City of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever Begin Significant Improvements to Boeing Aviation Fields in Forest Park
Highlights of the $3.3 million project include irrigating all remaining fields, adding LED lighting to all fields, and improving paths and parking access
In Forest Park, work is underway on long-planned improvements to Boeing Aviation Fields, the popular fields for baseball and softball just north of I-64. Highlights of this project, which will result in more available playtime at these sought-after ballfields, include:
Irrigating all fields that currently have no irrigation
Adding new LED lights to fields not currently lit, therefore expanding evening play
Retrofitting existing lights to LED lights to improve lighting and save energy
Bringing the path that had run alongside Clayton Rd. within the picturesque greenspace
Installing plantings to improve drainage and create a natural dividing line between fields
Repairing and widening the inner path, including around the concession stand
Creating welcoming new pedestrian entry plaza
Realigning parking along Clayton Rd. and the road toward the Horse Stables, gaining additional 70 additional free parking spaces
This $3.3 million project is being managed by the City of St. Louis and has been funded by donations to Forest Park Forever’s recently completed Forever campaign. The improved fields are scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2019.
“Aviation Fields have long been popular with our region’s softball and baseball players, with the fields at capacity each season” said Greg Hayes, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of St. Louis. “By increasing the number of fields that will be irrigated and lit, we will be able to offer the community expanded access to this recreational asset in Forest Park.”
“We are excited to see dirt flying on this latest Forest Park restoration project,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. “The experience for both players and fans will be greatly improved. We would like to thank our generous donors and our City of St. Louis partners.”
During 1920-21, the grounds where these fields sit served as a landing field for airmail service between St. Louis and Chicago — hence its current name. During Forest Park’s first major restoration between 1996 – 2003, these fields were dramatically improved, including receiving new irrigation and lighting on select fields.
The response from the public was overwhelming. When Boeing Aviation Fields reopened for play in 2003, it became the first premier baseball/softball complex in the City of St. Louis. The number of leagues utilizing the fields has grown by 10% per year, to the point that today all the favored evening time slots are booked. In past years, the City of St. Louis has had to turn teams away that were looking for evening play times. These new improvements will result in more games being able to be played by teams from throughout the region.