Saint Louis, MO

Forest Park helps overcomes heat in St. Louis

Abdi Isaaq

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Forest Park Forever/Facebook

SAINT LOUIS, MN — During the summer season, the weather in St. Louis has peaked around 90 - 100 degrees with a drastic increase in heat and humidity. Still, outdoor activities are preferred as locals participate in several summer activities around the city. Forest Park is one of the local's favorite destinations in spending their summertime since Forest Park possessed lower temperature degrees than the rest of the city. What could be the reason behind it?

The city's environment consists mostly of buildings, concretes, asphalt streets with little to almost zero ground space to grow trees and plants. With such a combination, the city becomes easy to receive heat and deliver it to the surroundings, causing the heat island effect to occur.

Roman Fox, Superintendent of Horticulture at Forest Park Forever, has been developing Forest Park Forever into a more vibrant and eco-friendly environment that can reduce the heat and its effects on the city. With the help of the City of St. Louis Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department, he manages the Horticulture team that plants and maintains 150 flower beds in Forest Park. They care for about 490 of the 1,300 acres of the Park aiming at landscaping and young tree development.

The trees play an essential role in converting the sun's radiation and controlling the quality of air. Fox and the team maximize the potentials by increasing the number of trees planted around the Forest Park. There are estimately 45,000 trees in Forest Park.

Fox stated that most people haven't realized the tree's capability as the air filter. "A lot of folks don’t know that trees also act as big filters. Besides heat, they absorb several things that could be in our air, from toxins to minerals that we don’t want to reach high levels. They also help with water quality by managing, holding and protecting soil to prevent degradation and erosion.”

The sustainability and development of Forest Park plays important role in reducing the city's heat radiation and pollution, as well as providing good air quality and a greener environment.

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