Several years ago the voters approved a sale of bonds to improve St. Louis’ park system. The larger parks in the system got large sums (Forest Park got about half), and the rest of the parks split the remainder based on their acreage. At just under 30 acres, Lafayette Park received a significant allotment for capital improvements.
When the money became available, the Lafayette Park Conservancy was asked to suggest a list of projects. The perimeter sidewalks was one project. The Lafayette side and the entire Park and Mississippi entrance were replaced and the rest made level for the first time in decades. The beautiful railing on the Grotto Bridge was another recommended project, as well as the resurfacing of the pathways inside the park.
The final park projects financed by the sale of Park Bonds will be finished by the time this issue is printed. The pavement repair at the boat landing has been completed, and there are only a few items that are not complete on the new water line for irrigation that was run into the park from Mississippi Avenue.
The lack of water pressure has hampered the gardeners who tend the gardens around the Cook Pavilion and the Grotto lake for many years. There isn’t enough pressure to irrigate more than a small section at a time. The tangle of hoses and sprinklers never seemed to be able to water every part of the gardens evenly. There were always dry spots, too. The new water line has been run to strategic places around the gardens, and the Conservancy will run lines from there to a new set of sprinklers.
The number of wedding parties lining up on weekends to take pictures shows how well the gardeners have done to make this area so attractive. It also shows how important this area is to our park’s reputation.
Special thanks to our aldermen who have generously supported the park with their allocation for capital projects. Both Alderman Jack Coatar and his predecessor, Alderman Phyllis Young, have provided the funds needed to fill funding gaps and help move projects along.
If you would like to help with the gardens, please contact Sue Pinker-Dodd, Carolyn Willmore, Marilyn Lane or Vicki Houghton.