National and State Parks are some of the most beautiful places in the world and conserving areas that provide natural beauty, sustain unique ecosystems and provide character and history to our Country. Ensuring these lands are protected from opportunistic development is a worthwhile effort and something most U.S. citizens support.
Unfortunately, instead of focusing their efforts on ensuring Missouri’s State Parks remain intact and operating with a cohesive and unifying message our State’s environmentalists have shown the same not in my backyard mentality that has led to the pathetic fall from relevance of the St. Louis region over the past century. Three recent examples of the type futile opposition lacking any forward thinking organization include:
The Tower Tee golf course is among the least unique golf courses in the St. Louis region. It is surrounded by a Hodge-Podge of trailer park-esk amenities that were built in a lazy attempt to create new sources of revenue. Attempts to protect this development by blocking a proposal to develop a well maintained spacious subdivision with trails and amenities that attract young families to the region can only be explained by nostalgia.
A proposed ice-complex in Creve Couer park was proposed by OpenSpaces in order to protect a flat area of land characterized by sporadic and unexceptional trees. The construction of this ice rink would have had no more negative an effect on the surrounding park than the Kirkwood Pool and Community Center had on its fantastic park. Contrary to statements from OpenSpaces, an outdoor ice rink, outdoor fields and workout facilities surrounded by a walking trail promote the type of healthy family oriented lifestyle municipal parks are meant to encourage.
The abandoned Webster YMCA which has been an eyesore representing the City’s inability to foster the vibrant walk-able downtown district of the neighboring community. That did not stopped a vocal few from arguing that a luxury housing development with first floor dining and shopping which attracts young professionals and urban leaning retires is worse for their City’s character than a rotting ex-rec center sitting idle on its main thoroughfare.
One would be hard pressed to find a single opponent of this project who doesn’t own property adjacent to the site. For decades the region has caved to a small number of vocal development opponents (most of whom own property adjacent to the development) at the expense of the region as a whole. This trend is even more pronounced when those property owners have substantial wealth.
The disinterested approach taken by wealthy suburbs toward regional development and the unwillingness of the super wealthy and business class to risk their stockpile of assets while the region crumbles is something unique to the St. Louis region. This blog was created to shine a light on the pathetic state of our region that can no longer compete with quasi farm towns like Louisville and Nashville and to applaud the few local governments and business leaders attempting to spur change.