Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Backyard Safety Tips

First Friday in Grand Center, Green Homes Festival, House & Garden Tours, Free Concerts and St. Louis Uncorked

June 6, 2014 | 6 min reading time

This article is 8 years old. It was published on June 6, 2014.


Backyard Safety Tips

As families move outdoors to enjoy nice weather in spring and summer, special precautions should be taken to ensure outdoor areas are safe from potential hazards.  According to experts, the average life expectancy of a wood deck is approximately 15 years.  Just like other parts of your home, regular maintenance and inspection of your deck are required.  To prolong the life of your deck, you need to check for things like loose boards, protruding nails, corrosion of connectors and fasteners, cracks and rot.  You also should keep your deck clean from debris and depending on the type of deck boards used, keep them sealed to protect against water and sun damage.  If you see any of the above warning signs, you should consider repairing, retrofitting or rebuilding your deck.

Other items to keep in mind for backyard safety:

* Practice constant, adult supervision around any body of water.

* Designate the grilling area as a "No Play Zone" and keep kids and pets well away until grill equipment is completely cool.

* Check propane cylinder hoses for leaks before use.

* Don't leave tools and equipment in the yard.

* Keep steps, sidewalks and patios in good repair.

* Check all swings, slides, playhouses and other structures for sharp objects, rusty metal pieces or weakened support pieces.

It takes all of us, working together, to make our homes safer and to avoid preventable injuries.


Upcoming Events

June 6 -- First Fridays, Grand Center, 5 p.m.

Every first Friday of the month enjoy a neighborhood gallery walk from 5 to 9 p.m. and see the latest art exhibitions at numerous Grand Center arts organizations, including the Bruno David Gallery, Craft Alliance, the Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, Portfolio Gallery, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Sheldon Art Galleries, and the Saint Louis University Museum of Art.  For more details, visit the web site.

June 7 –Ribbon Cutting for Carondelet Connector, Carondelet Park, 9 a.m.

Spend Saturday morning in St. Louis' beautiful Carondelet Park for the Ribbon Cutting on the Carondelet Connector.  The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in the Park near the intersection of Holly Hills and Grand Drive.  The Carondelet Connector links the River des Peres Greenway trail at Germania and I-55 to Carondelet Park.  The one-mile segment provides access to Loughborough Commons and extends the established trail system within the Park.  City Cycling Tours will be on hand with some bikes to borrow for a quick tour of the new trail.  For more details, visit the web site.

June 7 -- Green Homes Festival, Missouri Botanical Garden, 9 a.m.

The Green Homes Festival will take place this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  Visitors will be able to explore more than 70 green product and service exhibitions and get tips from experts on everything from energy savings to backyard beekeeping.  Shop the Green Marketplace, enjoy local foods and live music.  Cost is $8 for adults.  For more information, call (314) 577-5100 or visit the web site.

June 7 & 8 -- 45th Annual Lafayette Square Spring House and Garden Tour, begin at Park House (corner of Lafayette &Mississippi), 10 a.m.

The 45th Annual Lafayette Square Spring House and Garden Tour will take place this Saturday and Sunday.  Lafayette Square will be buzzing with activity this weekend with carriage rides, trolley rides, a Saturday night concert, costumed historical characters, Antiques Around the Fence and more.  The self-guided walking tour will go on rain or shine.  The tour will include a dozen Victorian-era homes and gardens.  Tickets may be purchased online or on the day of the event.  Visit the web site for times and details.

June 7 -- Regional Community Garden Tour, Tower Grove South & Shaw Neighborhoods, begin at 3354 McKean, 8:30 a.m.

Gateway Greening will conduct a Regional Community Garden Walking Tour this Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to Noon through the Tower Grove South and Shaw neighborhoods.  The tour will feature six gardens of various uses and will be approximately two miles in distance. Visit the website for all the details.

June 7 -- Grand Center Architecture and History Tours, Strauss Park, 10 a.m.

Every Saturday in May and June, Grand Center sponsors free Architecture and History Walking Tours that provide a unique glimpse into the District's magnificent buildings, rich history, dynamic neighborhood and vibrant arts culture, as well as a preview of the exciting plans for the future.  The tours depart from Strauss Park, Grand and Washington.  Questions?  Call (314) 289-1512 or visit

June 7 -- Historic St. Louis Maps for Genealogists, Missouri History Museum, 10 a.m.

