Roseann Bentley Musical Playground


Coming soon to Phelps Grove Park:

The Roseann Bentley Musical Playground

Fundraising is underway to build the Park Board’s first musical playground, honoring Roseann Bentley for a lifetime of service to our community.

The Community Partnership of the Ozarks, in partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, is planning the Roseann Bentley Musical Playground for Phelps Grove Park. 

This interactive and fully accessible musical playground is designed for kids of all ages and abilities to make a merry noise. Eight playground-grade instruments, including xylophones, drums and other percussive tones, built in colorful shapes of flowers and trees, will installed in the center of the current playground area at Phelps Grove Park. The playground, the first of its kind in our parks system, will be a creative and imaginative play destination for kids and families, in one of the community’s most beloved parks. 

We need your help to build it! Donate today to be a part of this unique community-driven project. Any amount helps. Giving levels that include recognition on signage begin at $1,000. 

Project FAQs

Who is Roseann Bentley?

Roseann Knauer Bentley is a former educator, Missouri state senator and Greene County Commissioner who spent more than five decades in public service advocating on behalf of families, children and education.

She started her career teaching kindergarten and first grade, before going on to serve on the Springfield Board of Education, the Missouri State School Board, the National Association of State Boards of Education and the Parents as Teachers National Board.

Bentley was the first woman elected to the Missouri State Senate from southwest Missouri, serving Springfield’s District 30 1995-2003. She was the first woman to serve on the Senate Finance Committee and chaired the Children’s Services Commission. After the state senate, Bentley served as Greene County District 2 Commissioner for 12 years, retiring in 2016. 

Bentley was a founding member of the CPO Board of Directors, serving more than 20 years, including as Board President in 2009. She also served on the statewide Families and Community Trust (FACT) Board, representing CPO for more than 10 years. Through these efforts, Bentley helped to shape the direction of twenty Community Partnerships across Missouri.   

Bentley also help start Ozarks Public Television in the early 1970s and the United Way of the Ozarks Day of Caring in 1993. She earned the Association of Junior Leagues International Mary Harriman Award in 1992, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Springfieldian Award in 2003, Missouri Women’s Council Award of Distinction in 2006 and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks Humanitarian Award in 2012. She is the namesake of Springfield Public Schools Roseann Bentley Administrative Center. Bentley was married to the late Dr. John Bentley, and she has four children, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She resides in Springfield.

What’s planned for the playground?

The Roseann Bentley Musical Playground will include eight colorful playground-grade percussion instruments: Titan Tines, Tuned Drums, Freenote Flowers, Lilypad Cymbals, Serenade Chimes, Tenor Tree Bells, Calypso Drum, and Melody Metallophone.

Installation includes a 40-foot diameter circular concrete pad, three park benches, and a path connecting to the north/south center footpath in Phelps Grove Park.

Where will it be?

The Roseann Bentley Musical Playground will be in the center of the existing playground at Phelps Grove Park. All current playground equipment and features will remain in place. View map.

When will it be opened?

The Park Board is anticipating construction and opening in Fall 2023.

Why is this important?

Building the Roseann Bentley Musical Playground is important to friends of Roseann Bentley, as a fitting tribute to her lifetime of service to children. Bentley has always delighted in imaginative and creative children’s play. She has also lived close to Phelps Grove Park most of her life, along with many of her extended family members, so this park is the right location for a playground in her name.   

The playground is important to Phelps Grove Park, one of Springfield’s oldest and most beloved parks, which serves as an outdoor hub for the Phelps Grove and University Heights neighborhoods, as well as a destination park for the surrounding community. Always popular, Phelps Grove is drawing more activity with the arrival of the Fassnight Creek Greenway, which connects to Parkview High School, Fassnight Park, Springfield Skate Park and the Grant Avenue Parkway; and the multi-phase Springfield Art Museum Master Plan, which includes both indoor and outdoor development for our neighbors to the east. More activity in the parks means more kids in the playground. Addition of the Roseann Bentley Musical Playground helps alleviate pressure on the existing (and often busy) playground equipment at Phelps Grove Park.

The Roseann Bentley Musical Playground is important to our community because it will be the first musical playground in the Parks system. With eight colorful instruments in Phelps Grove Parks’ central Springfield location, it will be an exciting attraction for children and families from all across the community. 

How is it funded?

The Roseann Bentley Musical Playground is be funded entirely by donation through the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. Contributions may be made HERE. Any amount helps. Giving levels that include recognition on signage begin at $1,000. Naming opportunities for instruments and benches are available by reaching out to Janet Dankert, President/CEO of Community Partnership of the Ozark, at 417-888-2020.

How do I find out more?

For information about the donation campaign, contact Justin Lockhart, Vice President of Communication with the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, at 417-888-2020 or 417-770-0878 (mobile). 

For information about the playground project, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510 (mobile).