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Spring Cleanup for Springfield Park Districts

The spring season officially here. That means it's time for spring cleanup, especially for the Springfield Park District.

"The grounds are a mess from the winter, so we have a lot of work to do out there," said Botanical Garden Director Chad Scaife.

Scaife says employees are currently transplanting about 15,000 seeds and pods so they are ready to be planted in early May. However, before they can do that, they have to make sure the grounds are ready.

"We got a lot of cleaning up of sticks and uncovering roses. About 3,000 roses we uncover, get the leaves off of them, clean out all of the beds, and get them ready for new planting," said Scaife.

The raking, cutting, and planting isn't just taking place at the Botanical Gardens. It's also happening at Springfield Park District's 34 other parks.

"We have over 20 miles of paved bike paths throughout our system, and over 2,600 acres of land. So needless to say it takes a lot of work to get the parks beautiful and ready for the season," said Springfield Park District Director Derek Harms.

Harms adds 40 seasonal employees to help with park maintenance and spring cleanup.

"We have dozens and dozens of water fountains throughout the park system to service the public, and obviously those things were winterized last fall, so were turning water on and fixing water leaks from the cold winter and putting a new coat of paint on it," said Harms.

The Botanical Gardens alone see about 70,000 visitors a year, which is why there is no time like the present to prepare for their busy spring and summer months.

"If you get behind, it's impossible to catch back up. So as soon as we have a chance to get outside and start working, we get right on it," said Scaife.

The cleanup at the Botanical Gardens will be ongoing. They are expecting to start planting around the first week of May.

If Mother Nature cooperates, we will begin to see plants in full bloom near the end of May.

The Botanical Gardens are free and open to the public to visit. They are open Monday-Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

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