St. Lou…is Parks

Friday April 7, 2017
Written by Robyn Frankel

“St. Louis has tremendous assets in the form of parks.  They are just waiting for people to explore.  The best discoveries are the ones just outside your door.” Nancy Ellen Carver

With 35,859 acres dedicated to 582 individual public parks, the St. Louis region ranks fourth in the nation in the amount of land dedicated to outdoor enjoyment. A just published book, Discovering Public Parks in St. Louis, Missouri, edited by Nancy Ellen Carver, is the first ever resource to document every aspect of every park in our region.

“The St. Louis area has forest parks and playing field parks, water-based parks and dog parks. It has trails and greenways and arboreta and community gardens. It has bikeways and wetlands and flower gardens and playgrounds. It has venerable historic squares and brand new skate parks, comfortable old plazas and shockingly modern sculpture gardens,” according to the foreword written by Peter Hamik, founder of the Center for City Park Excellence, the Trust for Public Land, and author of Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities (Island Press, 2010)

The section on park amenities details everything imaginable. Readers looking for a park with spray pool or swimming pool, basketball, racquetball or volleyball court, pavilion or playground, biking and hiking trails, boat docks, fishing pond and more will find everything they are looking for in an easy to find format.

In addition, history buffs can learn the reasons behind park names, as well as discover many other facts, legends, trivia and points of interest with stories that unearth nuggets of St. Louis history found in public parks.

The book also includes descriptions of Missouri State Parks and conservation areas within a 90 minute drive of St. Louis for an easy day trip.

Carver writes, “Each park is unique. Together they are essential in meeting our cultural, social, psychological, health, environmental and quality of life needs.”

Collaboration was key in compiling the book with information provided from more than 70 different parks departments and local municipalities, as well as state and federal conservation departments and other agencies.

Books are available for $10 each at the Missouri History Museum, Missouri Forest Relief and independent book stores, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Missouri Forest Relief. More information is available at

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