Saving the Green

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Published on: Apr. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 26, 2010

development and cleaner water.

"Individuals will be responsible for their environmental impact," Logan says.

Whaley says corridor efforts focus on protecting existing wildlife, including deer, songbirds, hawks and eagles. "One thing we definitely want to do is save what's already there," he says. "That's the best place to start."

South Creek/Wilson's Creek Greenway

A 10-mile ribbon of green will soon be a haven for Springfield bicyclists and birds.

Parallel to two creeks and connecting three parks, a coming greenway runs right through the heart of the city. And that's the idea.

"Normally, key open spaces are consumed and fragmented by new construction," says Ron Coleman, former director of Ozark Greenways, a Springfield nonprofit organization that organizes greenway efforts. "We're trying to win some battles for conservation on the urban edge."

Joining in those battles are the City of Springfield, the National Park Service and numerous nature-conscious citizens. One, Grace Hasler, is motivated by memory. "Some years back," Hasler says, "a creek downtown was cemented over and developed. We decided to do something before the same thing happened to South Creek."

Hasler says the greenway, which parallels South and Wilson creeks, will be a thoroughfare for city wildlife, giving chipmunks, squirrels and birds a place to live or rest.

"If you look at an old map of Missouri, there once was a lot of contiguous land where birds could live," says Hasler. "That land was important to protect certain birds from predators. Now, we're trying to get it back."

"It's a sanctuary for birds and small wildlife used to a sea of asphalt and concrete," Coleman adds. A second sanctuary, now under construction, is a 30-mile rails-to-trails project between Springfield and Bolivar. Once the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad, the link is about to become the second longest rail-turned-trail (after the KATY Trail) in Missouri.

With nearly 20,000 acres of public parks and lakes nearby, the "Frisco Highline" trail will act as a migration route for birds and wildlife. In 1995, Ozark Greenways began converting this essential 19th-century railroad into an easy nature stopover.

Winterset Park Subdivision & Nature Area

When Nancy Osborne looks out the window of her Lee's Summit home, she sees towering oaks, sprawling redbuds and precious walnut trees. In all, some 60 trees shade the Osborne's yard - almost as many as before the house was built.

That's because the Osbornes live in Winterset Park, a unique subdivision named after a Missouri rock. Devoted to saving trees, Winterset has earned

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