Meet the gardeners, horticulturists, Nature Reserve staff and other team members who help make Forest Park the magnificent place it is


Land Management Leadership

SHAWNELL FABER DIRECTOR OF LAND MANAGEMENT EMAIL | P: 314.932.5950 Shawnell Faber joined the Forest Park Forever team in early 2016 after serving as the City of Webster Groves’ park manager since 2002. She brings decades of horticulture experience to her new role. During her time with the City of Webster Groves, Shawnell oversaw a wide variety of projects across the city’s 17 parks, public spaces and green spaces. Shawnell received a B.S. in Horticulture and holds memberships in several professional organizations, including Gateway Professional Horticulturist Association and Missouri Community Forestry Council among others

SHAWNELL FABER
DIRECTOR OF LAND MANAGEMENT
EMAIL | P: 314.932.5950

Shawnell Faber joined the Forest Park Forever team in early 2016 after serving as the City of Webster Groves’ park manager since 2002. She brings decades of horticulture experience to her new role. During her time with the City of Webster Groves, Shawnell oversaw a wide variety of projects across the city’s 17 parks, public spaces and green spaces. Shawnell received a B.S. in Horticulture and holds memberships in several professional organizations, including Gateway Professional Horticulturist Association and Missouri Community Forestry Council among others

ROMAN FOX LANDSCAPE DESIGNER/HORTICULTURE PROJECT MANAGER EMAIL Roman Fox joined the Forest Park Forever team in May of 2017. He is responsible for reviewing proposed landscape plans, providing expertise during landscape installations and coordinating landscape restoration efforts during construction events and/or programed events in the Park. Roman previously worked as Agriculture and Horticulture Instructor in secondary education. He has over ten years of experience working turf, greenhouse, landscape and forest management. He has a B.S. in Agriculture Education from Clemson University. He comes to St. Louis from Champaign, Illinois, and is originally from South Carolina. Roman enjoys being a part of the team that manages such an important civic resource for the people of St. Louis and its surrounding areas.

ROMAN FOX
LANDSCAPE DESIGNER/HORTICULTURE PROJECT MANAGER
EMAIL

Roman Fox joined the Forest Park Forever team in May of 2017. He is responsible for reviewing proposed landscape plans, providing expertise during landscape installations and coordinating landscape restoration efforts during construction events and/or programed events in the Park. Roman previously worked as Agriculture and Horticulture Instructor in secondary education. He has over ten years of experience working turf, greenhouse, landscape and forest management. He has a B.S. in Agriculture Education from Clemson University. He comes to St. Louis from Champaign, Illinois, and is originally from South Carolina. Roman enjoys being a part of the team that manages such an important civic resource for the people of St. Louis and its surrounding areas.

AMY WITT PARK ECOLOGIST EMAIL Amy joined the Forest Park Forever team in October of 2012 as a Nature Reserve Steward. She moved from Olympia, WA, where she was working with riparian habitat restoration, endangered salmon, and waterbirds. Originally from Ohio, Amy has been working with land management and wildlife across the U.S. since she graduated with a B.S. in Biology at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC.  She eventually came to the conclusion that the availability of and health of habitats were key to both human and wildlife, and she is proud to be able to conserve and manage part of Forest Park's natural areas. With over five years of experience in the environmental field, she is happy to continue learning and educating in her role at Forest Park Forever. Amy assumed her role as Park Ecologist in early 2017.

AMY WITT
PARK ECOLOGIST
EMAIL

Amy joined the Forest Park Forever team in October of 2012 as a Nature Reserve Steward. She moved from Olympia, WA, where she was working with riparian habitat restoration, endangered salmon, and waterbirds. Originally from Ohio, Amy has been working with land management and wildlife across the U.S. since she graduated with a B.S. in Biology at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC.  She eventually came to the conclusion that the availability of and health of habitats were key to both human and wildlife, and she is proud to be able to conserve and manage part of Forest Park's natural areas. With over five years of experience in the environmental field, she is happy to continue learning and educating in her role at Forest Park Forever. Amy assumed her role as Park Ecologist in early 2017.

