The lack of greenspace and natural barriers in the Marlborough neighborhood caused severe flooding for years, prompting the city to buy a condemned lot along the side of Troost Avenue and construct a large wetland detention basin. After years of construction, during which the area was an inaccessible eyesore locals called “the big hole,” the property now captures 11 million gallons of stormwater annually.

Marlborough Greenspace Missouri 2
Photo credit: Ivan LaBianca

Our Role

Building on the city’s infrastructure investments, The Conservation Fund, the Marlborough Community Coalition and Heartland Conservation Alliance, with support from U-Haul®, partnered with other local stakeholders to turn the area around the basin into a usable public greenspace that also provides workforce training opportunities for the community.

Why it matters

Marlborough Greenspace includes a playground, a meandering walking trail, recreational areas and native gardens, all designed with extensive input from community members. As one of the only publicly accessible natural spaces in the area, it provides residents with a new opportunity to connect with nature in a space that’s close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Marlborough Greenspace in Missouri quote

"As a longtime resident, I have many memories of growing up in Marlborough, attending St. Augustine Catholic School, going to the 7-Eleven and playing baseball in the church parking lot. There was not a lot of park space back then.

So now, it is a really great experience to drive down Troost and see the park full of kids, zip lining and doing a lot of different things. You look at that, and you can really see the impact this greenspace has on the community and how it is starting to bring about the change that I’d like to see—making Marlborough more family-centered.

The reason I got involved with the Marlborough Community Coalition’s work is I saw a lot of the good things going on in the neighborhood, and I wanted to help bring back that kind of community spirit to Marlborough. It really feels like this park is a feather in the cap of Marlborough that everybody loves. That’s one of the core things that we love to do, trying to improve the quality of life. Hopefully, it also spurs investment and real pride in the community. We are very appreciative of all the work The Conservation Fund and our partners have done to help get things moving forward for Marlborough, and we are looking forward to seeing what else we can continue to build.”

― Jeff Primos, President, Marlborough Community Coalition

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