The Springfield-Greene County African American Heritage Trail will be a physical entity comprised of 20 sites dedicated to the formerly unrecognized contributions made by people of African descent to the history of the community. At each of these sites, a descriptive plaque has been placed.

We are team of citizens dedicated to the research and dissemination of the history of the African American people of Springfield and Greene County.  We identify sites and provide bronze plaques honoring that site as deeply significant to the story of people of color of Springfield and Greene County.

The Mission of the Trail is to continue to research and publish previously undocumented history and to involve the Springfield community in the identification and celebration of the contributions made by people of color to the community. In pursuit of that goal, the trail’s initial sites will follow along Jordan Creek Greenway and The Link with historical markers in partnership with the City of Springfield, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, Ozark Greenways, Missouri State and Drury universities.

The expense of building the Trail is considerable. Contributions to the Heritage Trail are gratefully accepted and used to further develop the Trail.

The first marker of the Springfield-African American Heritage Trail was designated during the annual Park Day Reunion at Silver Springs Park in August 2018.

african american man standing next to a sign with historic information

The trail interprets important sites such as:

  • the Sherman Avenue Corridor
  • the former Lincoln High School (Springfield’s black high school before integration, now part of OTC)
  • the Jones Alley Business District
  • historic black churches
    • Washington Avenue Baptist Church
    • Benton Avenue AME Church
    • Pitts Chapel United Methodist
    • Gibson Chapel Presbyterian Church
    • Timmons Temple (now called Timmons Hall in Silver Springs Park)

Trail Organizers

  • Lyle Foster – business owner
  • Wes Pratt – MSU Chief Diversity Officer
  • Tim Knapp – MSU Sociology professor
  • Cheryl Clay – NAACP Springfield President
  • Cora Scott – Springfield Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement

The Heritage Trail planning committee was honored for their efforts with the 2018 NAACP Drum Major Award.