Founders Park

Located on a 0.7-acre site at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Water Street, Founders Park plays an important role in downtown and the greater Springfield community, signifying the area where John Polk Campbell originally staked his claim to homestead for what soon became Springfield.

Founders Park is part of the greater Renew Jordan Creek Master Plan and will be considered for improvements in the planning process. In an effort to best steward Springfield’s public spaces, potential enhancements to Founders Park will be studied and discussed.

The current design theme of the park resembles the historic Phenix Quarry, near Willard, Missouri, which used steam-operated saws to cut large blocks of limestone for shipment throughout the country. The Great Seal of the State of Missouri was carved on site at Phenix Quarry. Currently, the park includes:

  • A 250-seat amphitheater with a 18-foot by 30-foot stage, wired for sound and light equipment;
  • A re-creation of the original spring used by our founders near the site of the park;
  • An upland woods area depicting the natural hardwood forest which once existed on the site including a 10-foot by 120-foot historical mural illustrating the first 100 years of Springfield’s citizens, buildings, and local historical events;
  • A historical timeline that describes the growth of Springfield during the first 100 years and how national and international events played a part in the city’s development; and
  • An area for native prairie grasses that existed on the nearby Kickapoo Prairie.
wide shot inside founders park of crowd enjoying daytime concert