 

Nature Reserve Stewards

Catherine Hu Zone 4 — Nature Reserve (Kennedy Forest, Kennedy Savanna, Wildlife Island) Catherine joined the Forest Park Forever team in August of 2017. She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2012, Catherine has volunteered with various conservation organizations for restoration and environmental outreach projects. She has previously worked at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as an Invasive Plant Assistant. Originally from Michigan, she comes to FPF after interning at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Shaw Nature Reserve, where she assisted in ecological restoration projects. She is very excited to contribute to restoring and maintaining natural areas of Forest Park as well as learning and growing professionally.

Catherine Hu
Zone 4 — Nature Reserve (Kennedy Forest, Kennedy Savanna, Wildlife Island)

Catherine joined the Forest Park Forever team in August of 2017. She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Environmental Conservation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2012, Catherine has volunteered with various conservation organizations for restoration and environmental outreach projects. She has previously worked at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as an Invasive Plant Assistant. Originally from Michigan, she comes to FPF after interning at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Shaw Nature Reserve, where she assisted in ecological restoration projects. She is very excited to contribute to restoring and maintaining natural areas of Forest Park as well as learning and growing professionally.

Josh Wibbenmeyer Zone 4 — Nature Reserve (Deer Lake area, Successional Forest and the prairie complex near Steinberg Rink) Josh joined FPF in October of 2012, coming from Glen Carbon, IL, where he worked as a Regional Ecologist for Applied Ecological Services. He was hired by AES to re-evaluate the ecological conditions of all state designated natural areas throughout southern Illinois, and to collect updated vegetation data and community type boundaries. Josh has over three years of experience conducting ecological assessments and vegetation monitoring projects with The Nature Conservancy and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Josh received his M.S. and B.S. in Biology from Southeast Missouri State University, where he conducted a floristic survey of sand prairie remnants in Scott County, and identified and mapped several populations of Species of Conservation Concern.

Josh Wibbenmeyer
Zone 4 — Nature Reserve (Deer Lake area, Successional Forest and the prairie complex near Steinberg Rink)

Josh joined FPF in October of 2012, coming from Glen Carbon, IL, where he worked as a Regional Ecologist for Applied Ecological Services. He was hired by AES to re-evaluate the ecological conditions of all state designated natural areas throughout southern Illinois, and to collect updated vegetation data and community type boundaries. Josh has over three years of experience conducting ecological assessments and vegetation monitoring projects with The Nature Conservancy and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Josh received his M.S. and B.S. in Biology from Southeast Missouri State University, where he conducted a floristic survey of sand prairie remnants in Scott County, and identified and mapped several populations of Species of Conservation Concern.

 

Horticulturists, Gardeners & Administration

Anthony Boudreau
Horticulture Apprentice

Tony brings a great passion of working with plants and educating the public on the culture, care and therapy plants can offer. He is a regular volunteer with many of the Missouri master naturalist projects in the area. Previously, he was the Horticulture Instructor for Gateway Greening and their “City Seeds” program. Tony was exposed to our work through this program when he brought their students out to volunteer in the park. He also interned with the Boone County Conservation District in Northern Illinois as a Habitat Restoration Technician, where he organized controlled burns, seed collecting and forest/prairie rehabilitation programs.

Chris Deason Land Management Administrative Assistant Chris joined the Forest Park Forever team in July 2017 after serving 10 years in administration and program development for local nonprofit organizations assisting adults transitioning from incarceration. Chris received a B.S. in Business Administration and a Master in Social Work. Chris is a native St. Louisan and frequently visits Forest Park to walk its nature trails and enjoy the other amenities the Park offers. She is excited to become part of the FPF team that manages this treasured resource for St. Louis and its surrounding communities.  

Chris Deason
Land Management Administrative Assistant

Chris joined the Forest Park Forever team in July 2017 after serving 10 years in administration and program development for local nonprofit organizations assisting adults transitioning from incarceration. Chris received a B.S. in Business Administration and a Master in Social Work. Chris is a native St. Louisan and frequently visits Forest Park to walk its nature trails and enjoy the other amenities the Park offers. She is excited to become part of the FPF team that manages this treasured resource for St. Louis and its surrounding communities.  

