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This morning, we took a look at the history of Springfield’s Phelps Grove Park. As a part of KSMU’s ongoing series A Sense of Place, KSMU’s Missy Shelton now reports on efforts to re-vitalize the park using historical information.
Take a stroll through Phelps Grove Park, located just south of the Missouri State University campus and you’ll see lots of trees, tennis courts, a pavilion. But area residents say if you look closer, you’ll see there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. Richard Crabtree is president of the University Heights Neighborhood Association.
Crabtree has collected photos, newspaper articles and other documents that detail the history of Phelps Grove Park…the park itself was created in 1914 and before that, it was a homestead owned by John S. Phelps who served as Missouri’s governor. Before the Phelps family called it home, Native Americans lived on the land. Crabtree says a facelift for the park is long overdue.
Crabtree is leading a series of public meetings designed to generate input on the park’s future. And the park’s future certainly seems tied to its past. Crabtree says he has plans dating back to the early years of the park from well-known landscape architects of that time like George Kessler and Hare and Hare.
Planting trees in the park comes with a price tag. Crabtree says there is some grant money available to offset the costs.
The next public meeting about the future of Phelps Grove Park will take place the first week of March. Crabtree says he strongly encourages students from Missouri State University to participate in the planning process since many of them enjoy using the park. If you’d like information on the next meeting or on efforts to re-vitalize Phelps Grove Park, you can reach Richard Crabtree at 224-4573.