To the Forest Park community:
Forest Park Forever and our City of St. Louis partners are thrilled to share a special update about the 17-acre Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape under construction in Forest Park.
Since spring 2019, the site has transformed from just mowed grass into natural landscapes with native and diverse plant species, water-based activity areas and more. The destination features nine distinct activity areas — including Mounds, a Spring, a Meadow, a Wetland and more — and a series of accessible paths and boardwalks between them. Visitors, especially children, will connect with nature and engage their senses as they explore, discover and learn.
Forest Park Forever and our City partners are anticipating a late spring 2021 opening of this remarkable new destination. Our teams will work together to ensure that the site opens to visitors with the proper health and safety protocols and guidelines in place.
Continue reading below for more details included in the project.
Since construction began, we have completed a great deal of work, including:
– Installing 36,000 perennials and grasses and 671 shrubs
– Planting 300 new and transplanted trees
– Building more than 1 mile of ADA-accessible paths
– Installing 5 water pumps and 2 boot-washing stations
– Building dozens of benches, made from fallen or hazard local trees
– Installing 7 new bike racks and 3 drinking fountains at the entrances
Between now and late spring 2021, Forest Park Forever will complete important work, including:
– Planting shrubs and trees in the northern activity areas
– Completing chip-and-seal coating of paved asphalt paths
– Nurturing recently planted beds to ensure successful growth
The Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape has been funded by generous donors to Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future, Forest Park Forever’s capital and endowment fundraising effort that was completed in 2017, as well as additional generous donors who supported the project through 2019. The lead gift for the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape was provided by the Albrecht Family Foundation.
“It has been truly amazing to see the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape take shape over the past year and a half,” says Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. “From our early community engagement to ongoing conversations with local educators and families, we know how excited the community is for this experiential new destination. I would like to thank the Albrecht Family Foundation for their extraordinary support of this project, as well as the additional leadership donors who have made it possible. We can’t wait to cut the ribbon in 2021 and begin seeing the St. Louis community enjoy this wonderful new space.”
“We know how important outdoor spaces have been to the St. Louis community this year,” said Greg Hayes, Director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry for the City of St. Louis. “Having witnessed the transformation of the site so far, I know the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape will be a terrific addition not just to Forest Park but to our entire region. I would like to thank the Albrecht Family Foundation and the additional donors who have supported this project. All of us in the Parks Division look forward to celebrating the opening next spring.”
“We are so proud of our mother,” said Barry Albrecht, Director of the Albrecht Family Foundation and son of Anne O’C. Albrecht, who lives in St. Louis with her husband, Doug. “After raising three boys, it has been a joy for us to see her surrounded by her grandchildren. And as a family, we are deeply appreciative of Forest Park and the ways in which it brings all of St. Louis together. A play space filled with smiling and laughing kids that is accessible to everyone just seemed like the perfect tribute.”
You can find our complete announcement, our video update and a form to sign up for any future virtual or limited in-person sneak peek opportunities by clicking the big button below. Thank you, and be well.