Gretchen Garcia
Gardener

Gretchen is the Park’s Entrance Zone gardener. She comes to Forest Park Forever with over 10 years experience working with plants – ranging from ecological fieldwork and plant identification to indoor and outdoor plant care and maintenance. She received a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and has a strong interest in botany, nature and sustainable agriculture. After graduation she worked for several seasons as a forestry technician in both New Mexico and Alaska before starting an urban farm in Albuquerque in 2012. She has also gained valuable knowledge of ornamental plants through working at garden centers and nurseries as well as taking several horticulture classes at St Louis Community College. She moved to St. Louis in 2015 and happily joined the Land Management Team at Forest Park Forever in the spring of 2016. 

 

Patrick Greenwald
Horticulturist

Patrick joined FPF in fall 2014 as  FPF's Horticulturist for Zone 2 (Grand Basin and Boat House Zone). He has a passion for working in public horticulture, with experience including serving as Regional Horticultural specialist for University of Missouri Extension Office, where he supervised volunteers, wrote a weekly horticulture column and was an instructor of horticulture, fielding questions and providing answers for the community. Patrick has also worked in greenhouse, nursery and production management, working in positions of both field work and management of inventory, orders and delivery. 

Billy Haag Nature Works Field Coordinator Billy Haag received his BS from Southeast Missouri State University in Park and Recreation Management. He continued his education at the University of Missouri, earning an MS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. He has worked with The National Park Service as an Interpretation Park Ranger, including one season at Shenandoah National Park in VA and another at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in CA. In his current role at Forest Park Forever, he looks forward to combining his passion for interpretation and natural resource stewardship to present the youth of St. Louis with a unique green experience.

Billy Haag
Nature Works Field Coordinator

Billy Haag received his BS from Southeast Missouri State University in Park and Recreation Management. He continued his education at the University of Missouri, earning an MS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. He has worked with The National Park Service as an Interpretation Park Ranger, including one season at Shenandoah National Park in VA and another at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in CA. In his current role at Forest Park Forever, he looks forward to combining his passion for interpretation and natural resource stewardship to present the youth of St. Louis with a unique green experience.

Eric Hazley
Gardener

Eric works with the horticulturist in Zone 3 on a daily basis. He helps maintain all of the plantings and hardscapes, and performs various other tasks that are involved with caring for 60 acres of Forest Park. Eric comes to us with years of experience maintaining the grounds of several corporate campuses and apartment complexes.

 
Paul Lewis Nature Reserve Technician Paul is originally from Spokane, WA and earned a BA in Political Science from University of Washington in Seattle. When Paul moved to St. Louis, he served for two years with AmeriCorps St Louis Emergency Response Team, one year as a crew leader. He has also worked as a crew leader for the Student Conservation Association (SCA).

Paul Lewis
Nature Reserve Technician

Paul is originally from Spokane, WA and earned a BA in Political Science from University of Washington in Seattle. When Paul moved to St. Louis, he served for two years with AmeriCorps St Louis Emergency Response Team, one year as a crew leader. He has also worked as a crew leader for the Student Conservation Association (SCA).

Jaimie Liebman
Horticulturist

Since May 2014, Jaimie has worked in Zone 1 — the Welcome Zone — of Forest Park. She graduated from Missouri State University with a B.S. in Horticulture. Previously, she spent two-plus years at Missouri Wildflower Nursery and one year as green house manager for Missouri State Agriculture department.

