The amount of parkland in Springfield would be impressive for a city three times its size. More than 30 public parks provide numerous recreational opportunities‚ including tennis‚ swimming‚ ice skating‚ biking‚ hiking and golf.
The array of open space includes Washington Park with its botanical garden‚ Lincoln Memorial Garden‚ Centennial Park with its skateboarders’ complex‚ Carpenter Park Nature Preserve‚ Lake Springfield and Adams Wildlife Sanctuary. “Adams Wildlife Sanctuary is unique because it’s almost 30 acres located within minutes of downtown – not out in the middle of nowhere‚” says Susan Shaw‚ director. The sanctuary‚ once a mid-19th century farm‚ has a network of trails that are open to the public from sunrise to sunset. The private‚ not-for-profit sanctuary is funded by donations and grants; it attracts about 3‚500 visitors a year. “Visitors can see urban critters‚ resident and migratory birds‚ deer‚ raccoons‚ squirrels‚ and possums‚” Shaw says. “And all the plants are native. Nothing has been deliberately placed or planted.” The 4‚235-acre Lake Springfield is the place for aquatic recreation.
Eight public parks surrounding the lake have picnic tables and shelters‚ playgrounds‚ softball diamonds and hiking trails. With 694 acres of space‚ Carpenter Park Nature Preserve offers 10 trails that wind past unusual rock formations‚ ponds‚ marshes‚ woodlands and prairie. Lincoln Memorial Garden features 15 wooded trails‚ with benches along the way that are etched with Lincoln quotes. The plants are native to the three states where Lincoln lived – Kentucky‚ Indiana and Illinois.