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Spotlight on St. Louis Area Neighborhood Activities -

Cinco de Mayo Draws Huge Crowd to Cherokee Street
Cinco de Mayo Draws Huge Crowd to Cherokee Street
Thousands of spectators filled Cherokee Street, Saturday, May 7, for the 15th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration to enjoy the People's Joy Parade with unique floats created by local residents, bands, families activities, live music and a variety of spicy dishes served by local restaurants.
City of St. Louis Mow to Own Program Tackles Vacancy and Abandonment
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 8, 2016 - The City of St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority's (LRA) new 'Mow to Own' program allows City residents to take immediate ownership of LRA-owned parcels adjacent to their property for just $125 if the resident agrees to continually maintain the lot.

The City will give away the land itself for free. The $125 covers the title transfer and lien, should the new owner fail to maintain his/her new property. After 24 months of regular maintenance, the lien will be lifted and the property granted free and clear to the new owner.

The vacant lots available are underutilized and often a drain on City resources and source of complaints from surrounding neighbors. Offering this 'sweat equity' program helps return these parcels back to the tax rolls while giving residents a unique opportunity to expand their land ownership at very little cost.

When someone abandons his/her property and it comes under the control of LRA, City taxpayers wind up footing the bill for the maintenance on the abandoned property. The City's Forestry Division spends more than $1 million annually mowing vacant lots and land around abandoned buildings.

"Many of the lots eligible under Mow to Own are small enough to be considered someone's side yard, yet they are owned by the City," Mayor Slay said. "We know that there are a lot of good neighbors who are anxious to see these lots put back to productive reuse. In return, they will come off the City's mowing list and go back onto the tax rolls."

The City estimates that roughly 4,000 of these small lots are eligible for the Mow to Own program. Eligible lots must be less than 30 feet across and under LRA control for at least three years, because those small lots sitting in the land bank for that long are not as likely to be developed to create new housing, industry or jobs.

Successful applicants have to be current on their own real estate taxes, have no outstanding property violations, and own a home or apartment immediately adjacent to the lot they want. Interested residents may download an application from the
City's website.

Mayor Slay Launches St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway
St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay was onsite Wednesday morning, May 4, at the Bellerive Park Monarch Garden Project, a 1,500 square foot portion of the Riverfront Butterfly Byway, planted by students of two City schools and four local community groups.

Mayor Slay Launches St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway
Bill Dawson, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio, provided a lively hands on demonstration of how to plant a Milkweed plant, as Mayor Francis G Slay and local students watched the process.
Mayor Slay Launches St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 4, 2016 - Mayor Francis G. Slay joined representatives from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, ScottsMiracle-Gro Company and its national partners, Garden Writers Association Foundation, Plant A Row for the Hungry,, and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at the dedication of the Bellerive Park Monarch Garden Project.

Approximately 30 community volunteers worked with representatives of Scotts Miracle-Gro, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and to help more than 75 area youth plant the 1,500 square foot portion of the Riverfront Butterfly Byway in Bellerive Park, located at 5570 S Broadway.

Over time, the Byway will be become a pollinator pathway along a 19-mile stretch of the Mississippi River in the City of St. Louis. Not only will the gardens provide important pollinator habitat consisting of native prairie plants, but they will serve for educational opportunities for residents to connect with nature and learn the importance of pollinators to our ecosystem. The effort is an expansion of Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project, which aims to bolster the dwindling monarch population while better connecting people with nature.

Mayor Slay launched Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project on Earth Day 2014. Since then, the City has created more than 50 monarch gardens, and the community has partnered to create more than 250 additional registered gardens throughout the City. "Urban greenspaces provide environmental benefits and also offer a host of social and economic opportunities. The fact is, people need nature," Mayor Slay said, adding that he has personally created several Monarch gardens.

"Connecting to nature has been shown to improve health and well-being, support learning outcomes and result in community cohesion," Catherine Werner, the City's Sustainability Director stated in a release. "Those who experience this monarch garden and other St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway locations will be able to enjoy the present, while having a glimpse at the past and providing for a better future."

GRO1000 is ScottsMiracle-Gro's commitment to support the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and greenspaces in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe by 2018, in conjunction with its 150th anniversary. To date, more than 700 community projects have received GRO1000 funding.

"Supporting the creation of habitats where monarch butterflies and other pollinators can thrive is important to our environment," Brad Rethman, Vice President, ScottsMiracle-Gro, said. "We are honored to work with the City of St. Louis to help bring more pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes to their city."

Following a ceremonial $40,000 grant check presentation to Mayor Slay by ScottsMiracle-Gro and U.S. Conference of Mayor, representatives from the Baden Youth Community Garden - a pilot project of the City of St. Louis Urban Vitality and Ecology Initiative - were presented with the ScottsMiracle-Gro Give Back To Gro Youth Gardener Award.

