To create a safe, accessible, comprehensive system of parks, open space, and greenways with sufficient land and facilities that connect selected public and private spaces while preserving the natural environment, and creating the Community as a Park concept through the participation and dedication of all segments of the community working in concert with the Park Board, the City of Springfield, Missouri, and Greene County.
We encourage you to review the DRAFT Recreation & Leisure chapter of Field Guide 2030.
The Recreation and Leisure chapter of the strategic plan is unique in that it was essentially already in existence before this process began. Since the Springfield-Greene County Park Board had recently developed and adopted our own strategic plan addressing the “Recreation and Leisure” topic, the current planning process did not seek to re-invent that plan.
Instead, the existing parks and recreation plan has been woven into the new, broader community strategic plan. The original Parks, Open Space and Greenways Plan is the blueprint for the county-wide parks systems we enjoy today. The Park Board, the Parks Department staff, and the thousands of volunteers we work annually are proud to carry on this tradition of citizen-led planning for the next 20 years.
The underlying foundation of this chapter is the idea that we should continue to create a safe, accessible, comprehensive system of parks and recreation, open space and greenways in our community. This system of public land and facilities should connect us to one another and to the natural world. Our plan urges citizens to view the entire community as a park, as this mindset will have a positive affect on development, sustainability and our quality of life here in Springfield and Greene County.
Parks are more than just “recreation and leisure,” and we’re pleased that this new strategic planning process includes a focus on the inter-relationships of the 13 chapters. Parks are “green” — they help protect the natural landscape and waterways. Parks boost the economy — millions of dollars are brought into the community each year though events of all sizes. Parks build social capital by giving us gathering places.
Some specific goals of this chapter include:
- Pursue the acquisition of park land in areas where it is inadequate or non-existent, and ensure that designated park sites are secured for future use prior to being developed.
- Promote the unique nature of our historic parks to understand and appreciate their role in our history and cultural development.
- Preserve and enhance the character of the historic parks so they retain or regain their original appearance and feel. All planning, design, construction, and maintenance should respect the historic character of these sites.
- Encourage the development of parks and facilities that directly adjoin streets and public rights-of-way.
- Integrate stormwater management into parks and design facilities that are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.
- Establish joint-use agreements to promote the shared use of facilities and resources. The School-Park sites and programming partnership in Springfield is a prime example.
- Connect parks with neighborhoods, subdivisions and activity centers as development occurs using linear park trails and greenway corridors.
- Use recycled products and other environmentally friendly techniques when designing and developing parks, facilities and equipment.
- Develop and promote an Adopt-A-Park Program to encourage the community to participate in the maintenance and “ownership” of the park system.
- Establish a land trust to help acquire and manage land prior to becoming part of the parks, open space and greenway system.
By: Jerry Clark - Chair of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, and Jodie Adams - Director of Parks and Recreation for the Park Board