Hiring: Accounting Manager


The Accounting Manager is responsible for working closely with the Executive Director, Director of Foundation Operations, Controller and other Department Directors. This position is responsible for management of daily financial operations encompassing accounts receivable, accounts payable and financial reporting. The individual will work with a staff of 11 as well as partners, vendors and consultants. We are seeking a motivated individual that wants to work with a small team on an iconic project in the region. This position reports to the Director of Foundation Operations. It is a full-time salaried position.


CityArchRiver Foundation is a non-profit organization partnering with the National Park Service, Great Rivers Greenway, St. Louis City, Bi-State Development, Missouri Department of Transportation, and other civic interest groups to revitalize the Gateway Arch grounds, museum and surrounding areas. We have successfully raised our goal of $250 million for the capital needs of this project and to seed an endowment. The organization is transitioning to a conservancy, continuing to oversee the completion of project construction, collaborating with public partners, and fundraising for the endowment to meet the future needs of operations, maintenance and programming for the finished project areas. Learn more about us and our exciting vision at www.cityarchriver.org.


  • Ensure adherence to and work within the guidelines of the Foundation’s Finance Policies
  • Paying invoices – preparing the checks for signature
  • Enter invoices, payroll, bank transactions, pledges and cash gifts
  • Prepare bank reconciliations, invoices, journal entries
  • Work with development team to reconcile development pledges and activity to accounting system
  • Work with executive staff on investment activity and organizational budget development
  • Work with department directors to ensure to convey and explain updated departmental budgets and forecasts
  • Prepare internal weekly budget updates
  • Close the general ledger monthly and prepare all balance sheet reconciliations
  • Reconcile parking validations monthly
  • Prepare and code credit card billing and supporting documentation
  • Prepare audit requests and bank confirmation requests
  • Work directly with auditors on audit prep and schedule
  • Maintain reporting and filing requirements as necessary
  • Other accounting, administrative or project tasks as necessary


  • Seek to improve job performance through self-assessment, skill development, training and goal setting
  • Maintain a regular and reliable level of attendance and punctuality
  • Perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned



  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in Accounting


  • Minimum 5 years’ professional experience including direct accounting experience
  • Knowledge of GAAP and regulations as they relate to non-profit organizations
  • Association experience preferred
  • Knowledge of FASB 116 & FASB 117
  • Proven ability to work with confidential information and maintain utmost discretion
  • Proven exceptional interpersonal and communication skills
  • Superb organizational skills with the ability to disseminate information clearly and concisely

Computer Skills:

Excellent computer skills including advanced level of skill in Excel and knowledge of QuickBooks required. Intermediate level of proficiency or above with other Microsoft office applications (word, PowerPoint, outlook)

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to utilize computer keyboard and sit for extended periods of the work day
  • Ability to lift and carry a minimum of 20 lbs. when transporting supplies


Please send cover letter and resume to info@cityarchriver.org

Equal Opportunity Employer

Become a Vendor on the St. Louis Riverfront

RFP responses are due on March 10.

View from the air of community picnic June 2 2016 - Copy

The riverfront opened on June 2, 2016 with the Picnic on the Riverfront celebration and ribbon-cutting.

On the renovated St. Louis riverfront, new bike paths connect to regional trails, ramps on the east slopes of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial provide accessible routes from the cobblestone levee all the way to the Gateway Arch, new lights provide great illumination, event power is available throughout, and the whole area has been raised to reduce flooding.

GRG Walk to the Warf_1200-3634

Visitors walk along the riverfront at a Walk to the Wharf event in 2015.

Now, CityArchRiver partners Great Rivers Greenway, St. Louis Development Corp., and the City of St. Louis are seeking vendors to enhance and enliven this central space where St. Louis history began and 2.5 million visitors from all over the world visit annually. The effort is part of revitalizing the unique setting as a destination for shopping and recreation for tourists and locals alike.

