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 is a 25-person group of citizens, appointed by the Mayor of St. Louis, which reviews ongoing designs for Park improvement projects and advises the Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry on how the projects are carrying through on the vision, spirit and intent of the Forest Park master Plan. This active volunteer group represents an array of interests and areas of expertise in the community and helps make sure many perspectives are represented as each Park restoration project is designed.
The Forest Park Advisory Board meets every third Thursday in the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center at 4:30 p.m. These meetings are open to the public. Before each meeting, a public notice of the meeting and its agenda is taped to the door of the Parks Administration Building in Forest Park, just south of the Jewel Box. If visitors would like to make a public comment or suggestion they can come to the meeting and sign up at the start.
For inquiries, please contact the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry at 314.289.5310.
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