Forest Park Forever Receives 2019 Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award

Jeffery P. Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President & CEO, Saint Louis Zoo (left) next to Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President & Executive Director, Forest Park Forever (center) and Lisa Kelley, Ph.D., Executive Director, Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute (right). Accepting the 2019 Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award for Forest Park Forever was Hoffarth. The Conservation Award and three community awards were presented at the Zoo’s 28th Annual Marlin Perkins Society Celebration on Nov. 13, 2019. Photo courtesy S. Carmody Photography.

The Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award was recently presented to Forest Park Forever. For over 30 years, the nonprofit conservancy has worked to enhance the ecological diversity of Forest Park and create the recreational and educational opportunities for students and adults that make Forest Park the number one city park in the country.

Through partnerships with the City of St. Louis and Missouri Department of Conservation, Forest Park Forever created the Nature Reserve, an area that spans 194 acres in the Park. These partnerships have restored wetlands, prairies, savannas and forests that are important homes for wildlife.

Forest Park Forever has been a key partner for the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Conservation in Forest Park. The joint work to remove invasive plant species, restore the savanna and undertake a controlled burn of the Deer Lake prairie has created a richer ecosystem for native wildlife. Forest Park Forever also partners with the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine team to track box turtle health within the Park. By collaborating with students to track and collect data from box turtles, invaluable information is learned about the health of ecosystems in the Park.

These and other science-based field trips to the Park also provide unique experiential learning opportunities for underserved students and inspire the next generation of conservationists.

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