Representatives from Shaw Nature Reserve (SNR) visited Jensen’s Point Park Dec. 14 to review plans for a planned controlled burn that will remove unwanted and invasive vegetation that block the natural beauty of the park.
SNR staff, which will supervise the controlled burn and provide their services free of charge to the city, conduct burns in the nature reserve annually.
Plans are to proceed with spot burning of underbrush and decayed material, removal of invasive brush honeysuckle and spot treatment with herbicide in the coming weeks.
“It is our pleasure to continue to be a part of this historic landmark.” said Quinn Long, newly appointed SNR director, “Jensen’s Point is a special place and we welcome the opportunity to play an ongoing role in its upkeep and beautification.”
Jensen’s Point was originally built in 1938 under a partnership agreement with the Missouri Botanical Garden and its satellite the Arboretum, now SNR.
The park bears the name of the nature reserve’s first director, Lars Peter Jensen, who was tasked with creating a green corridor called the Henry Shaw Gardenway from St. Louis to Gray Summit, which he did in the mid-1930s.
President Roosevelt commissioned the Civilian Conservation Corps to construct The Overlook in Pacific on a site that marks the closest known location that Confederate soldiers got to their goal of reaching St. Louis in October 1864.
Alderman Steve Myers spearheaded the negotiations for the sale of the property to be made from the Winchester family and received the assistance of city engineer Dan Rahn in co-authoring a $350,000 grant award from the St. Louis County Municipal Park Grant Commission.
Myers requested additional funding from Great Rivers Greenway and received $15,000, which was combined with a $20,000 allocation from tourism funds to allow the city to purchase the property and complete repairs to the stairway and structure.
Additionally, hundreds of man-hours of grounds maintenance was conducted by the Ozark Trail Association prior to the park’s grand opening in the spring of 2016.
Jensen’s Point is presently closed for additional upgrades while a second grant awarded to the city from the St. Louis County Municipal Park Commission in the amount of $67,000 is being utilized for tuck pointing and continued masonry repairs to the structure as well as the purchase and installation of a handrail along the stairway.
Materials also were purchased that are being handcrafted into a wrought iron fence by Harry Engelhart. Engelhart is donating his time to the fence. The sturdy, but decorative fence will replace the chainlink fence that has protected the park for the last 26 years.