Amy Miller Gardener Amy Miller is originally from Indiana, but lived in Illinois for 10 years before relocating to St. Louis. She has a background in business management, and over 15 years work experience managing retail businesses ranging from big box stores to the Indianapolis Zoo Shops to the Lincoln Presidential Museum store. She moved to St Louis in 2014 to manage the Missouri Botanical Garden Gate Shop and became fascinated by plants. The more she learned about plants, the more fascinated she became. This fascination inspired her to enroll in a horticulture program in the fall of 2016. In May 2017, she will complete her Master Gardener Certification through the Missouri Botanical Garden and University of Missouri extension. She is also currently working on a Master Naturalist Certification through STLCC and University of Missouri extension. Outside of work, she stays incredibly busy with her two teenage children and school schedule. In her free time, her hobbies are gardening, reading and rooting for any Indiana sports teams, especially the Indianapolis Colts.

Amy Miller
Gardener

Amy Miller is originally from Indiana, but lived in Illinois for 10 years before relocating to St. Louis. She has a background in business management, and over 15 years work experience managing retail businesses ranging from big box stores to the Indianapolis Zoo Shops to the Lincoln Presidential Museum store. She moved to St Louis in 2014 to manage the Missouri Botanical Garden Gate Shop and became fascinated by plants. The more she learned about plants, the more fascinated she became. This fascination inspired her to enroll in a horticulture program in the fall of 2016. In May 2017, she will complete her Master Gardener Certification through the Missouri Botanical Garden and University of Missouri extension. She is also currently working on a Master Naturalist Certification through STLCC and University of Missouri extension. Outside of work, she stays incredibly busy with her two teenage children and school schedule. In her free time, her hobbies are gardening, reading and rooting for any Indiana sports teams, especially the Indianapolis Colts.

 
Jake Nelson Gardener Jake came to Forest Park Forever with years of experience in land conservation, landscaping and urban forestry. He has worked in various Americorps programs, including Americorps St. louis Emergency Response Team, as well as other nonprofit organizations. This work has included disaster relief and leading conservation crews in multiple conservation corps across the country. Through his work, Jacob has gained a passion for land management and has experience with multiple agencies such as the Forest Service, National Park Service and Missouri Department of Conservation. Jacob loves working outdoors and is passionate about conserving what mother nature has to offer. 

Jake Nelson
Gardener

Jake came to Forest Park Forever with years of experience in land conservation, landscaping and urban forestry. He has worked in various Americorps programs, including Americorps St. louis Emergency Response Team, as well as other nonprofit organizations. This work has included disaster relief and leading conservation crews in multiple conservation corps across the country. Through his work, Jacob has gained a passion for land management and has experience with multiple agencies such as the Forest Service, National Park Service and Missouri Department of Conservation. Jacob loves working outdoors and is passionate about conserving what mother nature has to offer. 

Mike Renner
Gardener

Mike Renner first joined the Forest Park Forever team in 2015 as a Land Management intern. In his current full-time role, he is eager to use his knowledge and experience to contribute to the maintenance of the Forest Park landscape. Prior to his time at Forest Park Forever, Mike worked for over 10 years managing the grounds of private residences. In this independent role, Mike received great encouragement to pursue his love of horticulture. Mike is currently enrolled in the Horticulture program at St. Louis Community College at Meramec where he will earn his Associates degree in the winter of 2017.

Hilary Sears Horticulturist Hilary started working with Forest Park Forever in the Spring of 2017. She graduated from Mizzou with a BS in Plant Sciences focusing on Horticulture Science and Design, emphasis in Greenhouse Management. Her work as a greenhouse technician for the University of Missouri and on an organic educational farm lends new insight into sustainable practices here at Forest Park. Hilary grew up in Kirkwood, MO and was a frequent explorer in the Park. She is enthusiastic about contributing to the future success of Forest Park Forever.

Hilary Sears
Horticulturist

Hilary started working with Forest Park Forever in the Spring of 2017. She graduated from Mizzou with a BS in Plant Sciences focusing on Horticulture Science and Design, emphasis in Greenhouse Management. Her work as a greenhouse technician for the University of Missouri and on an organic educational farm lends new insight into sustainable practices here at Forest Park. Hilary grew up in Kirkwood, MO and was a frequent explorer in the Park. She is enthusiastic about contributing to the future success of Forest Park Forever.

