$3 Million Forest Park Festival Plaza Unveiled

New walkways, rain gardens & more on acreage by Muny

The Grand Opening Celebration of the Festival & Parking Plaza in Forest Park was hosted by Forest Park Forever, which raised the $3 million in private contributions for this project. Pictured, from left: 28th Ward Alderwoman Lykda Krewson; 17th Ward Alderman Joseph Roddy; 24th Ward Alderman Scott Ogilvie; Greg Hayes, Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry; Lesley Hoffarth, Forest Park Forever President & Executive Director; Denny Reagan, Muny President & CEO; Richard Bradley, President of the Board of Public Service; Tom Collins, Forest Park Forever Board of Directors Chairman. photo courtesy Forest Park Forever (click for larger version)
June 03, 2015
Forest Park Forever recently celebrated the grand opening of the $3 million Festival and Parking Plaza on the lot that sits above The Muny.

The project has transformed the much used but neglected asphalt of the 11-acre Upper Muny Lot into a sustainable, vibrant space that better meets the needs of the space's half million annual visitors.

Highlights of the project include 25,000 square feet of new green space, 5,000 new plantings and 100 new trees, rain gardens, new pedestrian walkways and refuges, new accommodations for festivals, 751 parking spots, and additional parking and access for those with disabilities.

The project was funded by private contributions to Forest Park Forever, the private nonprofit that works in partnership with the city of St. Louis to restore and sustain Forest Park.

"This is the most comprehensive restoration project in Forest Park in half a decade," said Stephen Schenkenberg, strategic communications director for Forest Park Forever.

Cathy Gregory Studio Gallery
By rebuilding the new plaza, visitors will have a better experience, Schenkenberg said.

Those visitors include The Muny's 350,000 annual patrons, and tens of thousands who use the space for festivals and charity runs during more than 30 weekends a year. The Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Light the Night Leukemia & Lymphoma Walk, March of Dimes Walk, St. Louis Microfest Beer Festival, JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, The Easter Concours d'Elegance Car Show and more are just some of the large events that are held on the lot each year. The space is also critical to the Great Forest Park Balloon Race and Glow, and LouFest, which are held on the adjacent Central Fields.

The grand opening of the lot was held on May 27, and featured a ribbon cutting, remarks from Mayor Francis Slay and other leaders, as well as live music, food, entertainment and other activities.

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