Forest Park Forever Celebrates Milestone by Urging Public to Share 50,000 Memories of the Park, Take Part in Preserving its Future
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ST. LOUIS (May 15, 2013) – Forest Park Forever – the nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the city of St. Louisto restore, maintain and manage Forest Park – today launched a commemorative campaign to celebrate a major milestone: the 50,000th day since the Park’s establishment on June 24, 1876.
The “Recounting 50,000 Days” campaign aims to gather 50,000 memories of Forest Park from the St. Louis region and beyond, and share them online and in the Forest Park Visitor Center. Through the program, Forest Park Forever will recognize the park’s important role in the community, and will remind the public of the part it can play in helping to preserve the Park for the future.
“It takes a collective effort to make sure Forest Park remains the treasure that it is to our community,” said Lesley Hoffarth, president and executive director of Forest Park Forever. “Through the simple act of sharing their favorite memories and moments in the park, we hope St. Louisans and visitors alike will take a new interest in helping us improve and maintain the Park as a true icon for our city for generations to come.”
Forest Park Forever is providing several ways to share personal memories of the park, in the form of photos and stories:
- Facebook: “Like” the page and leave a comment, or upload a photo with a caption explaining a favorite day or experience in the park
- Twitter: Share your memory/photo on Twitter using the #FPF50K hashtag
- Instagram: Share your memory/photo on Instagram using the #FPF50K hashtag
- Email: Send your memory/photo via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- In person: Drop off a photo or a written memory at the Forest Park Visitor Center, Mon. through Fri., between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., and Sat. and Sun., between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Via mail: Send your memory/photo to: Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center, 5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis, MO 63112
Several notable St. Louisans have already supported the campaign with their favorite memories:
Mayor Francis Slay: “I have made so many great memories at Forest Park that it’s hard to pick just one. I remember skating at Steinberg as a kid, then years later taking my own kids there. I can think of no better place to be on a sunny day than in the paddleboats at Grand Basin. And ‘Doggie Dining’ at the Boathouse is always a good time. I have also seen many a great show at the Muny thanks to the talented casts of St. Louisans.”
Joe Edwards, Founder of Blueberry Hill: “I have so many good memories of Forest Park – it’s hard to choose just one. My mom worked at the Zoo, so I spent time there behind the scenes. I got to ride a female elephant interestingly named ‘Big Jim,’ and I laughed when the gorillas splashed water on unsuspecting visitors – who actually loved it.”
McGraw Millhaven, Morning Host of 550-AM KTRS: “My favorite memory of Forest Park is going to be the next time I visit, because every time I’m there I fall in love with it.”
“For 50,000 days – nearly 140 years – Forest Park has been a wonderful gathering place for people of all ages and from all walks of life,” said Hoffarth. “With this campaign, we’re excited to build a digital and physical gathering place for our memories of the Park, and create an opportunity to reflect on its unique place at the heart of our community.”
In the past several years, Forest Park Forever has helped update access to and within the Park; expand educational and youth programs; improve recreational facilities and restore the Park’s forests and wildlife habitats; and maintain daily upkeep of many other areas of the Park. The organization’s 2013 priorities include updating signage to help visitors more easily navigate the Park, improving restroom facilities and water fountains, and bringing back the St. Louis Police Department’s mounted patrol with renovated stables and facilities.