Missouri History Museum librarian Emily Jaycox will present a talk this Saturday about how specialized types of maps can help you locate new facts about your family history.  The free lecture will begin at 10 a.m. in the Museum's AT&T Foundation Multipurpose Room, 5700 Lindell Boulevard in Forest Park.  For more information, visit the web site.

June 6 & 7 –St. Louis Uncorked, Soldiers' Memorial, 5 p.m.

The annual St. Louis Uncorked festival will take place this Friday & Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at Soldiers' Memorial, 1315 Chestnut Street in beautiful Downtown St. Louis.  Enjoy the finest selection of local wines, live music, craft beers and delicious gourmet food.  The event is free to attend.  Beer and wine sampling will be available at the cash bars and at certain vendor booths.

June 8 --Carondelet Neighborhood Bus Tours, start at the Altenheim, 1 p.m.

The Carondelet Historical Society will sponsor bus tours of the Carondelet Neighborhood this Sunday as part of the 250th anniversary celebration of St. Louis.  The tour will feature the chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Historical Society museum and the balcony of the Altenheim nursing home for a view of the Mississippi River.  Buses will run from the Altenheim, 5804 S. Broadway, every 20 minutes from 1 to 3:30 p.m. to the other sites.  Participants are asked to bring nonperishable food items for donation to two local food pantries.

June 8 -- Spring Picnic, St. Joseph Croatian Catholic Church, Noon

St. Joseph Croatian Catholic Church, the second oldest CroatianChurch west of the Mississippi River, will hold its annual Spring Picnic this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. inside the Church's two air-conditioned halls.  Music will begin at Noon.  Bring your family and friends with you to enjoy great food, entertainment and more  .The church is located at 2112 S. 12th Street in the Soulard neighborhood.  Visit to learn more.

June 8 -- Concert in the Park, Benton Park Lakeside, 3 p.m.

Invite your family and friends to join you for the free Concert in Benton Park this Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. Lakeside.  Bring your lawn chairs, snacks and beverages and enjoy Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing band.  For a list of all the upcoming events in Benton Park, visit

June 8 –Sunday Night Concerts, Carondelet Park, 6 p.m.

The Carondelet Community Betterment Federation is once again sponsoring Concerts in the Park this summer at Carondelet Park, South St. Louis Square Park, Bellerive Park and Fanetti Park.  The Sunday Night Concert in Carondelet Park, located at Holly Hills and Loughborough, this Sunday will feature the Younger Brothers from 6 –8 p.m. Bring your lawn chair and snacks and enjoy a fun, free concert in the park.  For more information, visit

June 9 –Monday Night Concerts, South St. Louis Square Park, 7 p.m.

The Monday Night Concert in South St. Louis Square Park this coming Monday, June 9 will feature the band Presentations from 7 –9 p.m.  Bring your family and friends and enjoy a free concert in the park.  The park is located at S. Broadway & Courtois in the Patch neighborhood.  For a complete list of upcoming concerts sponsored by the Carondelet Community Betterment Federation, visit .

Save the Date

June 13 – Food Truck Friday, Tower Grove Park, 4 p.m.

June 13 – Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Soulard Art Market & Contemporary Art Gallery, 7 p.m.

June 13 – New Exhibit Opening Reception & 3rd Anniversary Celebration, SOHA Studio and Gallery, 6 p.m.

June 13 & 14 –Saint Louis Brewers Guild Heritage Festival 2014, Forest Park, 6 p.m.

June 14 – Free Family Day, Contemporary Art Museum, 1 p.m.

June 14 – Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, Market & Tucker, 6:30 a.m.

June 15 – Father's Day Sunday Brunch Cruise, Gateway Arch Riverboats, 1 p.m.

Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight?  If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration.  You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is at the very bottom of the home page.  The listing is free.  I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

The Ultimate St. Louis Tourist Contest

The St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation is sponsoring a contest for children ages 8 through 18 who enjoy St. Louis attractions.  Contestants must stop by at least three St. Louis-area attractions and then write about their visits in 500 words or less.  Cash prizes of $500 each will be awarded to one winner in each of five categories.  Entries can only be submitted via and will be accepted through Sept. 2.

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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