Call to Artists!

April 2008

Planners of the 1st St. Louis Route 66 Festival at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge invite local artists to display and sell work related to Route 66 heritage or our great rivers culture or to lead hands-on activities for children and adults. The artist tent at this lively festival will be open for business on October 4, 2008, from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Visitors will be able to kick up their heels and literally get their kicks on Route 66 during the Festival, as a Sock Hop is one of the many activities planned. Additional events planned for the day include an exhibition of classic cars and motorcycles, music, speakers, and a walk-in movie. Road food reminiscent of Route 66 will be served at this FREE event open to the public.

Ten selected artists will display their work in a 48 square foot space (6’ x 8’) within a 20’ x 40’ Art tent on the Missouri side of the bridge. All work exhibited must be limited to this space. Artists will be responsible for providing all display booths, racks, tables, and associated display equipment and supplies. A 6’ table and 2 chairs will be provided to each artist selected to display their artwork. There will be security at the event, but Trailnet is not responsible for any damage which may occur to work, equipment or other material due to rain, wind, fire, theft, etc. All types of artwork is welcome as long as it is at a price point that will entice our attendees.

Artists proposing to teach hands-on activities should include a description of the activity and limited materials budget in their application. There will be a supplement provided to teaching artists for cost of instructional materials only.

Please include your resume, description of work you’d like to sell and/or create at the festival, 5 images on a CD [no files larger than 5K], and list of images. Files should be named as the following: Title, medium, year finished, and price. One image should include a booth display shot. Applications will be juried by festival presenters based upon the following criteria:

Quality of work
Variety of media
Relevance to Route 66 theme

Artwork must be original in design and executed by the applicant. All work displayed MUST be produced by the exhibiting artist(s) and MUST be consistent with the images submitted.

There is no application fee, but upon approval and acceptance to the festival, there will be a $35 booth fee. Artists will be notified by July 12. Be one of the 10 artists to pave the way for St. Louis’ most energetic and enthusiastic festival.

Submit application materials by June 15 to:

Call to Artists!
St. Louis Route 66 Heritage and Arts Festival
c/o Trailnet
1533 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Questions: Call Emily Blumenfeld of Via Partnership at (314) 664-5902 or email

More information about The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge:
For many decades the Bridge was a key link in the beloved Route 66. Today, the Bridge is a significant connection in the bi-state trail system and is part of The Confluence, a riverside conservation, heritage and recreation corridor being developed in the heart of the bi-state community. Trailnet, a not-for-profit organization that promotes Active Living through bicycling and pedestrian activities and Confluence partnering organization, in partnership with the city of Madison, Illinois renovated the Bridge as a bicycle/pedestrian bridge.

In 2006 the Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of a Route 66 application designating significant structures along the historic route from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA. The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is one of thirty-five other properties added to the national register through the efforts of

Centennial Projects Coming to the Gateway Arch

April 2008

On April 24th, it was announced that Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will receive National Park Service Centennial funding to match private donations to sponsor ParkPalooza, a two-day interactive outdoor event on the grounds of the Gateway Arch. Planned for September 27th and 28th, ParkPalooza will provide children and their families the chance to explore recreational opportunities available in parks across the country. National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar said, “With the nearly $25 million Congress has appropriated and nearly $27 million of matching commitments from our park partners, the Centennial Initiative today moves onto the landscape and into people’s lives. It’s a great day for the National Park Service and a great day for Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.”

“As the Arch is the Gateway to the West, ParkPalooza will be a gateway to national park experiences,” said Frank Mares, Acting Superintendent of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Following the “No Child Left Inside” initiative, activities are being planned that will tap into outdoor recreational opportunities, archeology, art, and preservation; all encouraging people to become stewards of public lands.

Jefferson National Parks Association, which supports educational programming at the Gateway Arch and Historic Old Courthouse, will contribute the matching funds for the project. Executive Director David Grove is thrilled to be participating. “I learned the value of national parks as a young person and instill this in my own children. With ParkPalooza, we will be able to provide rich educational experiences for area families who may not realize the great opportunities that await them in their national parks.”

The “Telling River Stories” Web site is Live

May 2008

Telling River Stories is a collaborative project that populates the urban Mississippi River corridor with stories of how the city and the river have been jointly developed. The project highlights stories about the people and places that make up today’s urban river landscape. In addition to the Web site, future programs and on-site installations will be part of the overall project.

