Over the past 20 years, the lakes and streams in Forest Park have been gradually linked together and transformed into a 2.5-mile river system, reshaping the way visitors interact with water in the space.

The Forest Park East Waterways Project, due to break ground in 2020 and take up to 24 months to complete, will conclude the plans laid out by the 1995 Forest Park Master Plan.

Focused on the waterways on the eastern side of the park, which to date have not been restored like those in the center and on the western half, this project will restore the historic fountain and shoreline at Round Lake; extend the river system to connect to Jefferson Lake; reshape and enhance Jefferson Lake and its surroundings; and revitalize the Seven Pools and Bowl Lake, reclaiming them from invasive species and creating an area for educational and community programming.

“This project greatly improves Forest Park and the visitor experience,” said Greg Hayes, director of parks, recreation, and forestry for the City of St. Louis. “By completing the final connection of the waterways, we are achieving a number of meaningful sustainability wins, including reducing the need for municipal water into the system, capturing stormwater runoff, improving the water quality, and increasing the biodiversity here.”