Jordan Creek

Project Updates

Project Facts

  • Construction Contractor
    • Phase 1 - JLA Construction
    • Phase 2 - Sprouls Construction
  • Cost
    • Construction - $2,550,000
    • Design - $83,000
    • Land Acquisition - $243,000
    • Total Cost - $2,876,000
  • Design Engineer
    • Hood-Rich, Inc.
  • Funding Sources
    • 2001 Stormwater Bond Issue Funds - $2,552,000
    • City Utilities - $54,000
    • Community Foundation of the Ozarks Stewardship Ozarks Fund - $10,000 (via a grant to Ozark Greenways, Inc.)
    • Federal Transportation Enhancement Grant - $160,000
    • Springfield-Greene County Parks Department - $100,000
  • Location
    • National to Fremont, south of Division.
    • The project connects Smith Park and Silver Springs Park.
  • Objective
    • Reduce potential flooding hazard to several properties by removing them from the 100 year floodplain while providing water quality enhancement, incorporating a linear park trail as planned in the Vision 20/20 Parks, Open Space, and Greenways plan, and adding aesthetic value to the neighborhood.
  • Partners
    • City Utilities
    • Ozark Greenways, Inc.
    • Public Works Operations
    • Public Works Stormwater Engineering
    • Springfield-Greene County Parks Department


This project, the 1st of its kind in Springfield, includes a number of innovative features in a new approach to stormwater management often referred to as "daylighting." The project involved removing inadequate drainage tunnels and reconstructing a new "stream" ecosystem through a greenway corridor with a safe pedestrian trail connecting Smith Park and Silver Springs Park. The project provides 100-year flood capacity to protect adjacent properties and remove them from the floodplain while enhancing water quality and providing natural habitat and community recreational opportunities. The project promotes the idea that urban streams are a valuable resource to be enjoyed rather than a nuisance to be tunneled underground.


One flood-prone house, a commercial property and additional vacant floodplain property were acquired to construct the project. Federal grant funding was obtained to construct the trail with pedestrian underpasses at each of the four streets to eliminate at-grade crossings. This trail makes a vital connection in the Vision 20/20 comprehensive Parks, Open Space, and Greenways plan, with eventual connections to Jordan Valley Park, Hammons Field and neighboring college campuses.


A variety of innovative design approaches were used to accomplish the objectives of this two-phase project. In Phase 1, National to Prospect, the creek channel was reconstructed with gently sloping banks. Articulated concrete block mats were used to stabilize the channel. The blocks contain open centers and spacing to allow vegetation to grow through, creating a natural appearance. Vegetation filters pollutants and reduces downstream erosion and flooding by slowing down the water and promoting infiltration.

In Phase 2, Prospect to Fremont, the creek was reconstructed with curving block walls and sloping, grass sides. Natural boulders were used to edge the low flow channel to simulate the form and function of a natural stream while keeping maintenance costs low. West of National in Silver Springs Park and east of Fremont in Smith Park, the dilapidated rock walls were rebuilt to match the existing historic walls, a unique feature to the area. Decorative concrete and railing were installed in the sidewalk area at each of the four street crossings.

Plants & Trees

With $10,000 in grant funding from the inaugural round of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks stewardship initiative, nearly 5,000 native plants and 105 trees were planted during the project. These included 42 different species of plants native to southwest Missouri. A wetland mix that can tolerate fluctuation in stormwater was planted in the lower areas that will be exposed to the creek. Native prairie plants tolerant of the existing soil conditions and sporadic rainfall were chosen for the upper sides of the project.

The underlying turf is buffalo grass - a native grass chosen for its hardiness and low-maintenance. The selection of native plants leads toward a future reduction in maintenance costs and negative environmental impacts because natives have been proven to require less maintenance, water, fertilizer and pesticides. Tree species included native willows, redbuds, witch hazels and serviceberries.