Trailnet & Katy Land Trust launch new magazine "Across STL"

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Two longtime nonprofit organizations have joined forces on a project that provides a unique perspective on the St. Louis region as being a premiere place for biking and walking. The ultimate goal, they say, is to provide a unifying narrative whereby all residents of the region understand how trails and bike paths connect people to places. Trailnet and The Katy Land Trust announce their joint vision, Across STL, with the release of a magazine by the same name. A limited number of Across STL magazines will be printed, and a digital version is available as well.

In the pages of Across STL you will find a focus on the big picture, and then zoom in for a closer look that shows the people and the organizations who are making things happen by forging connections of all kinds. We’ll explore the reasons St. Louis continues to be a wonderful place to call home and how our cultural and conservation assets are what define us the most. Join Trailnet and the Katy Land Trust by helping get the word out.

The magazine cover features an illustration of the St. Louis region, from the Gateway Arch out to Missouri Wine Country. The artist is St. Louisan Sophie Binder. Color posters are available for purchase. The unveiling of the magazine cover occurred at a private event at the Deer Creek Club where both Mayor Lyda Krewson and County Executive Steve Stenger (represented by County Councilman Pat Dolan) were in attendance.

“Our two organizations are distinctly different, but we both have a history of preserving and promoting connectivity in our region, making it the best it can be,” said Ralph Pfremmer, CEO of Trailnet. “We both understand that our region is stronger when our municipalities and neighborhoods collaborate, not when we compete against each other. That’s why it’s important for people to be able to connect, both literally and figuratively, to areas they have not previously considered exploring. This gives people a better sense of the valuable cultural and natural assets that are so close in proximity.”

“The Missouri River Valley is a scenic treasure that is part of St. Louis’s history and heritage, and the Katy Trail is a great way to experience it,” said Dan Burkhardt, founder of The Katy Land Trust. “Getting people out in nature and appreciating what we have is more important than ever, and that’s why our efforts must continue.” Burkhardt added that Missouri’s numerous wineries are an important tourist attraction for the small towns along the Katy, as well as for St. Louis.

“When you look at our region’s assets – from the Arch to Forest Park and all the way out to the Katy Trail – you realize how rich we are culturally. It’s time we started talking about St. Louis as a destination, as a place people want to visit and where people want to live,” Burkhardt said.

Trailnet advocates for active, healthy living where walking, bicycling and the use of public transit are a way of life. The group recently announced an ambitious initiative to create a network of on-street protected bikeways with high quality sidewalks in the heart of the St. Louis region, with opportunities to connect to trails. The project is expected to spur economic development and increase property values in areas along the network, while also helping St. Louis companies attract and retain talent.

The Katy Land Trust works to preserve farms, forests and river bluffs along the Katy Trail, from St. Charles to Hermann. This involves conservation activities, promoting use of the trail, and assisting landowners with any concerns or easement issues.

Pfremmer added that connecting different parts of the region with safe and easy access to biking and walking plays an important role in commerce, conservation, community vitality and tourism.

“We’re ready to start a new narrative for St. Louis,” Pfremmer said. “We have a stronger voice together and it’s time to make a unified statement on why we love St. Louis. Across STL does just that; a clarion call put forth to ourselves and to others who are visiting St. Louis or are considering moving here to live, work and raise their families.”

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About Trailnet

Trailnet’s mission is to lead in fostering healthy, active and vibrant communities where walking, bicycling and the use of public transit are a way of life. Trailnet believes that St. Louis is ready for a transformative project that will link our neighborhoods, cultural districts, natural resources and business centers with an on-street network of safe, convenient bikeways and sidewalks enabling people to bike and walk to local destinations. http://www.trailnet.org

About the Katy Land Trust

Through private, voluntary land protection, the Katy Land Trust seeks to preserve the farms and scenic vistas along the Katy Trail and Missouri River, and to optimize visitors’ appreciation of the historic and natural beauty of the region. The Katy Land Trust works with local landowners to support their personal goals for their land, and provides educational outreach to assist in preserving the farms and woodlands unique to the Missouri River Valley. http://www.katylandtrust.org

About Sophie Binder

A lover of the outdoors, Sophie Binder takes her sketchbook and watercolors everywhere she goes. In 2001 Sophie quit her job, put her belongings in storage, left her home and fulfilled a lifelong dream to bicycle and sketch her way around the world. Sophie’s cover art is a perfect backdrop for the inaugural issue of ACROSS STL; how travel and connectivity exist to provide perspective, one that can change the way we see ourselves, and more importantly, our community as a whole. http://www.sbinderdesigns.com

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