ST. LOUIS, December 16, 2014 – The second half of 2014 has proven to be a time of celebration for Forest Park Forever. Since late summer, the Forest Park Forever family has received four notable awards honoring members of our staff, volunteer team and our own organization and its partnership with the City of St. Louis.
This summer, longtime Forest Park Forever Fred “Big Fred” Ruhrwein (pictured on the far right) added to recent accolades as the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission recognized him as a “Hospitality Hero.” The annual Hospitality Hero Recognition Program is designed to stimulate and reward exceptional service hospitality by industry employees. This much-deserved award honors Fred’s outstanding customer service, enthusiasm and regional pride. He has brightened the visit of so many Forest Park users over the years.
Continuing in the spirit of volunteerism, Anne Grossman, Forest Park Forever’s Volunteer and Community Relations Manager, was named Volunteer Director of the Year by the Metropolitan Volunteer Management Association. Recognized for her managerial excellence, commitment to volunteer engagement and promotion of volunteerism, Anne received this distinction on the heels of celebrating a decade of service to Forest Park Forever. During her time with the organization, Anne has chartered FPF’s volunteer program to more than 1,100 annual volunteers and established it as a model for the nonprofit community.
In November, the Associated General Contractors of St. Louis bestowed its annual Keystone Heritage Award to Forest Park. This annual national award honors an individual or organization from outside the field of architecture for exemplary leadership that has increased the value of architecture and design in our culture. The City of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever received the award jointly and were on hand together for the celebration. Previous winners have included the Gateway Arch/National Parks Service and the Eads Bridge/City of St. Louis.
Lastly, Jim Wilson, the inaugural E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor for Experiential and Family Education at the University of Missouri – St. Louis was recently awarded the Outstanding Educator Award from the St. Louis Audubon Society as part of its centennial celebration. Jim has been a critical member of the FPF team, fostering environmental education for and with the Park’s partner institutions, the Missouri Department of Conservation, K-12 teachers and young students from urban areas. Jim’s dedication to environmental education and his leadership of our Voyage of Learning Teachers’ Academy were noted in the award presentation.
“We are grateful for these meaningful recent accolades bestowed upon Forest Park and the Forest Park Forever team and family,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, Forest Park Forever President and Executive Director. “These distinctions remind us of the positive impact the Park and our organization have on the St. Louis community.”
About Forest Park Forever
In 1986, Forest Park Forever, a private, not-for-profit organization, was founded to work in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s great urban public parks for the enjoyment of all – now and forever.