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Lincoln Memorial Garden, Springfield

#1 of 8 in Parks in Springfield
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Lincoln Memorial Garden is a self-governing 100-acre woodland and prairie garden owned by the city of Springfield, Illinois and managed by the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation. The gardens are made up of two major units, the 63acre Jensen section bordering Lake Springfield, and the newer 29acre Ostermeier Prairie Center section. There are also of additional buffer properties. As of April 2006, the Garden is maintained by a full-time staff of 4 men and women, supplemented by more than 150 volunteers and docents.
The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden is the inspiration of Springfield leader Harriet Knudson. When Knudson learned that the city of Springfield was acquiring land for the basin of a new reservoir, intended to serve as a source of city drinking water, she asked the city to set aside approximately 0.6 miles of future shoreline as a garden to memorialize Abraham Lincoln. The city agreed and leased the Jensen section to Lincoln Memorial Garden in perpetuity. At the time of the lease, the future Garden site was cultivated farmland that contained approximately 12 trees.
As designer of the new garden, LMG selected Jens Jensen. A follower of the Prairie Style and its ideal of "organic architecture," Jensen designed the garden to reflect an idealized vision of the Midwestern woods and prairies. In his 1935 design, Jensen placed eight council rings, his design icon, throughout the Garden. These fire circles, built of Midwestern splitstone, are designed for groups of 12–50 people to sit together around an open fire. Most of the fire circles are situated to give all participants a view of Lake Springfield. By sitting in a fire circle, visitors have the opportunity to balance the four elements within themselves.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
136 reviews
  • ...with what the last guy said in the previous review about the paths being "jumbled." This is a well designed and landscaped garden built by an experienced architect - a natural treasure of...  more »
  • This is a fairly large area that allows a lot of wandering. The trails are so strange and jumbled it’s difficult to find a walking path that extends the walk past a few loops. The nature center is....  more »

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