A request for proposals is now available for interested entrepreneurs. Partners are seeking a diversity of vendors for foods, beverages, souvenirs, merchandise, rentals, and more. Ten dedicated spaces are available on Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. between the Poplar Street Bridge and the Eads Bridge under the Gateway Arch. Eight of these spaces have electricity available.

To review the RFP, click here or visit the City of St. Louis Street Department website at: www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/street/documents/. Potential vendors have until March 10 to submit proposals.

For questions about the RFP process, contact Matt Brinkmann, CityArchRiver Foundation Special Events & Programming Manager, at Matt.Brinkmann@CityArchRiver.org.



Park Paths Open at the Gateway Arch


New walking and biking pathways around the ponds provide access to renovated park areas.

Last week, new park pathways at the Gateway Arch opened to the public, making it easier for visitors to access the latest features of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park. On the riverfront, four new paths on the east slope now connect to the​ park overlooking the river.

Before the CityArchRiver project, visitors were limited to using stairs or a steep incline on a perimeter road. Now, the Riverwalk Pathways are gently sloping paths with benches and railings that finally provide an accessible route between the park and riverfront for everyone.


Riverwalk Pathways provide accessible routes between the Arch and riverfront.


Modernized Modernized versions of lights with the original Saarinen design add ambiance to the park.

Some new additions to the park reconnect the monument to the history the Arch commemorates. Throughout the park, 16 historic place markers and informative signs describe the story of how St. Louis became the Gateway to the West. The designs were developed by the National Park Service and include stories about the Old Rock House, Dan Kiley’s landscape design, the harbor of St. Louis in the 19th century, the Chouteau mansion, and more.

Dan Kiley’s historic landscape design has been updated to provide an exciting backdrop for the Gateway Arch. New walking and biking pathways around the  park ponds provide access to the renovated park areas, shaded picnic spots, lawns, and reflections of the monument in the renovated pools.

20170131 - Traders and Tribes Sign-c

Throughout the park, 16 historic place markers and informative signs describe the story of how St. Louis became the Gateway to the West.

20170131 -Biker-c

When the project is complete, the park will have more than 4,200 trees with diverse species. The park had about 1,800 before the project.

Before the CityArchRiver project, visitors were limited to using stairs or a steep incline on a perimeter road. Now, the Riverwalk Pathways are gently sloping paths with benches and railings that finally provide an accessible route between the park and riverfront for everyone.

Along the processional allées, visitors will find new organically-raised London Plane trees picturesquely framing the monument. Before the project, the Gateway Arch park contained 1,800 trees. When the renovation is complete, the park will have over 4,200 trees. Many of these trees are native species carefully chosen for their unique habitat within the park.

Gateway Arch Museum to Get New Exhibits to Educate, Engage and Inspire

National Park Service Awards $17.1 Million Small Business Contract

Via the National Park Service

The National Park Service announced today that Pacific Studio of Seattle, Washington, a small business and a nationally recognized creator of exhibits, was awarded a $17.1 million fabrication contract for the Visitor Center Exhibits Project at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. This is part of the $380 million public-private funded CityArchRiver renovation project. This contract is the final component for completing the new museum at the Gateway Arch by adding new exhibits that will provide an engaging, interactive museum experience. Pacific Studio has done other projects in the St. Louis area, including the National Blues Museum, Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Science Center.

The design and construction of the new exhibits is possible through private funding from the CityArchRiver Foundation.

“We are thrilled to kick off another exciting portion of the overall project here at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. We can’t thank our partner CityArchRiver Foundation enough for their generous support of the incredible project,” Superintendent Mike Ward said.

Several new exhibit galleries will be created, which will take visitors back in time to explore multiple perspectives of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a continental nation, the role of St. Louis as the gateway to westward expansion during the 19th century, and the legacy and heritage of individuals and cultural groups who played significant roles. Visitors will also get a close-up look at the history of the construction of the iconic Gateway Arch and the architects, engineers and builders who made it happen.