 

Theo Smith
Nature Reserve Technician 

Theo joined FPF in April of 2013 as a Nature Reserve Intern and became a full-time staff member in March 2014. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Affairs from Saint Louis University in 2009. Prior to FPF, Theo served two years as an AmeriCorps member working within the Missouri Clean Water AmeriCorps program, with the River des Peres Watershed Coalition, directing their rain barrel program, leading riparian and forest habitat restoration events and conducting water quality monitoring sessions. As the Nature Reserve Technician, Theo works with Nature Reserve Stewards Amy and Josh in managing and maintaining Forest Park’s natural areas, such as Kennedy and Successional Forests, Audubon and Kennedy Savannas and Steinberg Prairie.

Ben Thomas Gardener Ben is a native St. Louisan who grew up on summer picnics and winter ice skating in Forest Park. He spent the past few years living in Austin, TX, where he earned his Bachelors in Geographic Sciences from the University of Texas. While in Austin, Ben spent time working with the Texas State Parks outreach department, and is experienced in the propagation of cacti in a greenhouse setting. In 2015, he traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, to study environmental sciences and sustainable tourism. Ben is an active member of the Botanical Garden's Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society, and has a passion for native prickly pear species. Ben started at Forest Park Forever as a seasonal employee in September 2016, and accepted a role as a gardener for Zone 5 in April 2017.

Ben Thomas
Gardener

Ben is a native St. Louisan who grew up on summer picnics and winter ice skating in Forest Park. He spent the past few years living in Austin, TX, where he earned his Bachelors in Geographic Sciences from the University of Texas. While in Austin, Ben spent time working with the Texas State Parks outreach department, and is experienced in the propagation of cacti in a greenhouse setting. In 2015, he traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, to study environmental sciences and sustainable tourism. Ben is an active member of the Botanical Garden's Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society, and has a passion for native prickly pear species. Ben started at Forest Park Forever as a seasonal employee in September 2016, and accepted a role as a gardener for Zone 5 in April 2017.

Susan Van de Riet
Horticulture Apprentice

Susan joined FPF in May 2014 as a Horticulture Intern and became a full-time staff member in December 2014. She is in charge of maintaining Zone 6 on the eastern side of Forest Park. Susan obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from Saint Louis University in 2009 and began post-graduate work in January of 2014 to pursue an Associate’s in Horticulture. She has a passion for native plants and has been landscaping with them since 2009. Susan is serving on the board of the Landscape and Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis, as the Education Subcommittee Chair of GrowNative! and has participated with the St. Louis Audubon Society’s “Bring Conservation Home” program as a Habitat Advisor. A St. Louis native, she has a deep appreciation for the City of St. Louis and all it has to offer its residents and visitors, including one of her own favorites, Forest Park.

 

Jim Wagner
Horticulturist

Jim joined Forest Park Forever in September 2014 as Horticulturist for Zone 3 (Art Hill and Park in Motion Zone). Jim is an ISA certified arborist who came to FPF from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Prior to that role, he was a grounds supervisor for a college campus. He brings great experience managing public gardens and providing educational instruction for volunteers and the community.  

Nancy Willis Gardener Nancy graduated from Meramec Community College with an AAS degree in Horticulture in 2011. Before joining the team at Forest Park Forever, she worked for the Webster Groves Parks and Recreation Department for 5 seasons. Nancy has been a member of Missouri Master Naturalist since 2014 and has done extensive volunteer work removing invasive species and planting natives for organizations including Audubon and St. Louis County Parks.

Nancy Willis
Gardener

Nancy graduated from Meramec Community College with an AAS degree in Horticulture in 2011. Before joining the team at Forest Park Forever, she worked for the Webster Groves Parks and Recreation Department for 5 seasons. Nancy has been a member of Missouri Master Naturalist since 2014 and has done extensive volunteer work removing invasive species and planting natives for organizations including Audubon and St. Louis County Parks.

 

Maintenance Zone Map

Our Land Management team works in a zone system in order to care for the Park most efficiently and thoroughly. Here's a look at the individual zones: