The St. Charles County Council approved at its regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, the termination of a lease on land owned by the City of St. Charles that has been the location of St. Charles County Parks’ Louis H. Bangert Memorial Wildlife Area since 2007. The City of St. Charles will continue to operate and maintain the area and plans to construct a lake and restore the wetlands as part of the Riverpointe Development project.
“Bangert Island has been a popular destination for off-road cycling for many years,” says County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “But with the development of the city’s Riverpointe in that area over the next several years, Bangert Island park will be inaccessible for us and it would be difficult for us to continue to maintain the trails.”
Ehlmann says the County Council passed an ordinance in 2007 authorizing a 30-year lease on the land with an agreement with the Missouri Conservation Commission that the use of the island was limited to use as a nature preserve and trail system. In 2015, the Conservation Commission reverted the land back to the original donor family, who in turn sold the land to the City of St. Charles. The agreement stipulated that the 30-year-lease, which would have expired on Nov. 30, 2037, to the County remain and that the original Bangert Island of approximately 160 acres would be maintained as a wildlife area.
“Over the years, the County has maintained trails and has provided a recreational area for residents and visitors,” Ehlmann says. “The Parks Department developed the original trail system, cleaned up after flooding and maintained the area.”
The City of St. Charles will oversee the area and has agreed to reimburse the County $236,000, which is the County’s actual costs for leasing, constructing trails and maintaining the island for the past 16 years.