Springfield Public Gardens Connect You With Nature
Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park
More civilized than an Ozark forest, but a far cry from the typical city park, this place is one of our favorite nature spots. Twenty-one gardens, each one prettier than the last, and trees both native and introduced. Geese and herons inhabit the ponds. You'll go home inspired by the lovely landscaping.
Be sure to stop at the Butterfly House! Volunteer docents share information about these delicate creatures while you admire native butterflies of the Ozarks region up close, from caterpillar through the entire life cycle.
Also located in the park, the Gray-Campbell Farmstead is the oldest house in town, with educational displays and programs for visitors. The docents are knowledgeable and very entertaining.
Don't leave without a walk through the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden. With winding paths, ponds, classic Japanese gardening, arched bridges, pagoda, and a meditation garden, it feels worlds away from city noise and traffic. 2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield. 417-891-1515. For more information, hours and special events, click here.
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
Take a self-guided tour of this low water garden and get some planting ideas to keep yard pretty while conserving water. National Ave and Linwood St. 417-881-8909