New interactive galleries at the museum under the Arch will tell the story of St. Louis' role in the westward expansion of the United States. Exhibits will draw visitors through a narrative that begins with Colonial St. Louis and spans more than two centuries to the design and construction of the Gateway Arch.

New interactive galleries at the museum under the Arch will tell the story of St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States. Exhibits will draw visitors through a narrative that begins with Colonial St. Louis and spans more than two centuries to the design and construction of the Gateway Arch.

The exhibits will showcase illustrated historical narratives, primary source documents, historical art and artifacts. An assortment of multimedia exhibits will allow visitors to view large-screen video re-enactments of the Lewis and Clark expedition, participate in simulated electronic journeys west, and learn about colonial history with animated maps and timelines. The exhibits were designed by Haley Sharpe Design with multimedia design provided by Aperture Films.

The design of the exhibits has been completed to meet the standards of Universal Design, so that the environment can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.

The National Park Service Denver Service Center awards its contract through a competitive process that includes close examination of managerial competence, quality control, experience and expertise of personnel, and conformance to the terms of the prospectus. The exhibits project builds upon the current renovations to expand the Gateway Arch Visitor Center and Museum including interior renovations and a 44,000 square foot addition. Combined, the project totals 140,000 square feet of construction and renovation work, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and associated site work. The building has been designed with sustainable practices. Project partners will apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.

For more information about Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, visit www.nps.gov/jeff, or for project details you may visit www.cityarchriver.org.

Denver Service Center awards its contract through a competitive process that includes close examination of managerial competence, quality control, experience and expertise of personnel, and conformance to the terms of the prospectus. The exhibits project builds upon the current renovations to expand the Gateway Arch Visitor Center and Museum including interior renovations and a 44,000 square foot addition. Combined, the project totals 140,000 square feet of construction and renovation work, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and associated site work. The building has been designed with sustainable practices. Project partners will apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.

For more information about Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, visit www.nps.gov/jeff, or for project details you may visit www.cityarchriver.org.

Pathways on the Arch Grounds and Connections to Laclede’s Landing Open Today

Another key portion of the renovations at the Gateway Arch is complete.  At the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, pathways in the park surrounding the Gateway Arch are opening to visitors after a construction project that has renovated the park grounds. Tree-lined processional allées and the North Gateway park area will open to the public November 22.  Brand new connections to the Arch from Laclede’s Landing, the riverfront and Downtown will better weave the park into the fabric of the downtown St. Louis area as part of the ongoing $380 million public-private CityArchRiver project, a reimagining of the Gateway Arch grounds and surrounding areas. (Click here for a map of the new pathways.)

North Gateway

The North Gateway features 7.5 acres of new park space for visitors to enjoy.




The National Park Service broke ground on improvements for a renovated park surrounding the Gateway Arch on September 25, 2014. When all is complete, visitors can enjoy 5.4 miles of new pathways, 1.8 miles of pathways renovated for accessibility, new lighting, trees, more benches, and other amenities.

“This is an exciting milestone in the life of this project and this park,” said Mike Ward, superintendent of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “Now visitors can enjoy new pathways, views and landscaping around the Arch. As more pathways and lawns open, the park will be much more accessible to people of all abilities.”

Map of new pathways. Click here to view a PDF.

Starting Tuesday, visitors are invited to explore the new North Gateway section of the park, which is the former site of the old Arch parking garage. The garage has been replaced with 7.5 acres of new park area that includes a natural amphitheater area, shaded lawns, a bike and pedestrian path, the Explorers’ Garden (a landscape designed for children to play and learn), diverse and interesting plantings, and a scenic raised walkway from 1st St. at the Eads Bridge to the North Overlook on the Arch grounds. This area will provide pedestrian access from Laclede’s Landing, through the park, all the way to the Arch.

