturday. The Veterans Tribute Park will have a playground, trail system, fishing ponds, picnic spots and a dog park.
“Unlike a lot of other parks, this park is going to be very accessible,” St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann said. “To go to one of our other parks, it’s something you have to plan. This is the kind of park that people in the area can walk to or get in your car and drive five or ten minutes to get there.”
Ehlmann said that parks in St. Charles County are normally designed to conserve greenspace because of an agreement between surrounding cities and the county. As a result, most parks in the county often don’t have interactive recreational activities, like playgrounds.
“Twenty years ago, when we asked the voters to approve a use tax ... to finance our parks, we promised the cities that we wouldn’t duplicate the kinds of parks that they had,” he said. “But in this case, we’re actually in a suburbanized area that just happens to not be in an incorporated city.”
Ehlmann described the new park as a “hybrid” park for the county.
“It has some of those things that you’d expect to see [like] picnic areas and so forth in a municipal park, which is great for people in the neighborhood, because they don’t have that,” he said.
The park is named for servicemen and women who died in action. Developers are also planning the first major memorial in the park for St. Charles County veterans since World War I.
“One hundred years ago, after World War I, we did [a memorial] on the lawn on the courthouse,” Ehlmann said. “After World War II, I guess St. Charles started growing so fast nobody did another statute ... but we’re going to go ahead and memorialize not only World War I, but World War II, and Korea and Vietnam and the Persian Gulf Wars and all the various engagements we’ve had in the last 30 years.”
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