Rally St. Louis Crowdsourcing Project To Revamp City

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-- The crowdsourcing effort originally projected as a marketing coup for the St. Louis area is quickly turning to more “big picture” concepts.  Rally St. Louis has added three more projects to a “funding stage” where people can contribute to their implementation, but they aren’t what you might expect.

“When we started we thought it would be mostly marketing ideas, but there have been a lot of huge transformation ides,” Rally St. Louis’ Sheila Mikles said Tuesday.

The latest projects include a pitch to revamp the River Des Peres.

“To where it could actually be an area to have crew teams out there,” Mikles said.  “You could kayak to other places.  To make it a happening attraction where it could always be filled.”

Joe McIver is pitching something called Extreme Underpass Makeover, whereby crumbling underpasses that separate many city neighborhoods would be overhauled and turned into art projects.

“Get rid of the scary dark, unsafe underpasses,” he said.  “Make them bright, put some art installations into them. Basically to connect all these neighborhoods once again to make them better.”

The overhaul of a dilapidated cemetery near the airport is also being funded.

In each case, the concept was voted up by users of the Rally St. Louis website.  Now people can go online and make donations to the projects they like, helping them reach funding goals, usually in the $15,000 to $40,000 range.  Of course larger donors are also being sought after the social media word is spread.

“From there make a plan to talk to some big whigs who actually can donate big chunks of money instead of one dollar, five dollars here, which are important too, but the big chunks would be great,” McIver said.

Three projects that were originally voted into the funding stage are close to reality.  An urban farm called FoodRoof has raised nearly $20,000.  Plans to turn vacant lots into basketball courts and a mural on the old Cotton Belt building also are moving toward being funded at the end of the month.

For more information go to http://www.rallystl.org/Ideas/Fund