Forest Park Forever Announces $3 Million in Tax Credits to Support Key Capital Improvement Projects in Forest Park

Tax credits will help the nonprofit conservancy leverage $6 million in donations toward its current $130 million capital campaign

Katy Peace, Marketing & Digital Media Manager | | 314.561.3290

ST. LOUIS, July 22, 2016 – Forest Park Forever has announced that the Missouri Development Finance Board has awarded $3 million in state tax credits to support capital improvement projects in Forest Park. The nonprofit conservancy that partners with the City of St. Louis to care for the Park, Forest Park Forever will leverage these credits to raise $6 million in private donations toward its current capital campaign, Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future. Donors taking advantage of the available credits will receive a state tax credit valued at 50% of their gift to the Forever campaign.

“We are very grateful to the Missouri Development Finance Board for this $3 million in credits and to the St. Louis Development Corporation for sponsoring our application,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. “The Forever campaign is not only securing Forest Park’s financial future through an expanded endowment for the Park, but also advancing urgently needed improvement projects, like rebuilding crumbling roads and adding new sidewalks, improving recreational fields and completing the waterway connections started more than a decade ago. These tax credits will have a direct and immediate impact on our ability to raise the private funds necessary to complete these important projects.”

“This is terrific news and a big win for the region, its citizens and its businesses,” said Thomas R. Collins, Board Chairman for Forest Park Forever. “These tax credits will enable Forest Park Forever to match the Park’s most urgent capital improvement projects with generous donors in the community. With this destination playing such a central role in our region’s quality of life, an increasingly welcoming, accessible and beautiful Forest Park is something that will benefit our entire community.”

“Forest Park Forever has a strong record of fundraising for Forest Park and working as a Park steward in close partnership with the City of St. Louis,” said St. Louis Development Corporation Executive Director Otis Williams. “Forest Park is a key civic asset in the region, and one that is increasingly drawing national attention. We are very pleased that the MDFB awarded these state tax credits to accelerate the organization’s momentum as it completes capital projects that will improve the experience of more than 13 million visitors each year.”

Forest Park Forever formally introduced Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future in October 2015. The campaign has two central goals: Complete $30 million in strategic restoration projects called for in the Forest Park Master Plan; and expand Forest Park Forever’s endowment by $100 million, ensuring that the Park can be cared for at the level it needs today and in the coming decades. To date, the Forever campaign has raised $118 million toward its $130 million goal.

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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About Forest Park

Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri, is considered one of the nation’s greatest urban public parks. The Park’s 1,300 acres feature beautiful landscapes sprinkled with forests, ecosystems, nature reserves, lakes and streams, as well as five of the region’s major cultural institutions and endless opportunities for recreation. Forest Park attracts 13 million visitors each year, making it the sixth most visited urban park in the United States. In 2016, Forest Park was voted the #1 City Park in the country by readers of USA Today.