Forest Park Forever and the Missouri Department of Conservation are thrilled to provide you this series of audio tours of Forest Park's Nature Reserve system. We would like to thank Fox 2's John Pertzborn for reading each entry.
In May 2016, Forest Park Forever and the Missouri Department of Conservation unveiled a new series of free professional audio tours that enable visitors to learn more about Deer Lake Savanna, John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest and the Savanna in Kennedy Forest (the page you're on now). Each audio tour is narrated by Fox 2's John Pertzborn, who has long had an interest in history and natural spaces, including Forest Park. While we have built this tour to be available on any device, we imagine many visitors will enjoy listening via their phones as they walk through the areas themselves.
We recommend playing this brief audio introduction to Kennedy Forest's Savanna, then proceeding to the full tour with corresponding images. The full walking tour should take between 20-30 minutes, depending on your pace. Enjoy!
The Savanna in Kennedy Forest is an 8-acre native plant community restoration that began in 1999. The restoration of this site was spearheaded by volunteers from the Kennedy Woods Advisory Group (KWAG), with support from the St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and the Missouri Department of Conservation. The goal of this restoration was to re-establish high-quality savanna habitat similar to what was historically found in the St. Louis region. Many members of the community were involved in the seed collection and dispersal that was used to establish the now-flourishing native plant communities. Today, visitors can enjoy a sunny summer walk to view the ever-changing wildflower blooms. Birders can regularly catch sight of large raptors like the red-tailed hawk perched in a dead tree snag looking for another meal. Most notably, this site offers a sunny opening with many wildflowers to attract a wide array of pollinators including more than 33 species of bees and wasps and more than 20 species of butterflies and moths.