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
Download the reservation application (PDF).
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.
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
AGEAll agesDATEMay 7, June 4, July 2TIMEFri., 6-9 p.m.LOCATIONFounders ParkFEEFree
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
AGEAll agesDATEWednesdays, May 5-June 30TIME12:15-12:45 p.m.LOCATIONFounders ParkFEEFree
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
AGEAll agesDATEFri. and Sat., June 4-July 31TIMEMovies begin at duskLOCATIONFounders ParkFEEFree