In the Beginning. Initial efforts by Forest Park Forever raised money to make improvements to existing facilities within the park.
The Master Plan. In 1995, the City of St. Louis adopted a master plan for the Park that would conserve its size, beauty, and quality while satisfying the needs of its users. A public/private partnership was formed. Forest Park Forever and the City embarked on an effort to raise a combined total of $94 million in public and private funds for sweeping improvements to the Park’s infrastructure, environment, landscapes, athletic facilities, and historic buildings. This first phase of Park improvements was largely completed in 2003, and the success of the public/private restoration of Forest Park has become a national model for urban park renewal.
Sustainability. In 2009, a new Forest Park Forever strategic plan was adopted to guide the park in the post-restoration era. The plan spells out five key goals, all focused on using resources to support sustainability and preservation of Forest Park going forward:
Prioritizing the visitor’s experience.
Clarifying and expanding the role of Forest Park Forever to sustain and maintain the park at the highest standards of excellence.
Seeking financial stability and sustainability for the park.
Attracting quality leadership.
Building community awareness and support for sustaining Forest Park at its current high level of restoration.
Managed by Forest Park Forever, the Visitor Center has quickly become a hub for multi-generational activities. Naturalist Programs have drawn Park users who want to know more about the Park’s flora and fauna. Volunteer-led walking tours offer active recreation coupled with Park history and folklore, and audio tours of the Park are available for a self-guided experience.