In the coming weeks, project team members will be adding materials to the site’s coverage of “river stories” in the Twin Cities, St. Louis and New Orleans.

Learn more at

Public Involvement Encouraged in Planning Process for Gateway Arch

May 2008

The National Park Service (NPS) announced on May 8, 2008 the initiation of a General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) process for Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (commonly referred to as the Gateway Arch).

The existing management plan has been in place since 1960 and is in need of updating. The NPS has developed some preliminary concepts including reinvigorating the Arch grounds as encouraged by the Danforth Foundation. However, to facilitate sound planning, public participation is crucial. The public will be invited to develop new concepts as well as to comment on those presented by the NPS and other private and public organizations. Participation will be encouraged and facilitated by newsletters and public meetings.

The types of changes could include:

Accessible walkways to the underground visitor center and museum and to the grounds from the riverfront

Pedestrian walkway over Memorial Drive and the Interstate Highway to connect Arch grounds to grounds near the Old Courthouse

Streetscape changes (plantings, pedestrian access changes)

Minor modifications to interior of the Old CourthouseW

Expansion of the existing museum space

Addition of food service (temporary/ seasonal/portable, self-contained refreshment vendors), restrooms and modified security checkpoints

Requests to be added to the project mailing list should be sent by mail to Superintendent, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, 11 North 4th Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102; by telephone to 314-655-1600; or by e-mail to

McKinley Bridge Development Receives “What’s Right With The Region” Award – May 2008

May 2008

The Great Rivers Greenway District and the Metro East Park and Recreation District jointly received an award for “What’s Right With The Region” from Focus St. Louis in the category for Fostering Regional Cooperation. According to Focus St. Louis, the award, presented May 7, recognizes both organizations’ success in bringing various entities together to create new synergy and combining individual strengths to maximize effectiveness in the region.

The Great Rivers Greenway District and Metro East Park and Recreation District, which were jointly established in November 2000 by the successful passage of the Clean Water, Safe Parks and Community Trails Initiative, share credit for improving bicycle and pedestrian access across the McKinley Bridge by creating a dedicated lane for biking and walking.

The 2,600-ft. long by 14-ft. wide cantilevered lane, which will officially open to the public on June 7, features connections to the Riverfront Trail in St. Louis City and the Confluence Bikeway in Madison County. Offering dramatic views of the Mississippi River and downtown St. Louis, the bikeway, is the most unique and distinctive feature of the reconstructed bridge that was reopened for vehicular traffic last November.

Leadership Reception

The Confluence Leadership Reception brought together key supporters of river projects at the Deer Creek Club on November 22. Photos from the event as well as links to the inspiring remarks about the importance of The Confluence by special guest Robert Duffy, Associate Editor of the St. Louis Beacon and Tom Schlafly, Co-chair of Friends of The Confluence are below.

No New Casino in the Confluence!

The Confluence was spared another casino when the Missouri Gaming Commission voted to award Cape Girardeau the license for a new casino on December 1. Thanks to everyone who helped the Save the Confluence Coalition raise awareness of The Confluence area. Your voices were heard!

We will continue to work to preserve the lands and waters of these great rivers with Great Rivers Greenway District and many other organizations interested in expanding opportunities for recreation, conservation and tourism in The Confluence.

Trash Bash 2011 a Success!

The 2011 Confluence Trash Bash was a great success with close to 600 people volunteering to pick up a total of 7.89 tons of trash and over 650 tires at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge as well as Creve Coeur Lake.

Despite cold weather, volunteers braved the conditions to make a great impact on local watersheds. Please visit our photo gallery to see pictures from the day. Thank you to everyone for your participation and dedication!

2011 Route 66 Festival at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge

Saturday, June 4 & Sunday, June 5

Celebrate Historic Route 66
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge has a rich history as part of the beloved Route 66 Highway. The 2011 Route 66 Festival at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge celebrates this rich heritage and will take visitors back to the glory days by celebrating classic cars, music, and history. Both festival days will feature live music and entertainment, Route 66-themed products, refreshments and activities, and a chance to learn about the rich history of the ‘Mother Road.’

