Sandra Cabot, the city of Ste. Genevieve’s tourism director, gave an update on the progress in establishing a national park here during a presentation Saturday at the annual Ste. Genevieve History Conference.
The conference took place at the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center.
Cabot also introduced Madison Baker, who manages U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s office in Cape Girardeau. Baker spoke briefly, assuring the audience that the federal government is “continuing to be diligent” in getting things lined out with the formation of the park and that Blunt is vitally interested in the project.
“It’s a priority to him,” Baker said.
Cabot briefly outlined the push for the park, which came to fruition with the passage of legislation in March 2018, signed by President Donald Trump.
“We got really excited at that time,” Cabot said. “I gave an update to last year’s history conference, and it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s a whole year later and here I am with another update.”
She said “some significant developments that can be considered milestones” have taken place in the 18 or so months since Trump signed the legislation.
She spoke about a recent visit by acting National Park Service (NPS) director David Vela.
“We certainly were thrilled to have him here,” Cabot said.
Vela, who had made a promise to Blunt that he would visit Ste. Genevieve, followed through and was impressed.
“He seemed generally moved by what he saw here in Ste. Genevieve,” Cabot said. “The long and short of it was ‘Now I get it.’ You can’t come to Ste. Genevieve and walk down these historic streets and see this incredible architecture and experience the ambiance and the feel of it without it just really having an impact on you.”
A standing invitation has been made to the NPS to share office space at the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center while the park is being established.
See complete story in the September 25 edition of the Herald.