Emerson Commits $5 Million To Forest Park | St. Louis Public Radio

Emerson Commits $5 Million To Forest Park

Feb 27, 2014

Emerson Electric is giving $5 million to help restore and maintain Forest Park.

The gift is the largest ever given by a publicly traded company to Forest Park Forever – the private non-profit that's partnered with the city to maintain the 1,371-acre park.

The money will help pay for new improvement projects and secure the park for future generations, said Forest Park Forever President and Executive Director Lesley Hoffarth.

"The great thing about Emerson's gift is it's a general gift to help us with where our biggest needs are,” she said. “Part of it will go for capital projects and part of it will go for our endowment so that there's money there to take care of the park long after we're all gone."

The funds will allow Forest Park Forever to continue with restoration work which began in the late 1990s, said Hoffarth.

"This gift is going to help us do the next phase of capital projects that include things like the upper MUNY parking lot, making improvements to our water waste system, infrastructure in the park, event spaces and recreation amenities,” she said.

Emerson has for many years also supported a number of the park's institutions including the zoo, art and history museums, and the Muny Opera amphitheater. In 2003, Emerson donated $3 million to restore the park's Grand Basin.