KINLOCH, Mo. — Across the street from Kinloch Park in north St. Louis County, there's housing for University of Missouri St. Louis students, where Patience Maddock has lived for two years.
"It's not as bad as people think. You do hear gunshots at night, kind of get used to them, unfortunately," Maddock said.
Back in the 1890s, the Kinloch neighborhood was developed as a commuter suburb after the establishment of the Wabash Railroad. A small area was reserved for purchase by Blacks.
"Kinloch is a historical North County community. One of the first communities in the state founded by African Americans, and over time this part of our community has really fallen on to hard times," St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said.
Page is leading efforts to revitalize Kinloch Park to draw in economic investment in the area.
"This really is going to be a very nice park in the middle of a community that needs a shot in the arm," Page said.
"For this park, there's a lot of people that come here, the donuts they like to do, they like to race in there," Maddock said.
Renovations would include a new playground, a new shelter area, updated basketball courts, football and soccer fields and a half-mile walking trail around the park.
"If they added swing sets, playground stuff, I think I would even play on it," Maddock said.
"This is a $500,000 grant and St. Louis County will provide matching funds, so this is really a big investment," Page said.
The St. Louis County Parks Foundation's also applied for a $250,000 federal grant towards the park's improvements.
"We're excited to have the support and the commitment of the St. Louis County Parks Foundation. They could be focusing anywhere in the county and they've chosen to focus on Kinloch," Page said.
Page says if the federal funding gets approved, they could break ground later this year.