Forest Park | St. Louis Public Radio

Forest Park

Restoring the prairie, Missouri's endangered habitat

Sep 30, 2013
Forest Park prairies and savannas: Yellow area is Kennedy savanna; red area is Deer Lake prairie and savanna; purple is Hidden Creek savanna; and green area is Steinberg prairie.
Forest Park Forever

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: You’re walking south along Skinker next to Forest Park. Going past the golf course, you decide to turn into the park. Bordering mowed pathways, sky high grasses grow, and yellow flowers bloom above your head. Bees, bumblebees, butterflies, and beetles flit or crawl around on pink Monarda, black-eyed Susans, yellow flowers and grasses too numerous and varied to name. Insects hum. A goldfinch flies around.

Commentary: Building The City That We Deserve

Aug 21, 2013
(Courtesy Jarred Gastreich)

Listeners following the city’s ongoing renaissance may have heard of a project named Midtown Station, a giant commercial center proposed for Vandeventer and Forest Park. This could be a dreadful retail strip or a game-changing development. The way it gets built matters a lot.


(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.

Into The Wilds...Of Forest Park

Nov 28, 2012
Philip Hamer, MUNY

When most St. Louisans want to see wildlife in Forest Park, they head for the St. Louis Zoo.

But Forest Park Forever ecologist Peter VanLinn says there are plenty of animals in the rest of the park, too.

Not long after dawn on a brisk fall morning, he met up with St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra in Forest Park’s Kennedy Forest, to look for some.

LACAPRA: What kind of wildlife might we see in the Kennedy Forest?

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

One of the toughest intersections for pedestrians in the city is getting a makeover.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday set in motion a nearly $2 million  upgrade to the intersection of Clayton, Skinker, and Oakland on the southwest corner of Forest Park. Improvements include new signals, bike lanes, and crosswalks.

Morning headlines: Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sep 12, 2012
(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Last of escapees captured

The last of five men who escaped from the Pike County Jail last weekend is back in custody. Pike County Sheriff Stephen Korte says 40-year-old William John Thomas Wilkerson of Florissant was captured overnight in St. Louis County. Korte says Wilkerson was caught after someone called police to report a suspicious person at an apartment complex. He was arrested without incident.

St. Louis Zoo to buy Forest Park Hospital property

Mar 12, 2012
(via Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated 4:36 p.m. with comment from Jeffrey Bonner.

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced plans to buy the Forest Park Hospital site on Oakland Avenue, just south of Highway 40. The acquisition would allow the zoo to expand its parking, research, and office space.

The Saint Louis Zoo Association signed a conditional contract with the site owner, Medline Industries, Inc., on March 8. The price and contract terms were not disclosed.

Controlled fire burns new life into Forest Park

Dec 2, 2011
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

About 14 acres of Forest Park burned today as part of a new effort to naturally maintain its wildlife areas.

Clouds of white smoke wafted above Kingshighway as fire consumed acres of dry grass and brush in a north-east area of Forest Park.  Peter VanLinn, a park ecologist says this is the first controlled burn in the park's 135-year history.

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 2, 2012 - Visitors to Forest Park on Friday morning could not help but notice some smoke and fire, the result of a controlled burn. In an effort to improve the natural quality of a prairie in the Deer Lake Natural Area of the park, the city of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever organized the controlled burn shortly before noon.

(via Google Maps screen capture)

Don't panic if you see a fire in Forest Park tomorrow afternoon.

Weather permitting, Forest Park Forever, and the city's parks and fire departments will conduct a 14-acre controlled burn in the Deer Lake Natural Area, near the Union Ave. entrance to the park.

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/ChrisYunker)

A $25 million donation to Forest Park may be in jeopardy if the St. Louis Board of Aldermen cannot approve a bond issue for parks improvement by the end of the year.

The two bond issues - one for Forest Park, another for the city's 100+ other parks - stalled again Thursday at the Board of Aldermen.

The bills would work in the following way:

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio/Google Maps)

The St. Louis City streets department has closed Park Rd., a cut-off between Union and Lindell near Forest Park, to through traffic in an effort to improve pedestrian access to Forest Park.

