Like the diversity of our nation, the autumnal leaf colors of the Blackgum tree host every color of the rainbow. The Trail of Trees was planted in honor of the participants of The Ethnic Life Stories Project that chronicles the lives of dozens of Springfield immigrants. A gathering place with color furnishings and seasonal containers can be found on the very north west border of the park property. The row of black gum trees can be found along the north road to the Japanese Garden. Each are identified with a granite country of origin at the base.
Local Springfield businessman, Jim Mauldin, discovered an interest in “new American” immigrants especially after serving in Europe during World War II. Working with several agencies, Mr. Mauldin was able to capture the story of immigrants to Springfield, Missouri with a voluntary story recorders or keepers. Printed stories can be found with the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Drury University and inside the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center Library.