Reflections on the year and what’s aheadThis is always a time of reflection for me as I look back at the year that is nearly over and toward the new year that’s coming. And, what a year it’s been! Thanks to the support from volunteers, donors and community partners, we made great strides towards our goal of fully restoring Forest Park:
- More than 1,000 volunteers logged nearly 10,000 hours in the park
- 60 miles of trail maintained
- 1,237 feet of trail repaired
- 2 new bridges constructed
- 5,232 trees freed of ivy on 72 acres of private property
- 43 acres of ground ivy cleared
- 550 students from grades K-8 participated in field trips to the park
- 350 people participated in hikes to learn about the ecology, medicinal plants and history of the park
- A public awareness campaign was launched by BPN, a local marketing agency
- More than 750 individuals, businesses, foundations and government agencies who contributed nearly $500,000 to The Forest Park Conservancy
- Three bequests for nearly $200,000
The Forest Park Conservancy is proud to be part of a long legacy of conservation leaders who made Forest Park possible and helped shape its direction over the past six decades. This legacy has ensured we have an expansive, natural landscape few other cities have.
Over the past year we re-connected with this history. By launching a 20-year plan called the Greater Forest Park Conservation Initiative, we established ourselves (along with our partners) as the current conservation leaders who would take the vision of the past, connect it with the future and create a new, long-term vision to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy Forest Park as we do today.
Passion for Forest Park has always existed. I believe it always will. As our city grows and urban pressures increase, what Forest Park means to us and what it represents to the City will continue to grow in the hearts and minds of our communities. I’m proud of where we've been and where we’re going.
The past year’s accomplishments are just the beginning of what’s to come in the years ahead. We have the opportunity, as a community, to make significant strides in restoring the health of Forest Park. It will take significant resources --- it will take all of us, and I look forward to working side-by-side with you to realize our vision of a healthy, beautiful and sustainable Forest Park.