Forest Park Forever Breaks Ground on a 17-Acre Nature Playscape for All Ages

In less than a year, St. Louis metro area children and beyond will have a new way to explore nature. Thanks to the donors and team behind Forest Park Forever, a 17-acre nature playscape will open in 2020 in Forest Park. On July 15, 2019, a ceremonial groundbreaking was held by the City of St. Louis and the park to share plans for the playscape that will be located between the World’s Fair Pavilion and the Jewel Box.


“The new Nature Playscape will be a fantastic and unique destination for both Forest Park and the entire region,” said Lesley S. Hoffarth, P.E., President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever. “We are grateful to our generous donors who have made this project possible, and to the City of St. Louis for our terrific partnership here in the Park. Forest Park Forever believes deeply in the importance of our youth building and sustaining connections to nature, particularly in today’s digital world. The experiences kids will have in the Nature Playscape will last a lifetime.”


Benefits of this project will not only elevate outdoor opportunities for the city’s residents, the planned development will also enhance and nurture the park and its surroundings. 

“The new Nature Playscape has been designed to fit thoughtfully within Forest Park,” said Greg Hayes, Director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry for the City of St. Louis. “Up until now this area had just been mowed turf. In restoring these 17 acres to more natural landscapes, the project not only offers an incredible amount of nature-based fun to visitors, but it also continues our long-term efforts to be responsible stewards of the Forest Park grounds.”


The lifetime impact nature has on children is well documented. And now, thanks to the park and its donors, children who may have not had access to a managed playscape of this caliber now do.

Where are your favorite outdoor places to play in St. Louis? What’s your favorite part of Forest Park? Let’s start a conversation in the comments.

Photos provided by Forest Park Forever. Find out more information about the Nature Playspace.