Visitors to Meador Park may have noticed a few changes over the summer.
The Springfield-Greene County Park Board recently wrapped up a number of improvements at Meador, funded through a federal Community Development Block Grant coming to the City of Springfield through the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program.
Kids will immediately notice the new playground feature, designed with a treehouse/forest theme. The green and brown structure includes four slides, multiple platforms, interactive toys and a climbing rock, all built over cushioned rubber surface. Meador now has two large playground features, as well as several stand-alone pieces of play equipment.
Tennis players and pickleball enthusiasts have already taken advantage of court improvements, including new lighting and fencing. Two of the four original tennis courts have been converted into pickleball courts, reflecting the sport’s growing popularity.
A new 2,300-foot (.43-mile) concrete walking trail encircles the park, providing a smooth surface to walkers, bicyclists, parents with strollers and wheelchair users.
Meador Park was acquired by the Park Board in 1958, and was developed in the 1960s, before the Battlefield Mall was built. At the time, the area was the southern edge of Springfield. also includes a swimming pool and six heavily used ball fields.
The park was named for Drury economics and political science professor and civic leader L.E. Meador, 1881-1975. He helped write the City of Springfield’s Charter in the early 1950s and was instrumental in establishing Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, and was named Springfieldian of the Century in 1973. He is also the namesake of Drury University’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship.