Forest Park Forever, city of St. Louis announce $10.5 million restoration

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ST. LOUIS - Forest Park Forever and the city of St. Louis unveiled plans and renderings detailing sweeping improvements to the region's recreational crown jewel.

The $10.5 million project will focus on beautifying three of the park's lakes, improving shoreline access and stormwater collection, adding visitor amenities, and planting hundreds of new trees.

Private donors are funding the project, which is focused on the waterways on the eastern side of the park.

The project has four central sites:

  • Round Lake. The malfunctioning fountain will be replaced while keeping its historic character. The shoreline will be enhanced, bald cypress trees will be planted, and an underground water connection will be built to connect with the nearby river system.
  • New channel connecting the river system to Jefferson Lake. The Forest Park river system will be extended south to connect with Jefferson Lake. The project will add a cascade and gravel bar, picnic lawn and meadow, footbridge, visitor trails, and a seating area.
  • Jefferson Lake. An underground water connection will be built so water flows from Bowl Lake to Jefferson Lake. In addition, the lake will be enlarged and a new boardwalk will be installed, as well as a picnic pavilion, cascading waterfall and overlook. The fishing dock will also be replaced.
  • Seven Pools and Bowl Lake. The historic bridge will be restored. Bowl Lake will be dredged, deepened, reshaped, and refilled.

Construction will begin in 2020 and is expected to take anywhere from 18 to 24 months. Forest Park Forever and the city will keep visitors updated on possible road and path closures.

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