Streets director Todd Waelterman says cars that used the road to avoid the stoplight at Union and Lindell were often traveling at a high rate of speed, making it difficult for pedestrians to cross. The closure will require drivers to use the stoplight, which includes crosswalks and pedestrian signals.

The Muny overlooks a reflective pool.
(via Flickr/lissalou66)

Updated to correct spelling of Isaacson's name.

Four new shows will mark the Muny's first season under new executive director Mike Isaacson.

One of those shows has appeared on the Muny state before, says Kate Lane, Isaacson's assistant. But the Muny did not produce the version of "Chicago" that theatergoers saw in 1977. Instead, the Broadway cast left New York for a week of performances. This will be the first time the Muny itself produces the show.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 11, 2011 - Mike Arduser is used to hearing coyotes at home. "They're in my backyard in Webster. Deer Creek runs through there, and that part of Deer Creek is wild," says Arduser, an urban wildlife biologist and educator for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

January-March was mating season, and the coyotes were more vocal and visible.

"They're pairing up. You hear a lot more music (howling) in the winter months," he said, before pups are born, usually in April.

New traffic routing system and trolley service coming to Forest Park

Mar 29, 2011
(Julie Bierach/St. Louis Public Radio)

Beginning Friday, a new traffic routing system and trolley service will be implemented at Forest Park.

The new traffic plan (see map below) was announced today by the non-profit Forest Park Forever and partnering institutions to help alleviate congestion at the Hampton entrance to the park.

Lesley Hoffarth, president of Forest Park Forever, said that from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day, vehicles will be diverted to the east on Wells.

LouFest 2011 lineup announced

Mar 29, 2011
(via Flickr/angela n.)

Last year, LouFest brought the likes of Jeff Tweedy and others to Forest Park in St. Louis. This year, a whole new lineup of acts has been announced for the 2011 event.

Here's the full lineup, as presented by LouFest. For more information, check out the LouFest website:

The Roots

TV On The Radio

(via Flickr/pasa47)

An environmental group is urging St. Louis voters to approve Proposition E in the April election.

The proposition asks voters whether the city can retain the 1 percent earnings tax, which generates about one-third of the city’s budget.

The Sierra Club is encouraging St. Louisans to vote yes.

John Hickey says the earnings tax is the main source of funding for the city’s parks.

St. Louis area to get $550K for trails

Mar 17, 2011
david_shane | Flickr

Gov. Jay Nixon has announced that the St. Louis area will get about $550,000 to improve or develop trails.

The awards that are from a federal grant channeled through the state's Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails Program.

Forest Park hearing on new path amenities

Dec 1, 2010
(Forest Park Forever)

Always looking for a place to relieve yourself on that afternoon run in Forest Park? Look no further.

As workers put the final touches on side-by-side hard and soft exercise paths ringing Forest Park, another hearing will be held tonight on the amenities that will be added along the paths.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 23, 2010 - The exciting news from the Arch grounds took precedence in the Beacon's reporting on civic affairs and urban planning this week. We are proud to say our news organization continued its assiduous watch on the project and was quick and nimble in bringing our readers news of the selection of Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates of Brooklyn as designer of the ambitious and necessary project. The Beacon was tipped off by the blog;  following its lead, we put up our report as quickly as possible, well ahead of other media in the region.

Forest Park: Capturing a year in the life

Apr 21, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 21, 2010 - Alex Paradowski, a graphic designer who has a passion for photography, began his presentation Tuesday evening at the Missouri History Museum on a humble note.

Introducing his book, a one-year photographic diary of Forest Park, Paradowski said, “Anyone can do what I’ve done. Cameras today are so automatic and the park is so photogenic.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008 -  About 130 years after Forest Park's June 1876 opening, enthusiasts of one of the city's most popular attractions can carry renderings of its jewels in their pockets.

Groups and cultural institutions devoted to making the park shine have collaborated to publish Forest Park, St. Louis (Scala 2007), a small book that features vertical and horizontal fold-out sections on the park's features, such as the Muny, the Science Center and the Zoo. Proceeds from Forest Park go to the Flora Conservancy, a volunteer group that works to maintain the park's arboreal aesthetics.