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.
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