Celebrate public lands at Gateway Arch with cleanup, dog walk and other fall events

Jeff Roberson/AP

Sept. 24 is National Public Lands Day, and Gateway Arch National Park and partner organizations will host a community cleanup event to celebrate the occasion.

“The Gateway Arch National Park has participated in this for many years. It’s a way to celebrate all that the public lands — whether it’s a national park, state park, community park at whatever level — how important those are in our communities and in our lives individually,” said Pam Sanfilippo, program manager of museum services and interpretation at Gateway Arch National Park.

You can register online to take part in the Mississippi River cleanup, and organizers will provide volunteers with the materials required to safely participate. Cleanup sessions will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Collective STL will host a free yoga session at 9:30 a.m. at the Gateway Arch, and people of all ages and experience levels can join. You can register online to attend the yoga session, and Sanfilippo said attendees should bring a yoga mat, towel and water bottle.

From 1 to 4 p.m., you can visit the Explorer’s Garden (North Gateway) for the MonArch Migration event to learn about butterfly migration patterns, native plant species and urban ecology.

Those with dogs can enjoy activities from 2 to 5 p.m., including a 3 p.m. ranger-led walk featuring two “B.A.R.K. Superintendents.”

“Last year, our partner Gateway Arch Park Foundation ran a contest for people to take pictures of their dog in front of the arch or on the arch grounds and they were entered in a contest to be an honorary B.A.R.K. Superintendent for 2022,” Sanfilippo said. “The selection was a tie between an Australian Shepherd named Molly and a chocolate lab, Leila.”

B.A.R.K. stands for bag your pet’s waste, always leash your pet, respect wildlife and know where you can go. At Saturday’s event, you can sign your dog up to become a B.A.R.K. ranger, a pet who serves as an ambassador for safe, responsible pet handling at Gateway Arch National Park and national parks across the country.

Rangers will hold regular walking tours and museum programs Saturday in addition to the special events. If you plan to take a tram ride to the top of the arch on National Public Lands Day, Sanfilippo said you should consider making an online reservation ahead of time as spots may fill up.

More upcoming events at Gateway Arch National Park

Ghosts of the Arch Grounds

“Once a French colonial village and then primarily a warehouse district, the area of Gateway Arch National Park has always been central to the history of St. Louis. Learn about some major events, both great and tragic, that shaped the history of the area,” the NPS website reads.

The tour meets at 6:30 p.m. at the west main entrance plaza, and free telescope viewing will be available from 7 to 8:30 p.m., weather-permitting.

Writing Marathon

“Writers will gather at the Gateway Arch National Park grounds at 4 p.m. From there, smaller groups will form and break off from the whole. As groups wander, talk, and explore the landscape and architecture of St. Louis, they will take time to stop and write silently for a given amount of time. Once this time is up, writing will be shared. The group will then move to a new location to continue the process,” according to the NPS website.

This event will take place at 4 p.m. Oct. 17.

Meet the Builders of the Gateway Arch

“We have some of the individuals who helped to build the arch and completed it Oct. 28 of 1965, we have these individuals back to honor them and hear their stories,” Sanfilippo said. “They have some pictures of when they were working on helping to build the arch, and that’s always a very popular event held in the visitor’s center at the arch here.”

This event is free and open to the public, and it will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the tram lobby.