The Forest Park (St. Louis, Missouri) ecology team has cleared away excess trees and dead plants for the past month to allow for more sunlight, songbirds and seeds for new trees and grasses.
It’s all part of a 10-acre makeover in the park’s Kennedy Forest to make sure it has the healthy balance of plants it needs, says Forest Park’s chief ecologist, Peter VanLinn.
“Like most other urban forests, Kennedy Forest has kind of seen this lack of management or lack of natural dynamics that should be happening in a type of ecosystem like that, because of human activity,” he said.
A regular forest would have periodic fires, floods and storms to clear away dead plants and keep non-native species in check.
Forest Park has been on a self-improvement binge.
In early October, 2015, the non-profit Forest Park Forever announced its most recent: A public push to build $30 million in projects over the next few years, boost its endowment to $100 million, and conclude a three-year fundraising drive, officials said.