If every park in Springfield had a persona, Phelps Grove Park’s alter ego would be Sansa Stark—a key player who stands the test of time but is woefully underestimated until you finally know better.
Delightfully tucked into a scenic residential neighborhood in the heart of Springfield and surrounded by beautiful older homes on three sides and the Springfield Art Museum on the fourth, this park might not look like much at first. It’s a modest rectangle. Not all that big, really. The playground is pretty old. There is no particularly fancy landscaping or particularly unexpected attractions. Yet it’s always, always packed with people, kids, dogs and parties. You might wonder, “What do they see in this little park anyway?” Well, as earnest lovers of the 31-acre Phelps Grove Park, we can help you answer that. Take one trip to that tree-shaded Mecca in the city, and you’ll sing its praises too.
The Trees Are Magnificent
Our No. 1 reason to love Phelps Grove Park is the flat landscape that’s peppered with tall, leafy trees filtering the sunlight and creating dappled shade all over the ground. It’s one of our favorite stops on a hot summer day because we can always find a cool, shady spot to relax on the grass. In the fall, we love it too. That’s when those trees turn vibrant colors, and the Osage orange trees drop their enormous lime green fruit. Sometimes called Osage oranges, sometimes called hedge apples and sometimes called (at least in my family) Mother’s Nature’s bocce balls, these lumpy little fruits are great for kicking, chasing, tossing and dodging. Just don’t eat them.