St. Louis’ Byrne & Jones Construction launches parks division

Ben Brown

St. Louis-based Byrne & Jones Construction Inc. is expanding operations with the launch of a new Parks Division.  The division will design, engineer and install recreational spaces and amenities for state, county and municipal governments and schools.

Recreational consultant Ben Brown will lead business development efforts for the division, which employs seven dedicated team members, with additional support from more than 50 specialists in other Byrne & Jones divisions. Founded in 1976, Byrne & Jones is a diversified civil site contractor and one the largest paving and sports facility contractors in St. Louis with a concrete, asphalt, sports, microsurfacing, soil stabilization and now a parks division.

Brown has 20 years of business development and project management experience, operating the last five years as a dedicated recreational consultant working with public and private entities and recreational equipment and material providers.    

Plummer Family Park, Edwardsville, Illinois

Brown notes the new Parks Division will serve communities that saw a significant increase in parks and recreation space usage during the pandemic.  “If there’s one thing we learned during this pandemic, it’s that parks and open spaces are essential to mental and physical health and well-being.  There’s a lot of new data coming in on how people and families use parks and recreational facilities that we can use to help communities and institutions improve playgrounds, park design, and physical fitness amenities,” Brown said.

A recent landmark study by the Trust for Public Land noted:   

  • Parks are widely recognized as critical for health and wellness, reducing stress, anxiety and depression and improving physical health – all the more necessary during a public health crisis.
  • Over the past 16 months, parks and public land have experienced some of their highest usage in modern times, with public officials reporting dramatic upticks in visitors.
  • Parks are proving to be an essential part of how the nation copes and recovers from the global pandemic.

Among the types of recreational spaces that Byrne & Jones will create include:

Multi-purpose fieldsSport specific fields such as football, baseball, lacrosse and soccer
Dynamic play areasUniversal playgrounds for all abilities
Pocket parksMulti-use Trailways
Tennis and pickleball courtsRunning tracks

In addition, Byrne & Jones will build amenities and supportive infrastructure including roads, parking, sidewalks concession stands, restrooms, public seating and more.

In launching the new Parks Division, Byrne & Jones will tap its extensive experience in building more than 450 athletic fields for high schools, colleges and communities as well as other recreational venues.  Key projects have included:

  • Forest Park biking and walking trails
  • O’Fallon Family Sports Park, O’Fallon, Ill.
  • O’Fallon Sports Park, O’Fallon, Mo.
  • Centennial Greenway for the Great Rivers Greenway.
  • Rantoul Family Sports Complex
  • Plummer Family Park, Edwardsville, Ill.
  • St. Louis College of Health Careers
  • Tower Grove Park, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Columbia Bottom Conservation Area