For over two decades the City has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the Missouri Department of Conservation. The City's Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for maintaining some 8,500 trees located in the right-of-way along the 75 miles of city streets. Park Department crews spent 1200 man hours last year trimming street trees, creating almost 385 cubic yards of mulch that is made available to residents on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Recycling is a major element of the city's forestry efforts. The city also provides curb-side leaf removal which services nearly 70% of the homes in Ballwin.
Cooperative Recreation Efforts
As the city's schedule of recreation programs has developed, a continuous effort has been made not to duplicate what other service providers already offer the community. Communication and an on-going relationship with neighboring municipalities, the Ballwin Athletic Association, school districts, and local state parks has allowed the city to maximize its resources.
The Ballwin Athletic Association owns and operates a six field complex that offers baseball and softball programs to over 4,000 participants each year. The City provides facilities for program registrations and co-sponsors the Fourth of July fireworks display with the Association each year.
One service that has received national recognition is the city's cooperative program to include people with disabilities in the recreation programs of seven municipalities. In 1992 Ballwin along with the cities of Des Peres, Manchester, and Ellisville received an incentive grant from the St. Louis County Productive Living Board to hire a full time "Coordinator of Inclusive Recreation". This individual is charged with training staff and making sure accommodations are made to allow for total participation. The program has been so successful that following the conclusion of grant funding the city's are continuing to fund the project.
The summer day camp program that serves over 500 children each year, and a variety of other sports, special interest, and cultural programs. More than 100 students from a local elementary school participate
in the annual Arbor Day Celebration to commemorate the City's Tree City USA award.
Future plans include the establishment of a city-wide trail system to provide pedestrian access to points of interest in Ballwin. Successes and accomplishments would not have been possible without the support or our elected officials. They had the courage to ask the tough questions and then allocate the necessary resources to be responsive to the residents which they serve.
Linda A. Bruer, CLP, is the Director of Parks and Recreation in the City of Ballwin.