Founders Park

Design & Features


The design theme of the park resembles the historic Phenix Quarry, near Willard, Mo., 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. There are five major areas within the park's boundaries:
  • A 250-seat amphitheater with a 18 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 by 120-foot historical mural covering 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
  • An area for native prairie grasses which existed on the nearby Kickapoo Prairie

Reservations


Download the reservation application (PDF).

Location


Founders Park is located on a 0.7-acre site at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Water Street at 330 E Water Street. In 1829, Springfield founding father John Polk Campbell staked his claim to homestead what soon became Springfield by marking trees near a spring in this area. The site has previously served as the location for a stone quarry, a blacksmith shop, the Herman-Sanford Horse Collar Factory, the Silsby Stove and Hardware Company, a lumberyard, and a railroad right of way.

Parking

 Parking can be tricky to find downtown, but there are plenty of free options if you know where to look. Please use public parking spaces identified on this map with orange markers. For more parking information, visit It's All Downtown.

downtownparking



Founders Park Events



  1. First Fridays at Founders Park


    Visit Founders Park during Downtown Springfield’s First Friday ArtWalk May-July for live music and live art, in a festive, socially-distanced atmosphere.
    May 7 The Hook Knives
    June 4 Jin J X Group
    July 2 Dallas Jones and Molly Healey

    AGE
    All ages
    DATE
    May 7, June 4, July 2
    TIME
    Fri., 6-9 p.m.
    LOCATION
    Founders Park
    FEE
    Free

     


  2. Wednesday Concerts at Noon


    Enjoy free half-hour lunchtime concerts every Wednesday, May-June, at downtown's Founders Park. Bring your own lunch and see area performers on stage, on the site where Springfield was founded.
    May 5 Springfield Little Theatre Academy Performers
    May 12 Springfield Little Theatre YES Troupe – Musical Theater Variety
    May 19 Mike Mac & The Sidemen — Americana – Country Blues
    May 26 Ralph Hepola’s Heptones
    June 2 Ukeladies – Ukulele Band
    June 9 David J. Hinson – Acoustic Guitar
    June 16 Sarah M. Smith – Vocal and Acoustic guitar
    June 23 The Springfield Community Jazz Ensemble – Big Band Jazz
    June 30 The Bridgetones – Gospel, Folk and Country Music

    AGE
    All ages
    DATE
    Wednesdays, May 5-June 30
    TIME
    12:15-12:45 p.m.
    LOCATION
    Founders Park
    FEE
    Free

     


  3. Movies at Founders Park


    A contemporary version of the drive-in theater at Springfield’s founding site. Enjoy new release and classic movies in an outdoor setting. A mix of family favorites and action thrillers, rated G, PG, or PG-13. Concessions available, bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. No movies the weekend of July 2-3. Movie titles and details at ParkBoard.org/Movies

    AGE
    All ages
    DATE
    Fri. and Sat., June 4-July 31
    TIME
    Movies begin at dusk
    LOCATION
    Founders Park
    FEE
    Free