Emerson Central Fields

  • Client

    St. Louis Board of Public Service

  • Project Title

    Central Fields in Forest Park

  • Location

    St. Louis, MO

  • Size

    50 acres

"“With this significant project, we have dramatically improved the experience for both soccer and rugby players as well as all those attending major events like the Great Forest Park Balloon Race. We are proud to share in the St. Louis community’s excitement with this great park project that will provide enjoyment to all in the future.”"

Greg Hayes

Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry

Restore, Repurpose, Protect and Re-imagine the Central Fields

Project Scale

  • Object

  • Site

  • Community

  • System

  • Region


    Project Type

    • Sports
    • Parks and Open Space
    • Greenways And Trails
    • Civic Amenities

    The key to success for Central Fields was balancing the highly active sports programming within the context of a passive urban park and large scale special events.

    Forest Park is recognized as one of the region’s most important assets and is nationally known as a success story for its private-public partnerships. Central Fields represents the cross roads of the park where recreation, culture, nature, hydrology, roadways, infrastructure and beauty come together. This project will be a turning point to restore, repurpose, protect and re-imagine the Central Fields. One of the keys to success is the multi-purpose approach to space utilization and design. Another is to provide the necessary infrastructure to support special events, team sports and passive activities while preserving and enhancing the beauty of the park. The design development builds upon previous planning efforts from the original program as part of the overall Forest Park Master Plan, as well as an update to the design five years later. This plan accommodates flexible programming that minimizes obstructions to open field space, and clusters sporting activities that share similar field requirements.
    Overall design objectives will improve operational flexibility, environmental quality, and user experience. The plan was developed to improve connectivity from the site to the adjacent areas of Forest Park, including the MUNY to the west.