Explore More

Washington Park

1501 South Grand West, Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: 217-544-1751 ext. 1004

Hours: - CT

Park Info


Open Dawn to Dusk


  • Established 1901
  • Acres: 150
  • Washington Park on the west side of Springfield is a 150-acre site added to the park district in 1901.
  • This is one of the historic parks, developed as termini of the urban trolley line in use at the time. Designed by Ossian Simonds, noted for his naturalistic style of landscape design, the park is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Its design and many features date back to its original development. This park is bounded by South Grand Avenue and the Illini Country Club on the south, Chatham Road on the west, Fayette Avenue and Pasfield Golf Course on the north and Orendorff Parkway on the east.
  • An elegant entrance to the park from the east is formed by Williams Boulevard that extends from Walnut Street to the park's east side. Surrounding the park are established residential neighborhoods of well-maintained older homes on large lots.
  • Washington Park contains a variety of facilities, many of them unique to the park system and some unique to the region. It is one of the most heavily used parks in the district. The park has rolling terrain, large trees and wooded areas, some deep ravines and two man-made lagoons.
  • Vehicular access is provided into the park from the north, east and south sides. A loop road system allows motorists to access several parking areas and the various use areas of the park. Pedestrians use the park roads as well for walking, running, bicycling, etc. Additional off-road trails are provided for hiking through some areas of the park.
  • The park is primarily for passive recreational activity, although centered in the park is a complex of 12 tennis courts, paddle tennis courts, and a pro-shop. To the west is a large playground and a large pavilion with ADA accessible restrooms. Historic features within the park include the large, enclosed pavilion, a band pavilion and a lagoon on the park's east side. Toward the park's west side along the Jacksonville Branch Creek is a lower lagoon.
  • On the park's far west side are the Washington Park Botanical Gardens and Rees Memorial Carillon.
  • This was the very first project of the Springfield Pleasure Driveway and Park District, which began in 1900. Purchased some of the land from Wiggins Grove and the rest was donated by Williams Grove. It was a total of 150.33 Acres and cost $24,717. The park is said to by a reflection of local and national tradition as this was the time the nation began to preserve and maintain land for local, state, and national use. The park is named after President George Washington.

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

washington park upper lagoon

Washington Park has a beautiful upper lagoon that is the perfect place for a picnic. The lagoon is stocked each spring and fall with trout fish. It is the prefect place for fishing.


There is a playground


Washington Park historic "The Stand" concessions facility.

Iron Springs Washington Park

The Washington Iron Springs offers a great venue for any wedding. 


Bike Repair Station. Photo Credit: LWMG LLC


Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon is one of the largest and finest of the world’s carillons.  

Washington Park Pavilion

Washington Park Pavilion was built around 1900 as an elegant cobble stone event lodge complete with a grand ballroom, kitchen and dinning room.

Washington Park Gazebo

Washington Park Gazebo offers a great venue for any wedding. 

Velasco Tennis Center

Velasco Tennis Center serves as the headquarters for district wide tennis operations. 


Washington Park Botanical Gardens.


Lower Lagoon bridge, pollinator gardent and spillway walking path.


Historic "Kitchen" . Photo Credit: Friends of the Original Leland Farmhouse

Athletic Fields

The Springfield Park District has a variety of sports fields to use for games and practices.

Community members are welcome to utilize Park District field and sport courts on a first come first serve basis. However, please be aware that priority will be given to permitted field usage. Individuals and/or teams interested in reserving a field or sport court should call for availability and guidelines for reservation.

If you are interested in requesting one of our fields, please review our available fields for this park below and complete the Sports Field Rental Online Form.

Washington Park - No Athletic Fields

This park currently has no athletic fields.

Please Note:

Where available, use of lights or scoreboards for practices or games will be an additional charge. Site Supervisors are required for all game or practice requesting lights & will be charged an additional fee above the hourly rental fee.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our Athletic Manager via our Staff Directory.  Click on the Recreation & Marketing tab and toggle open Recreation | Athletics.

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.

Washington Park Picnic Shelter


Shelter - Amenity
Amenity Shelters are defined as larger covered picnic shelters having more than 2+ tables, power, restrooms and/or water access close at hand. 

The Washington Park covered Picnic Pavilion is attached to the restroom area and sits adjacent to the large playground area.

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.