Forest Park Forever

Forest Park Forever president and executive director Lesley Hoffarth said public input will help guide future changes and upgrades at the city's most well-known green space.
Flickr |ChrisYunker

A new MetroLink station and improved bike lanes are among nine possible long-range strategies being considered to transform how people get around St. Louis’ Forest Park.

St. Louis officials and Forest Park Forever, a nonprofit group, reviewed the results of public input over the course of nine months, including 1,300 responses to an online survey and comments from open house meetings. They publicly presented the refined list of suggested improvements during an open house Thursday.

Image from Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park's Future
Provided by Michael Eastman and Forest Park Forever

Forest Park Forever is celebrating its 30th anniversary by giving three artists $3,000 each.

The money is a stipend for three, three-week-long residencies in the park from May to September. Stephen Schenkenberg, the organization’s strategic communications director, says the project’s intended to answer the question:

“How can we celebrate in a way that the community ultimately gets something new, someone’s new interpretation or expression of what the park means?”

Model of entrance markers for Forest Park
Ben Senturia

A largely ornamental $3 million construction program announced this summer for Forest Park -- one presented as a way to provide visitors a comprehensive idea what that big, leafy, attractive expanse of woodlands, savannas, golf courses, ball fields, fish ponds and cultural institutions between Kingshighway and Skinker actually is -- made a full-scale move ahead when prototypical models of gates, or entrance markers, appeared at two places.

Forest Park Forever president and executive director Lesley Hoffarth said public input will help guide future changes and upgrades at the city's most well-known green space.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Forest Park Forever wants to hear from the public about how people enter, get around and access attractions at the green space in the heart of the city.

Forest Park Forever and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis open a new outdoor playing area
Wayne Pratt|St. Louis Public Radio

There is now another spot in St. Louis for chess lovers to enjoy the game in the great outdoors.

Forest Park Forever has partnered with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis on four outdoor, concrete tables near Steinberg Skating Rink.

The area is designed to attract more people to that section of the park throughout the year and expose more people, especially youngsters, to chess.

World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Visitors will have a new reason to love Forest Park in the coming years: a new interactive digital map.  Forest Park Forever’s Director of Strategic Communications Stephen Schenkenberg, 41, assures people the new map will provide an array of useful services for first timers and for those who think they know every inch of the park.

Entrances to Forest Park will be clearly marked.
Provided by Forest Park Forever

Call them entry markers or portals or entrances or doorways — call them by any of those names, just don’t call these in-the-works architectural structures planned to start appearing around Forest Park in the spring “gates.”

Why?  Almost 14 years ago a grand plan for elaborately designed ceremonial gates fell into an unceremonious heap.

Host Don Marsh speaks with Lesley Hoffarth, president and executive director of Forest Park Forever.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Since opening in 1876, Forest Park has been one of St. Louis’ go-to spots for the city’s most notable events, including the 1904 World’s Fair. With landmarks such as the Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo and The Muny, the 1300-acre park has earned its reputation as “one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world.”

Photo courtesy of Enterprise Holdings

Nine cultural, educational and historical institutions in the St. Louis area will receive money as a part of $92.5 million in donations from the family of Enterprise Holdings founder Jack Taylor.

The family announced the gifts Wednesday, two weeks after $22 million in donations were made public by the Taylors.

President & Executive Director of Forest Park Forever Leslie Hoffarth and Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Gary Bess unveil the new signs.
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio intern

Forest Park will be getting a face lift over the next few months as the park adds new signs, improved water fountains and more bike racks. That’s according to an announcement made by Forest Park Forever on Tuesday.

The group also said the park will be heating three of its bathrooms to accommodate park goers year round. Paths and trails will be improved to make these bathrooms more accessible as well.

Lesley Hoffarth, president and executive director of Forest Park Forever, says the upgrades were prompted by complaints and recommendations made by visitors.

(via Flickr/ChrisYunker)

Visitors to Forest Park can expect to see some upgrades over the next five years, thanks to an agreement signed Friday between the city of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever.

(via Flickr/pasa47)

After 18 months of work behind the scenes, a three-week delay, and two hours of debate that covered topics from roller skating to Robert Frost, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has sent a $64 million bond issue for the city's parks to Mayor Francis Slay.

Forest Park Forever president and executive director Lesley Hoffarth said public input will help guide future changes and upgrades at the city's most well-known green space.
Flickr |ChrisYunker

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen appears likely to meet an end-of-the-year deadline to pass a bond issue for the city’s parks, giving initial approval today to legislation that would issue $64 million in debt to fund major capital repairs at the more than 100 parks in the city limit.

(via Flickr/MinimalistPhotography101.com)

St. Louis police say stepped-up patrols and a change in patrol tactics have brought a recent upward trend in burglaries back down.

Overall, burglaries are up in the city 11 percent since last year, driven by a large jump in the theft of material that can be sold for scrap, like copper pipes.

There could be two new options for St. Louis residents to use their property tax bills  next year as a vehicle for charitable donations.