Proposed development on the Katy Trail and Missouri River

UPDATE: There was a zoning hearing on December 20 in St. Charles. At the January 17 hearing, the committee postponed the re-zoning vote until the meeting on February 21, 2018.

The Katy Land Trust and Magnificent Missouri will be represented at this meeting, but it is important that others in the community express their opposition by attending the meeting and voicing their concerns. Please let us know if you can attend – and if you have friends in St. Charles who might be able to attend, please pass this information to them.

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The land that stretches west along the Missouri River past Highway 40 remains largely rural and undeveloped. Driving Highway 94 or riding the Katy Trail in that area feels much like a drive or ride deep in the Ozarks, not 5 minutes from suburban St. Charles. This area provides hiking, biking and sightseeing that are among the best in Missouri. It has retained that feel for decades because of the land protection provided by creation of the Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas in the late 1940s.

The Bluffs PUD Concept Plan shows information about a large housing development proposed on property in this area that is currently owned by the University of Missouri. This land is on the Katy Trail and close to the Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas just west of Chesterfield.

On behalf of the Katy Land Trust and Magnificent Missouri we are contacting those who love the Katy Trail, Missouri River and the Missouri countryside. We believe that the scale and the location of the project are cause for questions regarding the impact on the river bluffs from the perspective of plant and wildlife habitat, aesthetics and traffic.

Tell us if you can attend!

Please let us know if you can attend by clicking “Interested” or “Going” in our Facebook event.

If you can’t attend the zoning hearing but you’d like to comment on this issue please email the St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Department at with questions or concerns.

Century Farms book features land conservation

century-farmsThe Missouri Century Farms program – a joint effort of the University of Missouri and the Missouri Farm Bureau – recently released “Missouri’s Historic Farms”. This is the first book ever published that honors the families and farms that comprise this unique group.

More than 7,500 farms throughout Missouri have applied for membership in this exclusive club that require members of the same family to own and farm a property for 100 years or more. With its strong agricultural heritage, Missouri is fortunate to have so many eligible farms. This new book tells the stories of more than 1000 Century Farms and the families who love them.

We are pleased that a property in the Katy Land Trust, the Burkhardt family farm in Warren County, is featured in the book. They describe the history of their farm – Bethlehem Valley – and how it has been protected from future development by a conservation agreement. While not a Century Farm, Bethlehem Valley is an example of how landowners can ensure that their property will be a farm for the next century with a conservation easement.

To order “Missouri’s Century Farms”, or to learn more about the Century Farms program or conservation easements, please contact Peggy Horner (Phone: 314-920-0038; Email:

Conserving a Family farm

The Schwerdt farmstead, a beautiful overlook to the Bethlehem Valley, narrowly avoided becoming a subdivision with manmade lakefront property. Thanks to the vision and dedication of the Schwerdts, the Begemanns, the Hellebusch families and all subsequent owners and stewards of the farm, the valley remains intact and the property stays true to its agricultural heritage. Today, the Burkhardts family calls this property home and continues to celebrate the awe-inspiring view of the long Bethlehem Valley with its sycamore-lined spring-fed creek, scattered woods and high, open hillsides.

Read all about Preserving the Heritage of Bethlehem Valley here.

Founders Share Their Story of Preserving Historic Farm

article250In this article, KLT founders Dan and Connie Burkhardt tell the story of the farm how they acquired and saved a historic farm in Missouri’s Bethlehem Valley in Marthasville.

In 2010, the Burkhardts placed on the farm a conservation agreement through KLT to ensure the land will remain a farm.

The article describes the farm’s history and tells the story of how the Burkhardts came to acquire and protect the land.