March 01, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Spring Returns Gardens & Fishing to Farm Park

The Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park marks the return of spring today, March 1, by reopening the Urban Garden and the Fishing Pond.

The Urban Garden is in its third season, with small and large garden plots available to rent March 1 through Oct. 31. The garden includes 70 plots, available in 16' x 8' ($25/year) or 16' x 16' ($40/year).

"It was started as an opportunity for people who live in apartments or who don't have space in their yards to grow a garden," said Nick Breithaupt, Farm Park Coordinator. "Gardeners can grow their choice of plants, but all planting, weeding, watering and harvesting is up to them."

Catch-and-release fishing also begins today at the Farm Park's pond, stocked with bass, blue gill and catfish. Fishing is available to all ages for $3/hour, which includes tackle.

"We provide the pole, the bait, everything you need," said Breithaupt, adding that no fishing license is required at the catch-and-release pond, making it a great activity for families.

Springtime at the Farm Park always means babies. Right now, the barn is home to ducklings and two new piglets: a pink Yorkshire and a red floppy-eared Duroc. Breithaupt said the piglets are about 20 pounds and behave like typical young animals.

"They like to wrestle a lot and chase each other around, then they like to bury themselves under the straw and sleep snuggled up next to each other."

Ducklings, piglets and other animals are featured in the Farm Park's monthly "Little Farmer" programs, designed for kids age 4-7 on Thursdays at 3 p.m. Registration is required.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board's Rutledge-Wilson Community Farm Park was created in 2007 to provide access to educational and recreational resources celebrating the rich agricultural heritage of Springfield and Greene County. The 207-acre park includes an animal barn, milking barn, demonstration crops and gardens, a fishing pond, visitor's center, gift shop and a farm-themed playground. The Farm Park is located just west of Springfield at 3825 W. Farm Road 146. Hours are Tuesday- Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on all activities at Rutledge-Wilson Community Farm Park, call the park at 417-837-5949 or visit www.parkboard.org/rutledge_wilson/. For media inquiries, call Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.