The Great Rivers Greenway District

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The Rivers around St. Louis

The Great Rivers Greenway District is an organization created in November 2000 by the passage of Proposition C (Clean Water, Safe Parks and Community Trails Initiative) in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, Missouri. Prop C created a one tenth of one cent sales tax devoted to the creation of an interconnected system of greenways, parks and trails. The Great Rivers Greenway District does not have oversight over existing parks and recreation areas, but rather works to develop linear connections to connect to existing or planned parks.


A ten member Board of Directors representing the three counties governs the distribution of funds for developing the River Ring, the system of interconnected greenways, parks and trails. An Executive Director and staff carry out the development of the River Ring, working with local, county and state agencies as well as private and non-profit agencies throughout the St. Louis region.


In 2003, the Great Rivers Greenway District developed "Building the River Ring: A Citizen- Driven Regional Plan" to establish a long-term vision for the St. Louis region. Working with citizens, local governments, private companies, non-profit organizations and advocacy groups, the Plan identified a system of 40+ greenways comprising over 600 miles of greenways and trails throughout the three counties. Named the River Ring, the concept is designed to raise awareness of the natural beauty found in the region's many rivers and streams and to reconnect residents to the primary natural feature resulting in the City's founding, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

It is the name applied to a linked system of smaller greenway projects encircling St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. Each of these green belts will follow the natural paths of rivers and streams in the area.

The total project will eventually comprise more than 600 miles of trails and include more than 45 different greenways connecting existing parks, trails and greenways in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis and St. Charles Counties in Missouri with those developed by the Metro East Parks District of St. Clair and Madison Counties in Illinois.

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