As St. Louisans, we sometimes can be very cavalier about the great things our city has to offer. That’s especially true with the Gateway Arch, the iconic structure that we might only glance at as we drive around downtown. But since the national park was renovated and made more accommodating, the Gateway Arch Park Foundation has been working extra hard to let locals know it’s not just for tourists. “We’re excited to welcome people to revisit Gateway Arch National Park,” says Samantha Fisher, the foundation’s director of communications. “There’s a good chance the view from the top has changed since the last time you went up.”
The foundation was formed in 2009 to help coordinate and raise funds for renovations of Gateway Arch National Park. As the official fundraising partner for the park, it has helped with recent projects like the brand-new Museum at the Gateway Arch and development of Kiener Plaza. “We collaborate with the National Park Service and local partners to maintain and improve the park and neighboring public spaces and attractions,” Fisher says. “The Arch is a representation of our city. We are dedicated to making it a vibrant, welcoming place, now and forever.”
With the Gateway Arch National Park renovations complete, the foundation is focusing its efforts on conserving and maintaining the grounds and attractions. It hosts community events to bring people to the park, such as the ice skating rink and igloo village for Winterfest at Kiener Plaza this holiday season; free yoga sessions on Tuesday mornings; and a blues concert series in August on the Arch grounds. “We want to welcome people downtown to experience all our national park has to offer,” Fisher says. To extend its outreach to students across the region, the foundation offers the Journey Fund Scholarship program to pay for field trips.
It can provide the city all it does thanks in part to its membership program. “Members support the work we do to maintain the park,” Fisher says. “In exchange, they enjoy great perks, including the civic pride that comes with helping care for a city and a national icon. It’s our responsibility to maintain a level of excellence our community can be proud of.” Membership benefits include free tram rides to the top of the Arch, free parking downtown, and discounts on riverboat rides and at the Arch store and cafe. Members also receive special invitations to exclusive events at the park.
This spring, to further support its mission, the foundation is partnering with another local icon: Gerard Craft. An Iconic Event, May 8 at the Museum at the Gateway Arch, is a fundraising dinner that features a menu specially curated by the award-winning chef, who will be onsite to introduce the courses and interact with guests. “Craft has done so much to put St. Louis on the map from a culinary standpoint,” Fisher says. “It’s appropriate that he is our guest chef for the evening. It will be a one-of-a-kind way to experience the museum and chef Craft’s unique cuisine.”
The Gateway Arch Park Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that the Gateway Arch, its grounds and neighboring public spaces and attractions remain a vital, welcoming and well-supported resource for the community. An Iconic Event, a fundraising dinner with Gerard Craft, is May 8. Pictured on the cover: The entrance to the newly renovated museum and visitor center at the Gateway Arch. For more information, call 314.881.2015 or visit archpark.org.
Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo courtesy of Gateway Arch Park Foundation
Photo: Chef Gerard Craft with guests at An Iconic Event in 2019.
Photo courtesy of Gateway Arch Park Foundation