March 12, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Free Admission to History Museum Saturday

Saturday, March 16, is the community's last chance to see the 100 years of Park Board history showcased at The History Museum on the Square. Admission is free Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., giving anyone downtown for Saturday's Springfield St. Patrick's Day Parade the opportunity to enter the museum on the final day of the exhibit.

"Sun, Sports and Summer Fun: A Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board," opened in December at the museum's new location at 155 Park Central Square. The exhibit was scheduled to close Friday, but support by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and the Springfield Softball Hall of Fame Museum enabled the exhibit to remain open through Saturday.

"These photos and artifacts really show how parks grew to become part of the fabric of our community," said Bob Belote, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, "Don't miss your last chance to see the exhibit. The photo of the crocodiles living at Phelps Grove Park alone is worth the trip."

The then-named Springfield Park Board was established May 22, 1913, after Springfield voters overwhelmingly approved a mill tax for establishment and maintenance of free public parks and playgrounds. The Park Board took over maintenance of Washington and Lafayette (both est. 1869) and set about planning new parks. Within the next 30 years, the Park Board had added what are now considered Springfield's ten Historic Parks. Tremendous growth took place from the 1950's to the present. The name changed to the Springfield-Greene County Park Board in 1996, when voters approved expansion of the system beyond city limits. The Park Board now counts 102 sites and many more facilities within its system.

The History Museum exhibit focuses on the 10 Historic Parks: Dickerson Park Zoo, Doling, Grant Beach, Fassnight, Lafayette, Phelps Grove, Sequiota, Silver Springs, Smith and Washington. It also includes artifacts from the Doling History Museum, the Springfield Softball Hall of Fame Museum and private collections.

"Special thanks to The History Museum on the Square for helping us kick off our centennial celebration with this exhibit," said Belote.

Admission Saturday is free. Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Regular admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under.

The Park Board continues with its centennial celebration throughout 2013, including traveling exhibits, a community input campaign and the Park Board's 100th Birthday Bash, set for Saturday, May 18, at Phelps Grove Park.

For more information on The History Museum, call 417-864-1976.
For more information on the Parks centennial celebration, call Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.