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Forest Park gets $5 million gift

Jack Taylor.

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Forest Park received a $5 million gift Monday; the largest ever from an individual.

The Jack Taylor family, which owns Enterprise Rent-A-Car made the donation to the Forest Park Trust Maintenance Endowment.

Jack Taylor says after the $94 million effort to restore the park, he was concerned a lack of maintenance dollars might lead to its deterioration.

"I said how are we going to keep that from happening?' Well, one of the ways you do is to set up a fund to provide for good maintenance and that's basically what called me into doing it," Taylor said.

The Taylor family previously provided funding for the park's Boathouse.

A study by the group Forest Park Forever and the city estimate about $4.5 million dollars is needed annually to maintain the park.

The city currently provides $1.5 million each year. But Forest Park Forever Chairman John Ferring says the eventual goal is to raise the full amount from private donations:

"We're trying to give them budgetary relief of that million and a half going forward because they can use it in the schools, for the police; that maintaining Forest Park is something we think we can take over with their help and with their assistance."

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