As Mayor Steve Myers joins Eureka Mayor Kevin Coffey to promote a pair of meetings to plan a connecting trail between the two cities, he sees what could be the culmination of a dozen years of trail planning.
The first of the two meetings will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Eureka Fire Protection District training Center.
Eureka and Pacific have received a grant from the St. Louis County Parks Grant program to study a connecting trail between the two cities and create a master plan.
Pacific stands to gain a trail that would carry hikers and bikers from St. Louis County to the Red Cedar tourist center, a planned way stop on a Pacific trail.
The meetings are designed to elicit public input for the design of a trail be tween the two cities.
For Myers, the proposed trail is one element of a plan for an expanded park system and a series of walking trails that connect St. Louis County trails, Pacific and the Shaw Nature Reserve.
It is a single leg in a much larger network of trails converging on Pacific that have occupied Myers’ interest for more than a decade.
The mayor sees Pacific as the hub connecting a network of trails in St. Louis County, to the Ozark Trail in Missouri and Arkansas. Myers has worked since 2002 to develop a river trail in Pacific.
After joining the Magi Foundation, which Myers now serves as vice president, trail development in Pacific caught the attention of the Great Rivers Greenway, the Open Space Council and the Ozark Trail Association.
The Great Rivers Greenway has acquired a 29-acre riverbank property in Pacific and is developing it as a hiking/biking trail.
The Ozark Trail Association donated hundreds of hours of labor to help prepare the city’s newest city park, Jensen’s Point, originally developed as a way stop on the Henry Shaw Gardenway, a motor trail between the Missouri Botanical Society and Shaw Nature Reserve in 1939.
A Eureka/Pacific connecting trail could be the keystone to an extensive trail system. Myers and the supporting outdoor organizations have identified Pacific as the logical connecting point for a vast trail system through St. Louis County, through Pacific, across Missouri and Arkansas.
The mayor wants to marshal city resources to develop a system of trails in the city that starts at what he has identified as the Red Cedar Park complex.
“Jensen Point, Red Cedar and the property around it, make up the eventual trail extension that will run over to the Pacific Palisades Park and boat ramp,” Myers said. “It could all be part of a wonderful section of the city that could have a beautiful park setting around it.”
Myers said he is hopeful that Pacific residents will attend one of the two trail meetings planned to study the proposed connecting trails.
The second meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Eureka Fire Protection District Training Center.