The hole at Ballpark Village is no more. New development is coming soon. But there's still time to celebrate the end of downtown's biggest vacant lot. Let's have a party and raise some money for a good cause while we're at it!
From stories I've heard, when the Arch was built, school kids around St. Louis were invited to put their names in a time capsule placed under the Arch during construction. Why not do something similar at Ballpark Village?
While the hole's been filled, there's still time to sink a time capsule at the site. For a $1 or so, folks from across the region could register their names and a sentiment message (say 60 characters or less), to be added to a time capsule to be buried underground at Ballpark Village. All proceeds could go to benefit the work of Cardinal Care, the St. Louis Cardinal's charitable foundation.
For a little extra, you could get a commemorative, numbered and authenticated, "Ballpark Village Time Capsule Certificate". For a few dollars more, you could have your certificate personalized by a favorite Cardinal player or team owner.
Then, up at street level, above the sunken time capsule, mounted on a pedestal, somewhere in the middle of Ballpark Village there could be a plaque, a point of interest for Ballpark Village visitors for years to come. The plaque could describe how in the year 2008, St. Louisans from across the region, came together to commemorate the building of Busch Stadium II, Ballpark Village, the revitalization of downtown St. Louis, and the tradition of Cardinal baseball, all while raising funds to support the good work of Cardinal Care.
The plaque could be designed to cover a hidden access to the time capsule, which could be opened again in the year 2082, on the 200th anniversary of the St. Louis Cardinals. Adults of today would be long gone, but some kids would still remember the placing of the capsule.
The plaque of the time capsule could also highlight the 2009 St. Louis All Star game season.
To get things started, a local bank could set up a trust account to hold funds. Fundraising could start at any time, and run all the way through to the end of the 2009 season. This way, there'd be plenty of time to organize and raise money. No need to rush to a quick deadline. By allowing more time, more people could get involved.
Cardinal Care could partner with other groups by allowing joint fundraising efforts. Say a scout group wanted to raise money. They could tie in with the time capsule project and raise money for both efforts. Either split the proceeds, or charge $2 per entry with a $1 going to the scouts and a $1 to Cardinal Care.
Another nice aspect of this concept is the way it takes the BV project and leverages it into a much larger community effort which we can remember for years to come. It gets people involved and supports good stuff. Everybody wins. With a year to sign folks up and collect money, a lot could be raised.
How do we get an idea like this going? Call the Cardinal Care people, right? Let's do and see what happens.