While many pathways will be open, some of the new lawn areas will be closed until spring 2017 to allow root systems to grow. A few pathways will also remain closed due to ongoing construction on the museum and other areas (see map). CityArchRiver project partners are planning celebration events for spring of next year when the lawn areas and additional pathways will be open.

“We look forward to celebrating more pathways and lawns opening this spring and several other big openings, including the new museum, to follow,” said Ward.

Regular tours of the entire CityArchRiver project area occur the first Friday of every month. To RSVP, visit www.CityArchRiver.org/visit.

The renovation design was developed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with private funding through the CityArchRiver Foundation. Construction on the renovated park landscape work is funded by the National Park Service, Great Rivers Greenway and the CityArchRiver Foundation. Great Rivers Greenway is overseeing funding provided by Proposition P, a sales tax approved by voters in April 2013 that provides funding for improvements to the Arch grounds and surrounding areas.

About Jefferson National Expansion Memorial:
The Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse are part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, located on the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. The Gateway Arch is open from 9 am to 6  pm. The Old Courthouse, which features historic museum exhibits is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.  Unique educational products are available in The Arch Store and in the Old Courthouse Store. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/jeff or www.gatewayarch.com.

About the CityArchRiver project:
CityArchRiver is a transformational project that will enhance the Gateway Arch experience for all visitors. The project will create a seamless park experience from the city to the Mississippi River, providing visitors with a more vibrant place to visit, enjoy, and return. CityArchRiver is a public-private partnership including the National Park Service, Missouri Department of Transportation, Great Rivers Greenway, City of St. Louis, Bi-State Development, Jefferson National Parks Association, CityArchRiver Foundation and many other organizations. For more information, please visit www.cityarchriver.org.




Ice Skating Headlines Winterfest at the Arch

CityArchRiver Foundation and the St. Louis Blues bring rink to the Arch grounds December 27 – January 8

The St. Louis Blues and CityArchRiver Foundation have teamed up to bring an ice rink to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial during an exciting time in downtown St. Louis. Winterfest at the Arch will kick-off on December 27 with the opening of the ice rink in Luther Ely Smith Square, between the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse. The rink will remain open until January 8 with many activities scheduled in between.

Winterfest Logo

“We’re excited to partner with CityArchRiver Foundation to bring hockey and skating under St. Louis’ defining symbol to the world.” said Chris Zimmerman, president and CEO of business operations for the St. Louis Blues. “This is a great opportunity for us to extend the energy of the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic to the Arch and the city.”

“This is an amazing partnership with the Blues to make the Arch grounds buzz this winter,” said Eric Moraczewski, executive director of CityArchRiver Foundation. “We’re thankful to our partners at the National Park Service for the opportunity to bring this unique experience to visitors and residents of the St. Louis region.”

Winterfest adds to the exciting events that will bring thousands downtown this holiday season. Winterfest will include an opening night celebration, Try Hockey for Free clinics and a street hockey tournament hosted by the Blues, whiskey tasting, New Year’s Eve family-friendly celebration, and of course skating every day of Winterfest. Skates will be available for rent on-site

The skating rink will be made of synthetic ice, a unique material that replicates the feeling of skating on real ice. Visitors can use real skates on the 46 ft. x 92 ft. rink. The light weight material was chosen for its location on the pedestrian bridge over I-44. The rink’s location in the newly renovated Luther Ely Smith Square highlights a completed portion of the $380 million CityArchRiver project, which is renovating the Arch grounds and surroundings. Many portions of the project are complete with the full project scheduled to be finished in late 2017.

“Due to the ongoing construction this winter at the Arch we have a great one-time opportunity to host a skating rink in the park,” said Mike Ward, superintendent of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “We hope that everyone enjoys this fun and healthy outdoor activity.”

Additional events as part of Winter Fest at the Arch will be announced in the coming weeks. Check www.archwinterfest.com for news about the fun around the rink December 27 – January 8.

