A 200-Acre Community Park or Working Farm?

a-200-acre-community-park-

A 200-Acre Community Park or Working Farm?
Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, Springfield
Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park
3825 West Farm Road 146
Springfield, MO 65810
417-837-5949
www.parkboard.org/265/Rutledge-Wilson-Farm-Community-Park

Is it a park or farm? Yes, it is. Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park is a 207-acre park and farm, created by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board to provide educational and recreational resources, celebrating the rich agricultural heritage of the Ozarks in a fun and unique play space. Opened in 2007, the centerpiece of the park is a 4,112 square-foot Big Red Barn, home to miniature horses, miniature donkeys, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Boar Goats, and Dorper Sheep. The Barn also includes a veterinary office, tack room, hay storage, nine exterior corrals, a wash bay and a roomy classroom, which is busy with classes, visiting school groups, crafts, story hours and birthday parties.
The chicken coop, turkey enclosure, rabbit hutch and more animal pens are just outside the barn. Hogs and piglets live nearby in the Pig Palace, including their own barn and pen. Kids may visit Irene the Dairy Queen — a larger-than-life fiberglass Holstein milk cow. Irene may be filled with water to give visitors an opportunity to see what it is like to milk a cow. Outside of the animals, attractions at the farm include a farm-themed playground, pedal tractors area, bonfire pits, and a picnic area. There are 70 acres of forage crops, rotated annually. A one-acre fishing pond is stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish for catch and release fishing. The Wilson’s Creek Greenway, a paved recreation trail, crosses through the property. The earliest recorded name of the owner of the property is Daniel N. Beal, who filed a federal land patent for the property. The farm changed hands multiple times before being passed down to namesake, John G. Wilson in 1944. In 1982, the Farm’s ownership was passed onto namesake Troy Rutledge. The entire property was purchased by the City of Springfield in 2001. Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park opened to the public in 2007, and friends and families have been making “farm-tastic” memories there ever since.

As featured in Missouri Back Road Restaurant Recipes