Sense of Community

Our ongoing, 10-part Community Journalism series airs quarterly

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters come together to produce 10 stories, four times a year;  see past espisodes of our Sense of Community series here.

Caleb Conaway

To cap off our 10-part Sense of Community series, Take It Outside, we’re hitting the trails at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, just 20 minutes from Springfield. 

Wilson’s Creek is a mix of natural beauty and history, where these lush hills met with the human horror of war. 

According to the National Park Service, the battlefield has five trails off the tour road, and they range from a quarter of a mile to three-quarters of a mile long.   Many of those trails meet up for longer hikes.

Rebecca Dula / Submitted

It’s mid-morning at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park in west Springfield, which connects to the Ozark Greenways trail.  It’s a beautiful area, with rolling hills, fields of crops, a chicken coop and a large pond. However, one thing that makes this park unique is that it has some extra options for people with disabilities in the form of three very special bicycles. They’re available for anyone to use.

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

In this segment of KSMU’s Sense of Community series “Take It Outside: 10 Unique Spots to Enjoy the Natural Ozarks,” Jess Balisle takes listeners to the top of White Rock Mountain for a weekend of driving dirt roads, swimming and sunset watching.

We've just hit the dirt road on our way to White Rock. I’m so excited to be taking you guys to this very special place that I have grown up going to.

White Rock Mountain is situated in the middle of the Boston Mountains on the west end of the Ozark National Forest in Northwest Arkansas. It’s become my second home over the years.

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

In this segment of KSMU’s Sense of Community series “Take It Outside,” Jess Balisle takes us to Blanchard Springs Caverns, just north of Mountain View, Arkansas.

Michele Skalicky

Branson is known for its wide variety of shows, attractions and shopping opportunities.  But there’s a place west of town where you can get out in nature and take a break from the hustle and bustle.