Eric Moraczewski Named CityArchRiver Foundation Executive Director

The CityArchRiver Foundation Board of Trustees announced today that it has named Eric Moraczewski as the organization’s Executive Director. Moraczewski joined the foundation in early 2016 and was most recently serving as its Interim Executive Director. The foundation is a private non-profit organization that has helped fund and coordinate a $380 million renovation of the Gateway Arch grounds and its surroundings.

Eric Moraczewski, Director of Finance

Eric Moraczewski

“We are thrilled to have Eric in the Executive Director role at CityArchRiver Foundation,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, Vice Chairman of the foundation’s Board of Trustees. “This is an important and exciting time for the organization as we are approaching the completion of the renovations at the Arch grounds. At the same time, the foundation is becoming a conservancy that ensures the Arch remains vibrant for generations to come. After working with Eric over the last several months, we are confident he is the right person to lead the organization into the future.”

Moraczewski was previously the founding CEO at FDI Strategies, LLC, a company focused on assisting foreign firms, particularly those in Asia, with growing into the United States both through acquisitions and greenfield projects. Prior to founding FDI Strategies, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for Gallagher and Associates, LLC, an internationally recognized museum planning and design firm based in Washington, D.C.

“After working internationally for so many years, it is truly an honor to work on a landmark that is known around the world,” said Moraczewski. “I am excited about the future of the foundation and the evolving role it will play in the community. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with our donors and community partners to ensure a bright and sustainable future for the Gateway Arch and its surroundings.”

Moraczewski and the foundation will continue to work with CityArchRiver alliance partners (the National Park Service, Great Rivers Greenway, Bi-State Development, City of St. Louis and Jefferson National Parks Association) to finish construction on the current renovations and implement plans for the future success of the park and its surroundings.

Museum Update – New Murals Take Shape

Leeve Mural

Mock-up of the levee mural by Michael Haynes. Figures are arranged digitally creating a busy scene of commerce in a canyon of riverboats and warehouses.

The riverfront in 1850 was bustling with commerce and immigration as St. Louis served as the Gateway to the West. At Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the new museum under the Gateway Arch will tell the story of St. Louis’ role in the expansion of the United States in new ways with interactive exhibits and engaging narratives.

Artist Michael Haynes, who has worked in the historic art field for 20 years, is creating a series of artworks detailing St. Louis’ history. In the exhibits, new murals will depict colonial St. Louis, an Osage village, and a pioneer canoe scene. Underway now, Haynes iscreating a busy levee scene from St. Louis’ 1850′s riverfront era.


Fr. De Smet greeting a member of the Nez Perce Tribe.

A riverfront laborer.

Corps of Topographical Engineers officer in full dress

Russian Immigrants








Many different people resided in or passed through St. Louis in 1850. Characters in the mural include Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet (a missionary), a Nez Perce Indian, Argonauts (a period name for gold seekers), immigrants, free African Americans, slaves, merchants, a Corps of Topographical Engineers (representing the military presence at Jefferson Barracks), and more. All of these perspectives – mercantile, indigenous, immigrant, pioneering – add to the busy activity that was everyday life on the St. Louis riverfront.

Labor is a focus of the mural. “We as modern 21st century people have lost touch with the sheer incredible amount of effort and exertion that went into everyday life and these massive scale operations,” Haynes said. “Everything had to be powered by people,horses, and crude steam power.”

Color mock up of the levee mural


Mock-up of the mural showing scale

​The levee mural will be 14.5 feet tall and 30 feet wide in the new museum. To create an image at that scale, Haynes made pencil drawings of the characters, scanned the drawings, and arranged them digitally. In August, he will paint the mural at 6 feet wide by 2 feet tall. That painting will be reproduced digitally and printed to create the final mural.

Construction continues on the Gateway Arch grounds, but you can still learn more about the city’s role as the Gateway to the West by visiting the free current exhibits at the Old Courthouse.

