The Forest and the Trees – Forest Park Forever

Whit says that this is the first year of the ongoing process, which many consider “forest reforestation.”

“The biggest change of perspective is that first year. Active Reformation. ” “We will eliminate invasive species such as the Honeysuckle and the Winter Cruel, fix the roof, prepare for a certain fire, and add seeds and seedlings.”

It is also the first year that Whit has received a lot of questions from park visitors.

“When people grow up in cities, they tend to see forests that have been overgrown with honeysuckle, but that is not what the Missouri-born Oak-Hikori forest should look like,” Whit said. “One of the major benefits of this grant is that it will help educate and make people more accessible to the Missouri natural resources.”

The second year is the beginning Rehabilitation work. Nowadays, labor efforts focus more on ecology in each area. What kind of seeds and seedlings are successful, you can remove more trees to give sunlight or see areas where more work is needed.

“I think like a compass,” Whit says. “In the first year, instead of moving the compass, we move it in the right direction. The second year is to adjust the course. The next three years and more are good adjustments. “

By the third and fourth year, workers will be working harder on seeds to develop healthy roots of wildflowers and other plants. Extremely hard-to-find species have been added, and work will continue to protect invasive and aggressive populations.

“We’re going to do a lot of disruptions in the first two years,” Whit said. “Now we can keep things calm and balanced.”

Finally in the fifth year. Continuous stewardship It starts with the addition of a lot of conservative plants and the renovated space is like a forest for a long time.

“That’s what he enjoys,” Whit says. “We hold regular fires to open up the ground, we can find amazing things like plants that take many years to germinate and when the forest starts to grow and we can take care of ourselves every year.”

Restoring the forest, developing people

However, the gift of the Mysun Foundation is not just about creating healthy forests. In addition, the Forest Park has been able to double its natural conservation staff forever, which will have a huge impact on the team.

“Before this gift, our staff could not stay in a certain area over time,” Faber says. “You can work in one area for a year, but move to another location next year. We now have enough people to look after areas for many years.

“Adding new staff is one of the best parts of the fund,” Whit agrees. “It allows our team to develop their site knowledge, which is very important. When people take care of a site in a more meaningful way, individuals and administrators realize how much of an in-depth knowledge of a site they are developing.

In addition, in-depth knowledge enables Whit to set standards for her team and establish accountability.

Witt: “We had many things to do before, but we couldn’t. Now, we have more transparent delivery and our staff is becoming more and more proud of their ownership of seeing those addresses come alive. This allows us to be more responsible for the funds entrusted to us by the Mysun Foundation and to make every dollar more effective.

Additional benefits, benefits to all

In addition to renovating the Kennedy Forest and expanding the professional pasture staff of Forrest Park Forever, the Mysun Foundation grant will enable Forest Park to make further improvements to the forest forever.

“This support is helping us do a lot of important things,” Faber said. “For example, we are currently working on a GIS map to monitor our growth on invasive species.

And, during a recent visit to the forest, Whit staff pointed out areas where they had improved their wetlands.

“Unscheduled projects such as congested dams, cracks in walls or damaged bridges are constantly appearing. We now have more flexibility to complete repairs early in the process,” Whit said. “We don’t want to disturb these sensitive areas as much as we can.”

For Sally Sands, however, the Mysun Charitable Foundation’s gift may be the most important benefit.

“People have to feel safe and comfortable there to know a place,” says Sands. “Making Kennedy’s forest safer and more accessible makes people more willing to explore without having to leave the trail. That exposure affects all of us by sowing seeds in them to pay more attention to the environment and to climate change.

“Because this project is sustainable, St. Louis is a unique place to explore in this historic jungle,” she said. “And this will probably inspire other partners to support the Kennedy Forest.”

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