2016 Veterans Welcome Home Warrior Summit
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 1, 2016 - The 2016 Welcome Home Warrior Summit will be held at St. Louis Community College Forest Park Campus, on Friday, May 13, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The event, co-sponsored by Veteran Affairs and The Warrior Summit Coalition, is designed to celebrate and assist Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, retired, transitioning service members and their families.

More than 100 community, government and service organizations will provide Information on employment, Veterans' benefits, health care, legal service and other community resources to assist Veterans and their families.

Employers who are actively recruiting to hire Veterans are attending the event, as well as representatives from a number of colleges and universities. All Veterans, active militaries, their families, Wounded Warriors and Gold Star Families are invited to join for music, food, fun, informational booths, health wellness and any of the services provided with no charge.

Women Veterans are the fastest growing segment of the Veteran population. This is the 5rd year that the Women Veteran Summit will be included in the event which includes health care for females, mental health, hair stylist, massage and more.

Unlike previous years, the event this year is tied into Navy Week Celebration. 2016 Welcome Home Warrior Summit will be partnering with the Navy. For those that can't make it to the Air Show, this event will feature a free performance by the Navy Band, The Great Lake "Horizon" and will include Navy Dives and EOD Robots - part of their Interactive STEM Tour.

Volunteers Needed to Help Clean-up the Missouri River, May 14
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 1, 2016 - Missouri River Relief is hosting a community-based clean-up of trash from the banks of the Missouri River via motor boat on Saturday, May 14th, 2016. The event will be headquartered at the Missouri River Boat Ramp at Sioux Passage Park, 17930 Old Jamestown Rd. Florissant, MO 63034. The clean-up runs from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.

Volunteers can sign-in beginning at 8:30 a.m. and start boarding the boats at the Sioux Passage Park Missouri River Boat Ramp at 9:00 a.m. Volunteers will be shuttled to pre-scouted locations along the river to pick up tons of trash. Help is also needed after lunch to sort and haul trash for proper disposal.

This is Missouri River Relief's annual river clean-up in the St. Louis area. Each year, different stretches of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are targeted for trash clean-up. The severe winter flooding in the St. Louis area increased the amount of trash polluting the Missouri River and its adjacent banks, islands, and public recreation areas.

Individuals, families and groups are encouraged to participate. People are urged to sign-up online at However, pre-registration is not required and people can show up the morning of the clean-up to register. Groups, individuals or families who are interested in participating in the clean-up also can contact the Missouri River Relief office in Columbia, MO, (573) 443-0292.

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Archived St. Louis Community News and Information:
 "Adinkra Tower" Sculpture Dedicated on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
 New Park Coming to Welston Community
 City of Bellefontaine Neighbors Receives 2015 MML Innovation Award
 "Blackish" Star Jenifer Lewis Returns to St. Louis for Webster University's Centennial Gala
 St. Louis Jewish Book Festival Opens with Bernanke, Diamant, Ross
 Reinvest North County Fund: One Year Later
 Local VA Leaders Discuss State of Affairs for Missouri Veterans
 Webster Groves Family YMCA Facility Closing
 ADA Celebrates 25th Anniversary Using Direct Video Communication
 ATSU and Affinia Healthcare Open St. Louis Dental Clinic
 Taylor Family Donates $22 Million to St. Louis Area Charitable and Educational Organizations
 Scammers Using Ameren's Name Illegally
 Boys & Girls Clubs to Open New Club in Ferguson
 Annual MLK Day Marchers Clash with Ferguson Protesters
 West Florissant Avenue Great Streets Project Gets Boost
 Reinvest North County Fund Issues Second Round of Funding
 St. Louis Marathon Rock 'n' Rolls Through the Neighborhoods
 Monsanto Commits $1 Million for North St. Louis County
 President Reed Teams with Forest ReLeaf with 'Trees for Peace'
 Webster University Kicks Off Centennial Celebration at the Old Post Office Plaza
 Reinvest North County Fund Announces First Round of Awards
 City of Clayton Municipal Court to Hold Amnesty Day Court Docket, October 6
 VA Acting Secretary Sloan D. Gibson Addressed Issues at Hospital
 'Food for Fines' Program During July at St. Louis Public Library
 St. Louis Fire Department to Receive Grant to Enhance Training
 Painted Articulated MetroBus Spotlights South Grand
 Biking to Work Increases 60 Percent Over Last Decade
 Newly Rebuilt River des Peres Greenway Trail Opens at the Shrewsbury/Lansdowne MetroLink Station
 St. Louis City Introduces 'Milkweeds for Monarchs'
 Heat-Up St. Louis Hits A Record High of $165,000 To Date
 stl250 to Install 250 Cakes for the "Cakeway to the West"

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