2017 in Review
2017 in Review

Executive Director's Welcome


Executive Director's Welcome


On behalf of the Board of Directors and entire staff of Forest Park Forever, I am delighted to share this digital annual report recapping the productive year our conservancy had in 2017, thanks to our partnership with the City of St. Louis and our generous donors, members and volunteers.  

 Among the highlights I hope you enjoy reading about in this report: 

  • The City and Forest Park Forever completed major restoration projects such as overhauling Government & Wells Drives (smooth new roads, 2 miles of new sidewalks and much more), and broke ground on others, including Central Fields and the Liberal Arts Bridge and Muny Tributary.
  • With an expanded endowment thanks to generous donations, Forest Park Forever was able to fund $3 million of maintenance projects (restoring the handball courts, fixing broken fountains, many more) above and beyond routine annual Park care. 
  • Our team planted 38,000 bulbs and 1,852 trees across the Park.   
  • With nearly 2,000 volunteers supporting our efforts last year, 2017 was the largest year ever of our volunteer program!
  • The Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center welcomed visitors from all 50 states and 155 different countries
  • Fodor's Travel named Forest Park one of the "15 most beautiful city parks in the world."
  • We published a brand new Instagram-inspired book of Park photos and launched version 2 of our popular ForestParkMap.org web app.
  • Our educational programs reached more than 7,600 people of all ages, helping them use Forest Park as one of the region's greatest outdoor learning labs. 

I would like to express our gratitude to Mayor Lyda Krewson for her strong advocacy of Forest Park and our partnership; Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Greg Hayes, with whom I communicate just about every day about our joint stewardship of the Park; the Forest Park Advisory Board for their meaningful volunteer service for the good of the Park and its visitors; and every one of the many partners with whom we work in and around Forest Park. 

Lastly, I wish to thank the entire Forest Park Forever donor and volunteer family for everything you've done to advance our mission in 2017. The accomplishments you can read about in this report are possible only through your generous support. 

I look forward to you visiting — and enjoying — Forest Park in 2018.

Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E.
President and Executive Director, Forest Park Forever