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Southwind Park

4965 S 2nd Street Springfield, IL 62703

Phone: 217-585-2941

Hours: - CT

Park Info


Open Dawn to 10:30 pm


  • Established 2004
  • Acres: 80
  • Southwind Park, Springfield's most inclusive attraction, sets a new national standard not just for accessibility, but also for environmental excellence. Every area and feature of the 80-acre park exceeds ADA accessibility requirements. Erin's Pavilion is a Platinum LEED certified building. Other eco-friendly features include wetlands, a wind turbine, solar panels and a geothermal system.
  • One of the most compelling features of Southwind Park is its complete accessibility for all ages and abilities with special emphasis and attention given to those with physical and cognitive disabilities. It provides a new dimension of inclusion for all people "without boundaries" in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Southwind Park is an all-people park, serving cognitive, emotional, physical and social needs in a diverse, safe and fun setting without physical and social barriers.
  • Fishing Piers
    Three completely accessible fishing piers on the lake allow anglers to try their luck at catching bluegill, bass, trout, and catfish.
  • Gazebo
    The gazebo offers a panoramic view of the lake and Erin's Pavilion, all surrounded by beautiful native landscaping. It is an area for tranquil reflection and quiet conversation.
  • Playgrounds
    One of the city's largest playgrounds, the main playground is barrier-free and includes accessible swings and outdoor musical instruments. For safety and comfort, there is pour-in play surface. The second playground, Kiwanis Club Playground, is located just off of the Great Lawn. 
  • Picnic Shelters
    Five picnic shelters, equipped with ceiling fans and electric outlets, are scattered throughout the park. A large family picnic shelter is located near the great lawn and sports courts.
  • Sports Courts
    Bocce ball, horseshoe pits and shuffleboard courts offer group fun at the park. Individual and league play is available.
  • The Great Lawn
    This 8-acre grassy area is ideal for kite flying, Frisbee and just hanging out with friends and family.
  • Sensory Gardens
    One unique feature of Southwind Park is its five sensory gardens. The Enabling Garden has raised planters for seated gardening. The Tranquility Garden, for persons with Alzheimer's or dementia, has seating areas and a grove of white birches. The Fragrant Garden features a waterfall and sensory plants in easy reach. The Children's Garden includes a native plant area, bird attracting garden and many different paths and whimsical items. The Butterfly Garden has interpretive signage, seating, and a water feature.
  • Urban Trail & Navigation System
    Navigating the park is easy with a 2 1/2 mile concrete trail that has built-in directional guides and a color-coded wayfinding system for individuals with cognitive disabilities.
  • Southwind Park Tram
    The park's exclusively designed tram is accessible and carries up to 8 people, providing either a complete tour or a ride to a specific park location during a wedding or reception at Erin's Pavilion.
  • Southwind Park is a multi-million dollar all accessible park. It was named after Edwin Watts who was a lifelong resident in Sangamon County. He used the property for agriculture and died in 1913. The 80 acres of land was passed down through his family and was finally donated to the park district in 2004. The park project was funded through numerous funding methods such as grants, fundraising, and donations.

Rules & Regulations

Park Rules to Remember

  • Be courteous of others sharing your parks
  • Supervise children at all times
  • Playgrounds are “Kid Friendly Zones” where smoking is discouraged
  • Leave nature as you found it for others to enjoy & dispose of litter in proper receptacles
  • Vehicles watch your speed, stopping and signaling when driving around park zones
  • Vehicles left after park closing will be towed at owner’s expense

Code of Conduct

All park goers, facility patrons, and persons permitting park space for private events must adhere to the Springfield Park District’s Code of Conduct. For a complete list of this code, go to Gen_Use_Ord_Doc.pdf


Carry-in alcoholic beverages are prohibited in parks and facilities.
See Code of Conduct and Springfield Park District Ordinances for full outline.

Concealed Carry

Firearms are not allowed in Park District facilities or on Park District properties.


Drivers must use designated parking areas. However, if parking area is full, drivers are permitted to park along park district surface streets so long as at least two wheels remain on the paved street at all times.
Always be sure to lock your vehicle while in the park and keep your valuables stowed safely out of site!


Through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, many of our ponds are stocked with bass and bluegill. Each year before the spring trout season, the Washington Park Upper Pond and the Southwind Park Pond are stocked with Rainbow Trout. A fishing license is required to fish in the State of Illinois. Additionally, an inland trout stamp is required to fish for trout.


Be SAFE and Have Fun when you take your dog out to our parks! REMEMBER:

  • Owners are responsible and liable for the actions and behavior of their dogs at all times.
  • Dogs must remain on a leash at all times.  Failure to follow could result in a $75 fine.
  • Owners must pick up after their dog.
  • Maximum of three dogs per handler.
  • Dogs must be licensed and vaccinated. Proof of current rabies vaccination and license is required upon request of police or animal control officer. Tags may serve as proof.
  • Aggressive dogs are not allowed. If your dog becomes unruly or plays rough, leash it and leave immediately.

