5QS: Meet Steve Burkhardt, Facility Manager at the Visitor Center
Note: This is the fourth post in 5QS, our series of interviews with Forest Park Forever staff. Today, we check in with Steve Burkhardt, shown above with his daughter Skyler.
1. How do you describe your Forest Park Forever role to new people you meet?
My job is to make sure the Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center facility is maintained in excellent condition. I oversee all facility rentals, including the Learning Lab, Voyagers Room and Locker Rooms, and I work with Catering St. Louis in renting the Trolley Room. I also supervise the Visitor Service Representatives who provide information to visitors on evenings and weekends.
2. What are the benefits of stopping in the Visitor Center while enjoying a day in Forest Park?
The Visitor Center is by far the best place to obtain information about Forest Park, but that’s not all we have to offer. We have meeting and party rooms to rent, or you can stop by the Forest Perk Café for a morning coffee or lunch.
3. What do you think is one of the best-kept secrets about the Visitor Center?
I would have to say the member locker rooms, complete with showers. A large number of people utilize the running/walking paths before, during and after work. Yet many don’t realize that we have facilities available that will allow them to get a quick refresh after their fitness activity.
4. What do you think makes the Trolley Room such a popular place for weddings and events in Forest Park?
I have worked as the Facility Manager for one year and four months. During that time I have had the pleasure of showing the Trolley Room to a number of people looking for an ideal location to have their wedding reception. Upon entering the room, almost everyone comments about how beautiful the Trolley Room is and how beautiful the Park itself is. The room is very unique, and families love the location.
5. As a runner, what is your favorite running route in Forest Park?
I prefer to run the perimeter of the Park. You see a wide variety of sights including an outdoor ice-skating rink, two dinosaurs outside the Planetarium and a few animals at the Zoo. And as an avid golfer, I enjoy the views of the golf course on Lindell and Skinker.