St. Charles County will debut its newest county park with a ribbon cutting and opening from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20. The 120-acre Veterans Tribute Park is located at 1031 Kisker Road in Weldon Spring. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.
County officials say it’s the only park of its kind in the county that is surrounded by residential development in a suburban setting, and there are numerous amenities to enjoy
The ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for 1:15 p.m. at the Sammelmann Shelter, which overlooks the park’s two lakes. County Executive Steve Ehlmann and District 2 County Councilman Mike Elam, [District 3] County Councilman John White [District 7] 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 parkland acquisition, development, and operations.
The new park will include a memorial garden with flags to honor the five branches of the armed forces along a path tending at a plaza with an American flag.
The county purchased the park to provide more park facilities in the eastern part of the county, which has a larger population.
The facilities at the park are largely based on a 2014 survey of county residents, who suggested the park remain as natural as possible with hiking and biking trails ranked the highest followed by picnic areas, lakes, and natural conservation areas
For more information, visit sccmo.org or call the St. Charles County Parks Department at (636) 949-7535.