Forest Park Forever Receives $30 Million Endowment Gift from Jack C. Taylor and Family

Largest gift in the organization’s history will bolster the endowment for the long-term care of Forest Park


Stephen Schenkenberg: Email, 314.561.3448 

ST. LOUIS, June 10, 2015 – Forest Park Forever announced today it has received a gift of $30 million from Enterprise Holdings founder Jack C. Taylor and his family. This gift marks the largest donation Forest Park Forever has received in its 29-year history and one of the largest gifts to support a public park in the United States. The Taylor family has designated the entirety of this gift toward Forest Park Forever’s endowment, which provides support for the maintenance and operations of Forest Park.

“Today is a momentous day for the future of Forest Park,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever, the private nonprofit conservancy that partners with the City of St. Louis to care for the Park. “The Taylors have made an extraordinary and inspiring gift, both to the park we all love and to the millions of families and visitors who will experience some of their best days here in the coming century. We are incredibly grateful for the Taylors’ vision and generosity.”

With its expanded role in maintaining and caring for the Park, Forest Park Forever is working to preserve the gains made during recent decades while tackling urgent Park-wide repairs in a timely and cost-efficient manner. To do so, Forest Park Forever has identified the need to make a larger annual investment in the Park, something an endowment gift of this magnitude will help make possible.

“Our family is thrilled to support Forest Park Forever through this endowment gift,” said 
Jo Ann Taylor Kindle, president of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. “Forest Park is a jewel for the region and the country, and a destination beloved by millions of visitors of every background and interest. Our family believes that it is essential to invest in Forest Park’s long-term care, so that it can flourish for generations to come.”

“Jack Taylor and his family have been exceptionally generous supporters of many local and national organizations, including Forest Park Forever,” said Tom Collins, Chairman of the Forest Park Forever Board of Directors. “This is a transformational gift that affirms the central role Forest Park plays in our region. It also reminds us that Forest Park is in our keeping today, so that visitors in the future can experience what our generation so cherishes.” 

About Forest Park Forever
Founded in 1986, Forest Park Forever is a private nonprofit conservancy that works 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 greatest urban public parks.
Along with the City of St. Louis, Forest Park Forever raised $100 million between 1995 and 2003 and dramatically restored many landmark destinations in Forest Park, including the Emerson Grand Basin, the Boathouse and the Jewel Box. 

Today, Forest Park Forever maintains Forest Park with the City of St. Louis; raises funds for and helps manage capital restoration projects called for in the Forest Park Master Plan; delivers experiential educational opportunities to teachers, students and adults; and provides information and guides for the Park’s 13 million annual visitors. Not part of the Zoo-Museum Tax District, Forest Park Forever is supported by private donations from throughout the community, including its 7,000 members, 1,100 volunteers and many leading community and corporate partners.
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