A team of volunteers from Boeing [NYSE: BA] spent a day earlier this month clearing brush and cleaning up a 100-yard area along the Riverfront Trail bike and hiking course in St. Louis, opening a 'bio-window,' or clear view of the Mississippi River. The effort is the beginning of a two-part plan to create a more attractive area.
The second step planned for early spring 2006, involves installing benches, planting native bushes and flowers, and painting the adjacent flood wall with a mural specially designed by Boeing employees and community members.
"The city welcomes a strong partnership with Boeing employees who have chosen to participate in the renaissance of St. Louis," said St. Louis Mayor, Francis Slay. "Your work to create a viewscape and install art along the Mississippi Riverfront Trail will attract citizens and visitors to this great hiking and biking trail. Thank you for contributing to our great city."
More than 70 volunteers from Boeing collaborated with members of Trailnet, which manages the trail, and Grace Hill Trail Rangers, a group of young adults who, as part of AmeriCorps, are dedicated to improving St. Louis neighborhoods and managing the trail. The volunteers spent the day cutting, weeding, raking and picking up trash in the area, which is roughly the size of a football field. The effort was initiated by the F/A-18 team, in coordination with The Morse Group, a St. Louis firm specializing in driving community growth. The team planned the project as a way to give back to the community of St. Louis.
"This is just one more way our team, and the outstanding people of Boeing, continue to make a difference in our community," says Chris Chadwick, vice president for the F/A-18 program for Boeing. "With this project, we get to share our talents and resources, to create something unique and lasting for everyone in the St. Louis area."
The volunteers say they are pleased with what they accomplished in this phase, and several said they wished they could clear the whole trail, so more people could enjoy the view of the river.
"It's great to be able to do something with the team, and make a real, immediate difference," said John Scheibel, an engineer with Boeing. "I took my daughter and son on the trail last Sunday, and it was great to be able to not only see the river, but to be able to tell them that Boeing made the view possible."
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, a unit of The Boeing Company, is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.