Forest Park Forever Bestows 2018 Hiram W. Leffingwell Award to Michael & Carol Staenberg


This Award Recognizes the Staenbergs’ Longtime Support of Forest Park

Pictured: Forest Park Forever Board Chair Larry Thomas, Forest Park Forever President and Executive Director Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., Carol and Michael Staenberg

Pictured: Forest Park Forever Board Chair Larry Thomas, Forest Park Forever President and Executive Director Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., Carol and Michael Staenberg

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ST. LOUIS, May 17, 2018 – Forest Park Forever, the nonprofit conservancy that partners with the City of St. Louis to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park, has bestowed its 2018 Hiram W. Leffingwell Award to Michael and Carol Staenberg.

The Staenbergs are longtime generous supporters of the St. Louis region’s nonprofit organizations, including Forest Park Forever, which they have supported for nearly two decades. Through both annual donations and transformative campaign gifts, the Staenbergs have played a significant role in restoring Forest Park to greatness — and ensuring its successful future for generations to come. The couple’s generosity toward Forest Park is part of a long tradition of community impact and leadership, including Carol’s active work as a dedicated volunteer and Michael’s role in philanthropy and business as President of The Staenberg Group. 

Forest Park Forever President and Executive Director Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., and Board of Directors Chairman Larry Thomas presented the award at the conservancy’s annual Leffingwell Society Annual Dinner, a gathering of the organization’s leadership donor group. The event took place in the World’s Fair Pavilion on the evening of May 16.

Forest Park Forever bestows this award annually to a corporation, foundation or individual who has made a significant contribution of time, talent or resources to the restoration and maintenance of Forest Park. The award is named for Hiram W. Leffingwell, one of the earliest supporters of Forest Park after its founding in 1876. 

“The Leffingwell Award is a way for us to recognize exceptional individuals who have helped make Forest Park the special community treasure it is,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. “Michael and Carol have long been champions of Forest Park, supporting our restoration efforts with extraordinary donations and inspiring others in the community to give as well. We are grateful that they continue to see the need to invest in the civic gem that is Forest Park.”

“Michael and Carol Staenberg have played an instrumental role in the remarkable comeback of Forest Park and its continued success,” said Lawrence E. Thomas, Forest Park Forever Board Chairman. “We are truly grateful for their dedication to sustaining Forest Park as an essential civic asset and one of the greatest urban parks in the country.”

For Michael and Carol Staenberg, Forest Park has been a special family destination for decades. When their daughters were young, the Park was a place of frequent play and cultural exploration. Years later, one daughter celebrated her wedding at the Jewel Box and the Emerson Grand Basin. Today, whether showing off the Park to visiting friends and family or biking on the Park’s path system, the Staenbergs continue to enjoy so much of what the Park offers. 

“Carol and I are honored to receive this meaningful recognition from Forest Park Forever,” said Michael Staenberg. “The reason we support Forest Park — both individually and through the Staenberg Family Foundation — is because it is so important for the region. The Park is truly a place where all walks of life can gather. It provides art, music, theater, tennis, golf and nature. Forest Park reflects everything St. Louis stands for. We all need to invest in Forest Park so we can enjoy it for many generations to come.”

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 7,500 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.