In the Heart of Forest Park, the Muny Tributary Will Be Beautifully Enhanced & Liberal Arts Bridge Will Be Rebuilt

This transformative project will give millions of Park visitors — especially those on foot and on bike — a new place to connect and enjoy.
 
The bridge will be inaccessible starting Tuesday, September 5, 2017; visitors should plan their routes accordingly.

Forest Park Forever President & Executive Director Lesley Hoffarth, City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry Director Greg Hayes, project donors Dwyer Brown and Alwal Moore, Board of Public Service President Rich Bradley, and Forest Park Forever Board of Directors Chairman Tom Collins break ground on this exciting project, Monday, August 28, 2017.

Forest Park Forever President & Executive Director Lesley Hoffarth, City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry Director Greg Hayes, project donors Dwyer Brown and Alwal Moore, Board of Public Service President Rich Bradley, and Forest Park Forever Board of Directors Chairman Tom Collins break ground on this exciting project, Monday, August 28, 2017.

Contact:
Katy Peace, Marketing & Digital Media Manager | kpeace@forestparkforever.org | 314.561.3290


ST. LOUIS, August 28, 2017 – In the heart of Forest Park — between the Boathouse and the Muny, just southwest of Pagoda Circle — a major restoration project will soon greatly improve the visitor experience. This $3.1 million improvement project, funded by donations to Forest Park Forever’s $130 million capital campaign Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future, seeks to holistically improve this area.

First, there will be significant natural enhancements to the flowing waterway in the area known as the Muny Tributary and the surrounding grounds — removing invasive species, making the shoreline more attractive and approachable, adding a stepping-stone crossing and boulder seating, and more.

And second, Liberal Arts Bridge will be demolished in preparation for a new, safer bridge connecting Government Drive to Pagoda Circle and featuring updated sidewalks, new crossings and a new connection to Forest Park’s path system. With the bridge being demolished on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, visitors should prepare to use alternate routes at that time.

liberal arts bridge before after.jpg

Liberal Art Bridge & Muny Tributary project highlights include:

  • New areas for visitors to picnic and enjoy the Park
  • Boulder seating, a stepping-stone crossing and a new bench
  • 42 new trees and new plantings, native and of diverse species
  • Naturalistic stream edges that will allow for better water flow
  • New underwater input with remote activation to conserve water
  • A new bridge designed in the style of other Forest Park bridges
  • Additional sidewalk along Government Drive
  • An enhanced crosswalk with vehicular and pedestrian stop signs to improve safety
  • A connection to the popular recreational path used by walkers, runners and bikers

The new bridge is scheduled to open to visitors this winter. The project in its entirety is expected to last through spring 2018.

“This is a fantastic restoration project that greatly improves the Forest Park experience,” said Greg Hayes, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of St. Louis. “In addition to creating an attractive natural destination for Park visitors to enjoy, we are building a safer, more attractive bridge worthy of its central location in the heart of Forest Park.”

“When this project is complete, the space will be transformed from an overgrown, uninviting pass-through to a beautiful natural destination where visitors can enjoy a picnic with family or just a relaxing lunch hour,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. “With a healthier ecosystem for wildlife and new water-conservation efforts, the project will also deliver sustainability and conservation wins. As always, we are grateful to the City of St. Louis for our strong partnership and to our generous donors who have helped make this exciting project possible.”

Forest Park Forever is extraordinarily grateful to the Forever campaign donors who have made this project possible, including Alwal Moore, whose leadership gift has helped create the new meadow, improve the approachability of the water and provide endowment funds for long-term care; Barbara & Andy Taylor, whose significant donation has helped fund the new bridge and an endowment for its care; The Macy’s Foundation, which several years ago as The May Company provided substantial funds to assist with bridge construction; and Dwyer Brown & Nancy Reynolds and the Weiss Foundation, whose generous gift is supporting new and improved trail connections to this space. 

As this area’s grounds were prepped for construction, Forest Park Forever Park Ecologist Amy Witt led the implementation of a Wildlife Impact Mitigation & Inventory Plan — part of our efforts to ensure a better Forest Park for all, including reptiles and amphibians. Working with partners from the Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Department of Conservation, Fontbonne University and Chaminade College Preparatory School, Witt and the team collected Park wildlife — over 50 turtles in total — then inventoried and relocated them to other sites along the waterway where they can continue to live safely during construction. 

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.

Connect with us at facebook.com/forestparkforevertwitter.com/forestpark4ever and instagram.com/forestparkforever.

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.

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