Paul A. Barker Park

The Paul A. Barker Park site was generously donated to the Springfield Park District by the Paul Barker Trust in 2005.   This 26-acre site is adjacent to Franklin Park Estates neighborhood that was developed during the 1970s and 1980s and the University of Illinois whose campus was developed during the same era. The District then engaged professional park planning firm Massie Massie & Associates (MMA) to develop a master plan to guide park development.

The creation of the Master Plan involved careful analysis of the existing site conditions, discussion with staff, the Park Board and the University of Illinois at Springfield, numerous public meetings with neighborhood residents and various special interest groups.

Through a strong partnership with the Franklin Park Neighborhood Association many components in the first phase of park development were completed in May of 2015 including topographical study, commemorative Park entrance signs, paved entrance road, paved parking lot, electric service to the park, accessible parking area, accessible picnic shelter with tables, sanitary storm sewer system, basketball court, park benches, numerous tree plantings, landscaping, asphalt walking path system, and 6 acres of green space for residents to enjoy and hold events.

The Park District continues to identify internal and external funding sources to continue its commitment to develop Barker Park. Carter's Drive and the Springfield Parks Foundation have recently donated funds to assist with the purchase and installation of a play system that will be installed in August 2019.

The Springfield Park District would like to thank the Paul A. Barker Trust for this thoughtful and generous gift. This land has been transformed into an important and meaningful recreational space benefiting families living inside Franklin Park Estates and throughout the community.