According to records, Iles Park was among Springfield’s initial four parks. The Springfield Park District was founded in 1900 and named Elijah Iles, one of the community’s earliest inhabitants. Elijah Iles’ park was named after him after his heirs donated his land,
In 1903, the district received Iles Park, and the park was built by the community in 1930. The existing stone pavilion changed its look after adding extensions. At South 6th and Ash streets in Springfield‘s near the south side, the park is centrally located with two sides surrounded by residential communities. The other two sides feature commercial purposes.
The park contains a magnificent stone picnic shelter in the center. It also has two buildings on Oak Street that house a small picnic shelter and restrooms. On the southwest side of the playground, there is a mix of modern and antique equipment. You may find a popular illuminated ball field in the park’s northeast corner. Pickleball courts with lights are prevalent. Horseshoe courts are also available in the park.
Iles Park is one of the city’s oldest parks, with several recreational facilities and features, including some large, old trees. Iles Park is a historic site with 10.5 acres of land and 2.75 acres of land annexed to the park after a storm in 2006.
The neighborhood provided on-street parking along the east side and Oak Street, and the park is reachable to those on foot from the surrounding residential communities by city sidewalks. Two primary walkways have been availed diagonally through the park.
Softball was almost as popular as baseball in the 1940s, according to a July 2015 article in the IL Times. Games at Iles Park attracted nearly 3,000 fans. Schofield, born in the capital city in 1935 and broke into the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953, made the observation.
The Springfield Park District sought and received an OSLAD (Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development) financing to improve Iles Park further. The Park District held a public meeting to present the draft plan and gather feedback from the community. The grant covers half of the project costs, up to a maximum of $800,000, while the Park District or other entities will cover half of the project’s cost.
The current Iles Park Neighborhood Association originated from the merger of the former Iles Park Neighborhood Association with the defunct Near South Neighborhood Association in 2016. To become a member of the Iles Park community, you must pay a $10 annual membership fee every January. You do not need a PayPal account to pay online, and you must provide your contact details.
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