Exhibits at the new museum are being designed in coordination with Haley Sharp Design, the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Center, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and the CityArchRiver Foundation.



Gateway Arch Vies for Partners in Preservation Grant

Public Vote Will Determine Which Park Sites Receive Funding. The campaign is  partnership with American Express, the National Trust For Historic Preservation, and National Geographic

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which includes the Gateway Arch, and CityArchRiver Foundation announced today that they are participating in Partners in Preservation (PIP), a community-based partnership of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places. PIP logo

PIP is embarking on its first national campaign in the program’s 10-year history. In honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial, the 2016 Partners in Preservation: National Parks campaign will award $2 million in grants to historic sites in need of preservation within national parks units, as decided by popular vote.

As one of 20 historic places selected, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial hopes to be one of the winners of the campaign to help restore the overlook platforms and steps at the north and south end of the park. The stairs and overlook platforms are an integral part of the  park’s design and in need of essential repairs. A $250,000 grant will allow for the renovation of the overlooks that provide a monumental mooring for the world-famous Gateway Arch and a connection to the Mississippi River.

Overlook Cracks

Cracks in the in the North Overlook stairs in February 2015.

“We are excited to participate in this program, which will serve park visitors here and nation-wide,” said Mike Ward, Superintendent of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “Partners in Preservation is an opportunity for St. Louisans especially to make a huge difference at their local national park just by voting online daily.”

The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite parks today through July 5. Voters can support the the Gateway Arch at www.voteyourpark.org/gatewayarch. The online portal is hosted by National Geographic, this year’s media partner, to determine which sites will receive preservation grants. The public is also invited to share their experiences on social media and celebrate these sites using #VoteYourPark.

Historic photo of the overlook stairs during a VP Fair. The stairs are part of the cultural and historic landscape at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

“The support of private organizations has been essential to our efforts to care for the places that convey our nation’s history and culture since the creation of the National Park System 100 years ago,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The 2016 Partners in Preservation campaign is a strong symbol of our partners’ continued dedication to ensure that these special places are preserved and protected for future generations of Americans.”

“As a premier partner of the National Park Foundation’s Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque campaign and the 2016 National Park Centennial, we are engaging the community in serving, preserving and celebrating U.S. National Parks throughout this year,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “Historic preservation is a hallmark of American Express’ involvement in strengthening communities, and we are proud to help lead the effort to preserve these cultural sites and monuments that contribute to our national and regional identity.”

The Partners in Preservation: National Parks campaign gives enthusiasts the opportunity to show their support for their favorite historic sites through a popular vote. At the outset of the campaign, friends groups for each of the 20 participating sites within national parks will receive a grant of $10,000, which will be used to increase public awareness about the historic structures nominated. The national parks’ sites with the most votes at the end of the voting period will be awarded grants for historic restoration projects. By voting daily at VoteYourPark.org, supporters can also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Yellowstone National Park sponsored by National Geographic.

“Since the inception of our national parks system a century ago, the parks’ cultural resources have been central to the visitor experience and telling the full story of our nation’s diverse history,” says Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO, The National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Today, two-thirds of our more than 400 national parks are dedicated to cultural and historic significance. As such, we are delighted to embark on Partners in Preservation: National Parks, which builds on the program’s decade-long experience in galvanizing public support for preserving historic structures for future generations.”

New to the program for 2016 is a collaboration with National Geographic, a partner with strong ties to U.S. National Parks as well as historic preservation. As the media partner, National Geographic is launching a consumer engagement campaign across its digital and social platforms promoting Partners in Preservation: National Parks and inviting people to vote.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Partners in Preservation: National Parks and celebrate our shared commitment to preserve some of the world’s most meaningful and culturally significant sites,” said Susan Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic. “We love to give our readers an opportunity to engage with their passion for parks and Partners in Preservation: National Parks is an ideal way to activate our very engaged community and empower them to participate.”

