Located in the heart of the city, it is the heart of our city.
Our Most Treasured Resource
Forest Park belongs to all St. Louisans.
Owned and operated by the City of St. Louis, Forest Park is one of 105 city parks under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
Forest Park, officially opened to the public on June 24, 1876, is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. At 1,293 acres, it is approximately 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York.
In 1904, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, The St. Louis World’s Fair, drew more than 20 million visitors from around the world to Forest Park.
Today it attracts more than 12 million visitors a year. It is more than a scenic backdrop to our city. It is an active participant and catalyst in the St. Louis community. Monuments, historic buildings, wildlife, waterways and landscapes combine to form a unique cultural institution that is vitally important to the entire St. Louis region. The park is recognized as an important gathering place where people of all ages, races and economic backgrounds can gather and mix in a positive way.
It is the home to the region's major cultural institutions—the Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum, Science Center and the Muny Opera. It also serves as a sports center for golf, tennis, baseball, bicycling, boating, fishing, handball, ice skating, roller blading, jogging, rugby and more.
Forest Park is equally significant from a naturalistic perspective. In a city where 80% of the land has been developed for business, industry or residential uses, the park serves as a natural oasis for the city, an important source of green space, a respite for migrating birds, and an integrated ecosystem where humans and nature interact.
Forest Park is the soul of the city and its survival is essential to the future of the St. Louis region. The park has undergone a $100 million face-lift under the Forest Park Master Plan that restored the glory to the park in time for us to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1904 World's Fair.
Forest Park Advisory Board
The Forest Park Advisory Board (FPAB) was established by St. Louis City Ordinance 63769 on April 15, 1996 in order to provide ongoing citizen input into the implementation of the Forest Park Master Plan.
The FPAB has 15 voting members appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen, up to 5 non-voting advisory members and 7 ex-officio members including the Parks Commissioner, the Executive Director of Forest Park Forever, the Aldermen of any ward in which any part of Forest Park is located, the Chairman of the Parks Committee of the Board of Aldermen, and the Director of the Planning & Urban Design Agency. The appointed members serve on a voluntary basis and represent an array of interests and areas of expertise in the community.
The Advisory Board’s primary role is to review Park improvement projects and monitor compliance with the Master Plan for all major park projects, both privately-funded and City-funded. The Board is part of a larger ongoing public review process, and as such reviews each proposed project at three stages during the project’s design.
In addition, the FPAB reviews and reports on Proposed Physical Changes which are as defined in Ordinance 63769 - any proposed expansion, modification, replacement, relocation, adaptive re-use, or removal of existing buildings, roads, parking lots, paths, recreation areas or natural areas. The Advisory Board determines whether the proposed physical change is significant or minor, consistent, inconsistent or not addressed by the Master Plan, and, if not addressed by the Master Plan, whether the proposed physical change is beneficial to Forest Park. The Board makes recommendations to the Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
The Advisory Board generally meets the third Thursday of the month, at 4:30 PM in the Dennis and Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center. These meetings are open to the public. Advance notification of the meeting and agenda are posted at the door of the Parks Administration Building, south of the Jewel Box and at the Visitor and Education Center. Persons wishing to address the Board may sign up prior to the start of the meeting to do so.
For inquiries, please contact the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry at 314-289-5310.
Current Advisory Board Members
Emily Andrews - Environmental Representative
Tracy Boaz - Ecology and Natural Resources Representative
Karen Goering - Zoo/Museum District Representative
Stephen Ibendahl - Landscape Architecture Representative
Anne Kasal - Lease/Permit Holders Representative
Dennice Kowelman - Urban Design Representative
Thomas Milford - Neighborhood Representative
Barbara Murray - Amateur Sports Representative
Deborah Dolgin - At-Large Member
Sally Nikolajevich - At-Large Member (Chair)
Francis Oates - At-Large Member
Arthur Perry - At-Large Member
Leata Price-Land - At-Large Member
Andrew Schwartz - At-Large Member
Kurt Odendahl – At-Large Member
Kim Haegele - Commissioner of Parks
Kelly Harris - 17th Ward Alderman Designee
Frank Kartmann - Forest Park Forever Executive Designee
Alderman Scott Oglivie - 24th Ward Alderman
Don Roe - Director of Planning and Urban Design
David Weber - 28th Ward Alderman Designee
Alderman Frank Williamson - Chair, Parks & Environmental Matters Committee
May Brown Raey
Current Forest Park Advisory Board Chair
2015 – Present . . Sally Nikolajevich
Past Forest Park Advisory Board Chairs
1996 - 2000 . . Joe Bergfeld
2001 - 2004 . . Jean Cowell
2004 - 2007 . . Gentry Sayad
2007 - 2009 . . Mike Murray
2009 - 2011 . . Deborah Dolgin
2011 - 2013 . . Karen Goering
2013 - 2015 . . Emily Andrews
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