The above rendering captures what Caleres is making possible: a welcoming gathering plaza near Forest Park’s most popular entrance.

“Our mission is to inspire people to feel good ... feet first.” This is the mission for St. Louis-based Caleres — formerly known as Brown Shoe Company — and an apt description for how so many people enjoy Forest Park.

Every day, hundreds of walkers, runners and cyclists can be found using the Park’s many miles of recreational paths; in addition, families can often be found walking together to settle in for a summer-afternoon picnic or make their way to their next cultural destination.

What so many of these visitors have requested over the years — better, more welcoming restroom facilities and amenities along this path — will become a reality, thanks to a lead Forever campaign gift of $750,000 from Caleres. 

In 2015, Forest Park Forever made the first phase of essential upgrades to the restroom facility near the Park’s Hampton roundabout entrance, its most popular. This includes upgrading the building with heat for year-round use (it used to close for five months each year); creating a new connection to the popular recreational path; adding a bike rack; and planting new trees to enhance landscaping.

As the first lead partner for this comprehensive improvement project, Caleres has made a multi-year campaign commitment that will go well beyond this initial phase of improvements, which touched on three additional restroom sites. The company’s support will ultimately transform the facility at the popular Hampton entrance into a full gathering plaza, with comfortable seating, more beautiful landscaping, enhanced accessibility and additional visitor amenities.

There is no better way to celebrate our mission than to support these improvements, especially the future gathering plaza, which will serve as a gateway to the Park.

Our grant to Forest Park Forever supports our charitable mission to help develop stronger families by providing opportunities for them to enrich their experiences. Supporting the St. Louis community is something our company has done since 1921, donating more than $20 million to charitable organizations.

Forest Park brings family and friends together, and that is near and dear to us. At Famous Footwear, families are at the heart of everything we do.
— Rick Ausick, Caleres Division President, Famous Footwear