Schedule of Events:
Saturday, June 4
Festival Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Classic Car Cruise
Don’t miss your chance to cruise on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge! We’ll line the bridge with classic cars and award prizes including the Mayor’s Award and People’s Choice.
Cost to Cruise:
$15 before Friday, May 27
$20 after May 27
Click Here to Register Now
Download the Registration Form

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Classic vehicle registration and set up (drive onto bridge from Illinois side).
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Classic Car Cruise on the bridge
3:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony
4:00 p.m. – Parade of Cars (exit on Missouri side)
The festival music and food lasts until 6:00 p.m. so stick around and enjoy the atmosphere!

12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Live Music, Entertainment and Food
Nancy Kranzberg & The Second Half (12PM – 1PM)
Miss Jubilee & The Humdingers (1:30PM – 2:45PM)
The Jeremiah Johnson Band with The Sliders (3:15PM – 3:45PM & 4:15PM – 5:30PM)

Sunday, June 5
Festival Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Live Music, Entertainment and Food
Lucky Old Sons (12PM – 3PM)

Bridge Birthday Bash and Bicycle Ride
Celebrate the 82nd birthday of the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and National Trails Day with a scenic ride in Madison County, IL. Return to the Bridge for the Birthday Bash, part of the Route 66 Festival, featuring brews, blues, cake and ice cream too (while supplies last). The festival music and food lasts until 3:00 p.m. so stick around and enjoy the atmosphere.

Registration: 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.
Start: Old Chain of Rocks Bridge (Missouri entrance)
10950 Riverview Drive, St. Louis, MO 63137
Route: 21, 42 or 56 miles
Terrain: Flat to rolling, no big hills
Fees: $8 Member, $13 Non-member, $3 Child
Bike Shop Sponsor: REI

Free parking is available at the Illinois bridge entrance. Parking at the Missouri bridge entrance costs $5 on Saturday (free on Sunday).

Sponsors and partners to date include:
The Confluence Partnership
City of Madison
City of St. Louis
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Great Rivers Greenway
Grossman Iron and Steel
The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway
Logos School
Missouri Arts Council
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Polsinelli Shughart PC
Regional Arts Commission
Route 66 Association of Missouri
St. Louis Brewery and Schlafly Beer
St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU
Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation & Development
Tri City Port District.

Mississippi and Missouri Rivers

The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary of our state. In all, that river is 2,320 miles, the fourth largest lake on earth. By release, it is the 15th largest river on the planet. Until the Louisiana Purchase, the Mississippi River was the western border of the USA.

The Missouri River creates the northern portion of our state’s western border, then crosses west-to-east through the middle of this state to join the Mississippi at St. Louis. Between its headwaters in Montana and its confluence with the Mississippi at St. Louis, it is 2,341 miles — the longest river on the continent. It drains over 500,000 square miles, including all or parts of 10 states and two states — roughly one-sixth of America.

Before it was channelized and controlled by dams and reservoirs, Missouri used to rise a great deal in spring, as winter snow melted in the Great Plains, and again in June, as rains came and snow melted in the Rocky Mountains.

Missouri was nicknamed the Big Muddy before there were channels, dams, and reservoirs, back when it carried enormous amounts of sediment — literally hundreds of millions of tons per year. Today, the amount is”only” 20 to 25 million tons, as the river is not permitted to modify its course and since dams detain its stream, making silt fall into the base of reservoirs. Nonetheless, it’s still muddy-looking, along with the Missouri River contributes over half the silt that arrives in the Gulf of Mexico, forming the Mississippi Delta, therefore the Big Muddy nickname is still apt.

By the time it reaches our nation, Missouri has gained the flow of many tributary rivers and has passed through numerous dams and reservoirs. If it joins the Mississippi, it contributes nearly half of the water that flows downstream past their confluence.

  • The Part of the Mississippi that escapes southwest of the confluence with Ohio — in Cairo, Illinois, along with Birds Point, Missouri — would be that your Lower Mississippi. A million miles off from this stage, the river meets the Gulf of Mexico.
  • From the upper reaches Minnesota to St. Louis, the Upper Mississippi is regulated by locks and dams, channels, and wing dikes. The Upper Mississippi is basically a run of human-made lakes suitable for river transport, hydroelectric power, and recreation.
  • South St. Louis, in which Missouri combines it, that both the more Mississippi flows and awakens more freely.