Forest Park Forever has once again proven its value to St. Louis. The public/private partnership between the City and FPF has created the best urban park in America. (If you think that is hyperbole, head over to the park after work today. You will be stunned by how beautiful the park looks as it blooms.) Maintaining Forest Park has always been a “revenue available” kind of thing: the City has spent what the budget afforded, not what the park required. That, though, is about to change thanks, again, to FPF.
To gain a dedicated source of revenue to maintain Forest Park, the City has agreed to extend a lease BJC has to operate a parking garage on land east of Kingshighway. And to make the money go further, I asked FPF to match the BJC lease money. FPF has agreed.
To ensure the money will stay in Forest Park, we are proposing it be put in a trust. To ensure it will be invested in the best way possible, the City and FPF will jointly administer the account.
The Forest Park Advisory Board has already approved the plan overwhelmingly. It is my hope the Board of Estimate & Apportionment and the Board of Aldermen will agree to do the same.