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Work Continues at Sequiota Park

Sequiota Park is undergoing a major facelift. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more on the project at the park on Lone Pine in southeast Springfield…

Part of the effort to improve water quality now lies beneath the waters of the lake at Sequiota Park. Visitors to the park while construction was underway saw four walls made up of piled up stones jutting out into the dry lake bed. Those are called baffles, according to Miles Park, superintendent of General Services for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board…Miles2Three to six feet of silt was removed from the lake when it was dredged. That silt contained nutrients which led to algae blooms. Since the lake is now deeper, the water temperature is lower, which should reduce the problem of algae blooms.Park says the improvements should contribute to better water quality even outside Sequiota’s boundaries…Miles3The fish that were in the lake were captured when the lake was emptied. Missouri Department of Conservation biologists discouraged park workers from moving them to another body of water for fear of also transporting diseases, parasites and nonnative species. So, the fish became a soil amendment for the row crops at Rutledge-Wilson Community Farm Park. Miles Park says they plan to eventually add fish back to the lake at Sequiota.While the lake was empty, some of the rock walls surrounding it that had started to fall were repaired or replaced.And the two pedestrian bridges—on the north and south ends of the lake—have been replaced…Miles1The creek bed that conveys stormwater through Sequiota Park has been widened and the sides laid back. Park says that should help alleviate some downstream flooding issues. Stone is being placed on the new concrete walls of the creek bed to reflect the state placed on the walls of the lake years ago.Sequiota has an interesting history. A trolley used to run along the railroad tracks in the early part of the 20th century to take picnickers to the park. In the 1920s, the park became a fish hatchery and remained that until the mid 1970s when the Park Board acquired it as a park site. Today it’s one of Springfield’s most popular parks.When the project is finished, there will be two new bridges over the creek bed, and the existing parking lot will be extended to the south, doubling the amount of parking spots available. A paved walking path will run along the lake, and the adjacent landscape will be planted with wildlife in mind…Miles4The total cost of the improvements at Sequiota is $2 million. Park expects the project to be finished in early to mid summer.