River Awareness

On June 12th, more than 125 children from community organizations in East St. Louis visited the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park.  The goal of the visit was to help raise awareness of regional parks, the Mississippi River and their significance to communities.

While at the Gateway Arch, children participated in a tour led by park rangers of the Museum of Westward Expansion and rode to the top of the Arch.  While at the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park, children toured the Mississippi River Overlook and the Gateway Geyser fountain and learned about the parks namesake from park staff.

The day culminated with children producing art work with the guidance of East St. Louis artist Ms. Edna Patterson Petty.  Student created artwork was on display at the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park during the Fourth of July Festivities.  Art work was then later transposed onto fabric and woven into a quilt as part of a permanent memorial of the children’s “Day on the River”.  The quilt will be on display at the participating partner organizations.  Partnering organizations are:  Funder’s Network for Smart Growth: Community Foundations along the Mississippi River; CityArchRiver; Monsanto Fund; Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; Greater East St. Louis Community Fund; Mt Sinai Family Life Center; Metro East Park & Recreation District; Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation; YMCA of Southwestern Illinois.

Quilter Edna Patterson Petty created this quilt from
original pictures drawn by children of East St. Louis.