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National Geographic editor reflects on memories, possible national park status for Ste. Genevieve

The historic Bequette-Ribault House in Ste. Genevieve was restored in 2014.
Chaumette Winery and Vineyard
The historic Bequette-Ribault House in Ste. Genevieve was restored in 2014.

Earlier this year, the National Park Service completed a Special Resource Study on Ste. Genevieve to assess the area’s historic elements for their “significance, suitability, and feasibility of the resources, and potential area boundaries.”

Gabe Bullard is the Deputy Director for Digital News at National Geographic.
Credit Gabe Bullard
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Gabe Bullard is the Deputy Director for Digital News at National Geographic.

At the end of the study, NPS determined that parts of Ste. Genevieve are eligible for inclusion in the national park system. It recommended a small NPS-managed unit and a large area affiliated with NPS for preservation. 

There’s no word yet on if a law will be passed by Congress or executive action will be taken by President Barack Obama or president-elect Donald Trump to make it so.

While awaiting word, National Geographic’s Deputy Director of Digital News, Gabe Bullard, reflects on the significance Ste. Genevieve had in his life in a feature titled “What Happens When Your Hometown Becomes a National Park?”

Fun fact: Bullard interned with St. Louis Public Radio and St. Louis on the Air ten years ago.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Bullard about his memories, Ste. Genevieve’s historic qualities, what the designation would mean to the town and more:

“When I was talking to folks around the office about Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, not many people had heard of it or the French history in the Midwest,” Bullard said. “We were doing a lot of reporting about national parks and I put together a proposal for this story that would revisit the town and look at why it might warrant such attention from the Park Service and Congress. When I went, it started to click in, this nostalgia. I still knew the streets, I still had family there, it had been a few years since I’d been to the town … I had this deep connection to the town that started to resurface while I was there, thinking they might have this large declaration saying ‘this place is important.’”  

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.

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