After approval by city council/city utilities, Lake Springfield may see redevelopment

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Plans for the redevelopment of properties near Lake Springfield and the former James River Power Station have been approved by the City Council of Springfield and City Utilities

In the city’s comprehensive planning process, Lake Springfield was identified as a prime location for redevelopment. Both entities are collaborating to explore the future potential of 1,000 acres and the decommissioned power plant. There has been discussion about establishing an entertainment district, restaurants, retail/office space, shopping, housing and a water adventure center. 

The southeast corner of the former power plant has potential to become a zone for upscale “glamping” complete with campsites, RV parking, cabins and a mountain bike park.

The plan also explores the construction of ecological islands complete with boardwalks,  eventually connecting the Chadwick Flyer Trail at Ozark Greenways to Lake Springfield Park. 

Lake Springfield was created and developed in the 1950s as a cooling water source for the former James River Power Station.

“What the study did for the last 18 months was look at all the options that could potentially be done in that area to make it more appealing for people visiting the community and expanding the use of the lake and river area,” City Utilities Manager of Media Relations Joel Alexander told The Heartlander. “Our board accepted the plan at our last board meeting. The city council of Springfield accepted the plan on April 8th.”

Alexander emphasized the importance of moving forward through small steps.

The project was initiated with an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, a $200,000 donation from the Hatch Foundation and other contributions from the City Utilities and the City of Springfield. Currently, there is no allocated funding for the future projects of Lake Springfield.

Several additional phases must take place before the exploration of funding alternatives, further partner collaboration and strategic planning, according to the City of Springfield

“We were very fortunate to receive the planning grant from the EDA, who had faith in us to think big and cast a vision that will surely become a transformative project in our community,” City Manager Jason Gage said in a press release. “The area has a lot of potential for new amenities for future generations, leveraging the beautiful asset of Lake Springfield and its surrounding nature.”

The complete Lake Springfield Plan can be found here. For more information, contact Joel Alexander at 417-575-7341 or email him at

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