Photo by Aaron Clark

Today we take steps into the creek together. Last week’s news reports brought public attention to our urban stream, the historic Jordan Creek. From these stories, we realize that two futures are intertwined. Springfield’s steps into tomorrow are taken carefully upon the fate of our water resources, including those confined within the banks of our creeks, streams, and lakes. Our progress is unavoidably tied to the betterment or expense of our waters. In turn, the quality of our water can advance or hinder our community. The future is bright for Jordan Creek. New trails and parks plan to wind and dance around our rigid grid of urban roadways. New green spaces are set to soak in the rain to reduce flooding, soak up the sun to minimize heat, and suck up pollutants to clean the air we breathe. Yet, while the coming years promise health and wellness for our stream, the discovery of features like the historic Fulbright springs reminds us of our past mistakes. Buried and sealed are many of our springs and creeks, lying forgotten by many and remembered by few. These same karst features once warranted the settlement of the area; the seed of community that grew into our city as we know it. As we learn more about the stunning features and resources of our region, our collective memory is returning, piece by piece. Storytellers that cling to and pass along this memory resurrect images of clear waters, great oak trees, and abundant beauty. The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks is fortunate to be part of this retelling of Springfield’s story. Along with the City of Springfield, Greene County, and City Utilities, from whom we receive our mission and support, we work to teach the old stories and to constantly re-imagine a new tomorrow. Today we fulfill a piece of that mission. Sharing stories with our community of the history of Springfield, as it was built upon the banks of Jordan creek, allow us to take part in the enrichment of the collective memory. Today, as we walk through the concrete tunnels that house Jordan creek, we will imagine her unspoiled beauty of yesterday and envision her rebirth tomorrow. The story of Springfield is not yet finished, not nearly. As the tale of water was written upon every page of our past, so that tale shall remain inseparable from our future. Our hope is that generations after us will look proudly upon the choices we make today. Thanks for reading.

Rob Hunt, Watershed Center Coordinator


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