Officials from Forest Park Forever and the City of St. Louis recently held a groundbreaking for a new Nature Playscape in Forest Park. The experiential play area is being created on 17 acres in the heart of the park, between the World’s Fair Pavilion and the Jewel Box.

Funded by donors to Forest Park Forever, the Nature Playscape will feature eight activity areas, including mounds, a spring, meadow, wetlands, and more. A series of paths and boardwalks will connect the areas, creating opportunities for kids and families to climb, splash, build, and explore their way through the site.

“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, but it also continues our long-term efforts to be responsible stewards of the Forest Park grounds,” said Greg Hayes, director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry for St. Louis.

Some 280 majority native species trees and 600 native species shrubs are being planted, and 20 existing trees are being transplanted. More than 100 species of grasses and flowering plants are being planted.

The new Nature Playscape is expected to open in 2020.