Warning of Risk

Recreational activities/programs are intended to challenge and engage the physical, mental, and emotional resources of each participant. Despite careful and proper preparation, instruction, medical advice, conditioning and equipment, there is still a risk of serious injury when participating in any recreational activity/program.

Understandably, not all hazards and dangers can be foreseen. Depending on the particular activity, participants must understand that certain risks, dangers, and injuries due to inclement weather, slipping, falling, poor skill  level or conditioning, carelessness, horseplay, unsportsmanlike conduct, premises defects, inadequate or defective equipment, inadequate supervision, instruction or officiating, and all other circumstances inherent to indoor and outdoor recreational activities/programs exist. In this regard, it must be recognized that it is impossible for the Springfield Park District to guarantee absolute safety.

Photo/Video Disclaimer

On occasion, Springfield Park District staff may photograph or video participants during Park District programs, classes and events at our facilities, parks or outside locations. These photos may be used in our seasonal brochures, on our website and additional uses as the Springfield Park District deems necessary. If you do not wish to be photographed, please step away from the camera or notify the photographer.

Vandalism Alert

The Springfield Park District has experienced vandalism within several of its parks and buildings. We need your eyes and your help to stop these criminal acts. If you witness the act of vandalism please call the police immediately and report it by calling 911. If you notice graffiti and property damage in the parks or district buildings please call the Springfield Park District Police at 217-698-6030.

You may also make a report on the comment area on the website at springfieldparks.org or in the “Report Issue” button on the FREE Springfield Park District app. Any assistance from our residents would be greatly appreciated in reporting and putting an end to these crimes. The Springfield Park District will prosecute these senseless acts to the full extent of the law.

Feature Details

Southwind Park has a splashpad.  It's open Memorial Day thru Labor Day

southwind park walking paths

Southwind Park has miles of walking paths that are not hindered by traffic.



Southwind Park has a lake that is stocked for fishing. There is a gazebo on the north side of the lake.


Southwind Park lake has ADA accessible fishing piers in three different locations.


Southwind Park's largest playground was one of the first ADA accessible system within the District.


The Kiwanis Playground at Southwind Park is the second within this 80 acre park.


Treeless Treehouse at Southwind Park.


Babbling Brook at Southwind Park.


Outdoor Children's Musical Instrument Play Area.


Historic Selvaggio Arches


Butterfly Garden


Great Lawn


Molly Sullivan Garden


Pat's Garden House

Southwind Park Sunflower and Sundial Calendar

Southwind Park Solar Sunflower and Calendar Sundial

Click here to learn more about the Solar Sunflower 

Athletic Fields

Southwind Park is a bike, hike and leisure park with not sports fields.  You will find the following leisure sporting activities.

soutwind park shuffleboard

Southwind Park has a shuffleboard area.

Southwind Park Horseshoe court

Southwind Park has a horseshoe court.

southwind park boccee ball court

Southwind Park has a bocce ball court.

Shelter Info

Are you looking for a wonderful and affordable way to host your next outdoor celebration? Look no further...

The Springfield Park District has over thirty picnic areas and shelters throughout our parks located near playgrounds and ample green space. A permit is required for group picnics of 15 or more persons, so plan to get a permit for your next gathering, birthday party, picnic or family event!

Please review the available shelters for this park below.  Remember if you are planning an event, and inviting guests, you will want to check availability and permit the shelter for your specific date and times.


Southwind Park Picnic Shelters


Shelter 1 - Amenity
Picnic shelter 1 is just near the big playground. It has two table, power, water and a ceiling fan. This shelter is most popular for birthday parties.


Hope Pavilion - 2 Amenity
This large open air shelter sits adjacent to the leisure sports courts, bocce ball, horseshoes and shuffleboard. It has 8 tables that are accessible and hosts power and water as well.


Shelter 3 - Amenity
Picnic shelter 3 is just to the right of the Hope Pavilion and sits near the Butterfly Garden. It has 1 table, power, water and a ceiling fan.


Shelter 4 - Amenity
Picnic shelter 4 is in the north- east corner of the park. It has 1 table, power, water, and a ceiling fan.


Shelter 5 - Amenity
Picnic shelter 5 is at the very north of the park near Pat's Garden house and close to restrooms. It has 1 table, power, water and a ceiling fan.


Shelter 6 - Amenity
Picnic shelter 6 is on the west side of the park near the second playground, and by the children's musical instruments. It has 1 table, power, water and a ceiling fan.

While you may picnic at any of our parks for free, advanced reservations are strongly recommended to secure an area or shelter for your special occasions.  Click the button below to go to the Park & Picnic Rentals page for information on rental times, rules, fees and other important guidelines you'll need to permit a shelter or host a special event!


For a comprehensive list of all of the Parks and which ones host shelters, click on the Park Locations & Features "mini-guide" image below to download a PDF.