This week: Daisies To Arlene Sandler: This Woman Has A Better Idea for Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park – Daggers to Legacy Ice Foundation’s Indoor Hockey Facility’s Bad Idea for Creve Coeur Lake Nature Area
Daisies: Daisies to Arlene Sanders, who wrote a great letter to the Post-Dispatch about the proposed ice rink facility for Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park (I love letters, whether to the New York Times or the Webster-Kirkwood Times). Arlene noted that the land for the project was purchased with federal funds for outdoor recreation and conservation, not for a big-box, indoor ice event space with a huge parking lot in a flood plain. It is a travesty. And those of us who enjoy Creve Coeur are already hurting over the past introduction of the Page Avenue Extension, and a Major Bridge, and Highway 141 — and now an Ice Center and perhaps a strip mall down the road! For heaven’s sake — ENOUGH!
But here is what I really like about Arlene’s letter. She asked: “Has anyone taken a look at using one of the several dead or dying shopping malls in St. Louis County for this facility? Parking spaces and other infrastructure are already in place and no wetlands mitigation would be necessary.”
EXACTLY! The developers of the retail and entertainment center to replace Crestwood Mall would probably love to have this facility as a part of their development. And what about the abandoned Jamestown Mall or Northwest Plaza or the recently bankrupted Chesterfield Mall. Can we please use some abandoned mall space? Can we please start thinking creatively about the dead malls coming down the pipeline? Can we please stop building outlet malls that are even more crass and poorly-constructed (and in flood plains) sprawl than the malls that are closed or closing?
Daggers: Daggers to the Legacy Ice Foundation Tub Thumpers who try to tell us that Creve Coeur Lake and the beautiful park can coexist with yet another “fantastic” development. They are proposing to ruin this wonderful space with an extensive 40-acre development of massive buildings with 1,400 parking spaces, with all the associated crowded automobile entrances, with more traffic flow, with imperious roofs creating runoff, with pavement, with vegetation displacement, with carbon dioxide emissions, and with rolling noises and nightly light pollution.
No matter what Legacy Ice Foundation wants us to believe, it is clear that walkers, runners, cyclists, picnickers, birdwatchers, fishermen, paddling enthusiasts and the region’s most active rowing and sailing associations do not want this development. Save St. Louis’s most valuable and uniquely outdoor recreation oasis that is used by more than one-million active users annually. Save one of the few remaining outdoor recreation spaces in the St. Louis area from yet more encroachment. Save the wetlands. Save the land that is used by migratory birds and migrating pollinators. Please, go to the mall — the empty crumbling mall spaces in the St. Louis region — and locate this sports facility where it might actually do some good!