The public can get involved by visiting savingplaces.org/partners-in-preservation for more information and voting daily through July 5 at VoteYourPark.org.

Area Residents Invited to Celebrate the Renovated St. Louis riverfront at “Picnic on the Riverfront” June 2.

Event, which will include a 2,016-foot-long community picnic table and fireworks display,
will kick off of season of events for residents and tourists

Great Rivers Greenway, the City of St. Louis, CityArchRiver Foundation and other partners invite residents from across the region to join them in celebrating the transformation of the St. Louis riverfront on Thursday, June 2. The organizations will be hosting a “Picnic on the Riverfront” event from 5:00 to 8:45 p.m., which will feature St. Louis’ largest-ever community picnic – complete with a 2,016-foot-long table and chairs – to commemorate the opening of the new riverfront beneath the Gateway Arch.

The official ribbon cutting on June 2 will begin at 5:00 p.m. on the overlook stage along Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard, with remarks from dignitaries and partners. Afterward, attendees can explore the greenway, enjoy local music and educational activities for kids and purchase dinner from food trucks and other vendors. People are also welcome to bring their own picnic meal. An interfaith blessing will kick off dinner at 6:15 p.m., followed by an aerial photo of all the picnickers. The event will end with a brief fireworks display at 8:30pm.

“This new front door for our region celebrates the energy, adventure and awe of the mighty Mississippi and our iconic Gateway Arch,” said Susan Trautman, Executive Director of Great Rivers Greenway, the regional parks and trails district and lead agency on the project. “We invite people to bring their friends, family and neighbors from all parts of the region to celebrate.”

The renovation of the 1.5-mile stretch of riverfront includes the recently rebuilt Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard and extension of the Mississippi Greenway from the Biddle Street Trailhead south to Chouteau Avenue, with protected walking and biking paths. The entire riverfront was elevated an average of almost two feet to limit flooding, returning more days of the year back to the community for walking, riding bikes, sightseeing and special events. While the historic elements were preserved, such as the cobblestones lining the levee, new amenities such as benches, bike racks, lights, power outlets and a street-level stage will make the space more inviting for events and programs. The lineup for this summer and fall includes bike rides, walk/run events, the St. Louis Brewer’s Guild’s Heritage Festival, a free concert series with The Sheldon, swap meets and more.

“The historic riverfront is an important part of the story of the St. Louis region – it’s time to reconnect with our roots and make sure the riverfront is part of our future,” said Mayor Slay, City of St. Louis.

The riverfront is part of the larger CityArchRiver project to enhance the Gateway Arch experience for all visitors.

“With two projects finished and three more to go, this historic transformation is taking shape,” said Ryan McClure, Director of Communications for the CityArchRiver Foundation, the nonprofit helping to coordinate the project and overseeing private investment. “When the majority of the Gateway Arch grounds landscaping finishes this fall and the rest of the project is completed in 2017, visitors will get the exceptional experience of a connected city, Arch and river that is active throughout the year.”

The renovations were funded by many partners, including Great Rivers Greenway, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds, the National Park Service, CityArchRiver Foundation, and Bi-State Development.

The construction is wrapping up now, and is on track to meet or exceed minority participation goals. With 32 percent participation by minority-owned business enterprises and 19 percent participation by women-owned business enterprises – 51% of construction contracts were awarded to disadvantaged business enterprises. Workforce participation is also on track to meet the goal of 14.7 percent minority workers.

“The riverfront is a place where everyone is welcome, and it was important that the construction of the project reflect that, too,” said Carey Bundy, Project Manager for Great Rivers Greenway.

Explore St. Louis is contributing the tables and chairs, and Paramount Convention Services will haul the equipment to the riverfront. The ribbon cutting will happen rain or shine, but the picnic event could be rescheduled in the case of inclement weather.

For more information about the vent, visit www.CityArchRiver.org/Riverfront