SPRINGFIELD, MO. — The Springfield-Greene County Park Board has closed a portion of historic Silver Springs Park due to flooding. The park remains open and the closed area is marked with rope. All scheduled activities at Timmons Hall are proceeding as planned.
Following several inches of spring rainfall, Parks staff found the area including park’s circular amphitheater, a picnic shelter and some playground equipment to be holding water. The saturated area is about 130 feet across.
The source is suspected to be the park’s namesake, a natural spring that is contained in an underground cistern at the center of the amphitheater. The spring normally drains, via a 300-foot pipe, before it surfaces into Jordan Creek, the park's visible waterway.
Miles Park, Assistant Director of Parks over Operations, believes the century-old clay tile pipe connecting the cistern to the creek has collapsed, causing water to surface in the park.
“We’re investigating the cause and trying to locate where the pipe has collapsed, so we can determine how to go about repairs,” said Park. “The investigation is complicated by the volume of water covering the area."
The Park Board is consulting with City of Springfield Environmental Services’ Stormwater Division on diagnosis and a plan moving forward. No timeline has been outlined for repairs.
“Obviously, with the popularity of this park and playground, and with Juneteenth coming up in a few weeks, we want to make repairs as quickly as possible, although we don’t yet know what the scope of this project will be,” said Bob Belote, Director of Parks. “Until we are able to drain the water, we ask for everyone to stay out of the roped off area.”
Silver Springs Park is one of Springfield’s 10 historic parks, each dating to before World War II. Silver Springs was established in 1918 on land known as the old Fairbanks pasture, and later named for a spring on site, flowing into Jordan Creek. During segregation, Silver Springs was the city’s only public park designated for Black residents and sports leagues, including semi-pro baseball. In the 1930s, the WPA built the stone retaining walls and the first Silver Springs Pool, and lined the creek channel with rock. Silver Springs Park is the site of the annual Park Day Reunion, celebrated with a parade, a beauty pageant, concerts and a picnic on the first weekend in August. The park is also home to Timmons Hall, a portion of the Jordan Creek Greenway, and is a stop on the Springfield-Greene County African-American Heritage Trail.
For media inquiries, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-224-5510.