Today's Wander took our dynamic group of Wetland enthusiasts on a walk through Springfield's historic Mill Race area by Booth-Kelly trailhead. Originally constructed in 1852, the Mill Race and Mill Pond powered Springfield's first grist and saw mills. Covering an area approximately 3.5 miles long, the Mill Race flows along the southern edges of the City of Springfield. In 1985, after this historic property was donated to the City of Springfield by Georgia-Pacific, local officials began the next steps to assume the responsibilities of managing the waterway.
Since then, the City and partners from the Willamalane Parks and Recreation District, have made steady progress in their efforts to manage and restore the Mill Race and Mill Pond as well as efforts invested in telling the story. Every summer since 2016, the City of Springfield hosts the Upstream Art project and commissions local artists to paint inspirational murals to help depict the story of stormwater near drains and on sidewalks. These beautiful creations raise awareness of the connection between city streets and local waterways while supporting artists and beatifying the city.