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New leadership at Forest Park

B-J-C wants to lease a small patch of Forest Park east of Kingshighway

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The group that's helped oversee improvements to Forest Park over the past 20 years will get a new boss on Teusday.

Frank Hamsher becomes the new executive director of Forest Park Forever in the middle of a controversy over Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

B-J-C wants to lease a small patch of the park east of Kingshighway... which has drawn critics and even a ballot initiative. For his part, Hamsher is in favor of the lease if certain restrictions are added.

"Protections to make sure all the funds from that lease would go into the maintenance of the park and to protect a certain amount of green space on the part of Hudlin Park that would be used by BJC," says Hamsher.

Hamsher's new job comes after 16 years at the public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard. While there he worked on a study of whether Forest Park should get property taxes... the way the zoo and art museum do.

"The most important strategy need for Forest Park is to ensure the long-term maintenance of the park, and that's going to need to be a combination of public resources and private donations," says Hamsher.

Mr. Hamsher also worked as a top aide to former Mayor Vince Schoemehl. He is replacing Jim Mann who left the position last year.


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