Rural Missouri Magazine

A garden stroll
Springfield's Nathanael Greene Park

by Heather Berry

Nestled among the 110 acres of Springfield’s Nathanael Greene Park sets a little oasis of serenity called the Japanese Stroll Garden. The 7.5-acre garden was built in 1985 by the Springfield-Greene County Parks and Recreation Department. Its design takes advantage of techniques typical of tea gardens in Japan, using stepping stones, lanterns and a tea hut as architectural features to enhance the landscape.

The city of Isesaki, Japan has been Springfield’s sister city since 1986. Isesaki aided in the development of this beautiful garden gem by donating numerous trees and design ideas for the park. Nearly 20 years later, the trees and plants have matured into beautiful accents to a meticulously cared for landscape.

When visiting the garden, you may pass through a Torii Gate, gaze at the Moon Bridge over the little pond or sit in the Meditation Garden which offers a very Zen-like, relaxing state for those who pause there. Stepping stones and Japanese stone lanterns accent the paths throughout the garden. A lovely ornamental tea house overlooks the peaceful waters where the goldfish and ducks reside.

The garden is open April 1 through Oct. 31, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. It’s located at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield.

For more information call (417) 864-1049.


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