Master Gardener volunteers are needed to assist in the maintenance and preservation of this historic gem all year long. The Lafayette Park Conservancy organizes the volunteer days at the garden.
During winter months, volunteers will be in the Forest Park greenhouse under the guidance of the Flora Conservancy assisting with seed and cuttings propagation. During the spring, volunteers head back to Lafayette Park to prepare garden beds and plant the results of their winter's work. Summer maintenance tasks include watering, mulching, pruning and landscape design.
Lafayette Park was set aside from the St. Louis Common in 1836 and in 1851 established by city ordinance as one of the first public parks. It is considered by many historians to be the oldest urban park west of the Mississippi. Lafayette Park first served as a parade ground during the Civil War. Extensively landscaped after the war by the renowned landscape architect, Maximilian Kern, the park truly came into its own during the Victorian "Gilded Age" of the late 1800s.