Trojan Park during its grand opening in October 2016. (Great Rivers Greenway)

In the summer of 2020, Urban Land profiled online and in print each finalist for 2020’s ULI Urban Open Space Award. The winners have been announced and Trojan Park is one of the two winners. Learn more about award-winning and innovative open-space projects as part of the 2020 ULI Virtual Fall Meeting.

Owners: Great Rivers Greenway, City of Wellston
Designer: Lamar Johnson Collaborative (formerly Forum Studio)
Additional team members: Beyond Housing, David Mason & Associates, SWT Design, National Recreation and Park Association, St. Louis County Parks
Size: 1 acre (0.4 ha)
Opened: October 2016
Total cost: $1.96 million (excluding land acquisition)

Trojan Park, which receives an estimated 20,000 visitors each year, is a key destination as part of the St. Vincent Greenway, which stretches across four towns in the St. Louis region, connecting major parks, schools and universities, public transit, job centers, and neighborhoods.

Built as part of the National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) Parks Build Communities initiative, it is a partnership project involving Great Rivers Greenway (a regional public agency connecting three counties with greenway trails), the city of Wellston, St. Louis County Parks, NRPA, and more than 30 partners who contributed funding or in-kind services or materials. The entities continue to collaborate with vendors and volunteers for operations and maintenance. Designed and named by neighbors to honor the former high school mascot, the park is packed with amenities they chose, from a splash pad and playgrounds to a full basketball court.

It is a go-to spot for public and private gatherings. Beyond basic functions, it also features exercise equipment that meets Americans with Disabilities Act standards for access, musical instruments, and rain gardens full of native plants.

County Councilwoman Hazel Erby describes the relationship to the community: “When I walked up this morning, I could hardly keep from tearing up, it’s so wonderful. Wellston deserves it. Our children deserve it. Our families deserve it. There are good things happening here. We always hear the negative. Today this is just . . . a vision of hope.”

Site plan. (Great Rivers Greenway)

Rain garden in full bloom. (Great Rivers Greenway)

Signage celebrates the Wellston graduates who have gone on to the NBA. (Great Rivers Greenway)

Enjoying the splash pad on a hot summer day. (Great Rivers Greenway)

Kids check out the new equipment during the grand opening. (Great Rivers Greenway)