On March 31, members of the Forest Park Forever team were on hand to accept the Growing Green Community Champion Award from the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter. As an organization, we were honored to be nominated and incredibly proud to have received this unexpected recognition. We are happy to be in such great company with all the other winners, including the City of Maplewood, Gary Steps of Butterfly Energy Works, Lewis & Clark Community College and Western Specialty Contractors. And as always, we thank our terrific daily partner in caring for Forest Park, the City of St. Louis and its Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
About the awards, the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter says it is: "proud to celebrate and recognize the individuals, groups and organizations actively transforming the built environment while sharing their knowledge of green building and sustainable practices."
The application Forest Park Forever submitted for the Growing Green awards touched on so many aspects of our work, from major restoration projects to improvements we have been making in the offices, thanks to continuing encouragement and education from our Green Team (a cross-departmental group of sustainability-conscious individuals).
Our executive summary explained our commitment to green principles this way:
Over the past 30 years, Forest Park Forever has played a leadership role in dramatically restoring, maintaining and sustaining the landscapes and hardscapes of the region’s greatest civic treasure, Forest Park. Having raised more than $200 million for the Park, our team has partnered with the City of St. Louis’ Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry on a range of sustainability-minded Park initiatives, including restoring a healthy river system in the Park, developing and maintaining 170 acres of Nature Reserve (forests, prairies, wetlands), planting thousands of trees each year and educating students and teachers about conservation and sustainability. In addition, Forest Park Forever continually seeks to achieve key sustainability outcomes in capital restoration and improvement projects in collaboration with its City partner. This includes recently installing 128 energy-efficient LED lights above Art Hill; adding 25,000 SQF of new green space (5,000 new plantings, 100 new trees) and rain gardens to the new Festival & Parking Plaza; and partnering on the Forest Park Trolley. At every step and across departments — from capital projects to operations and education — Forest Park Forever strives for sustainable stewardship of this beloved community asset.
Many thanks to the USGBC for recognizing Forest Park Forever and the work we do to be a community champion!