Plans are underway in Nixa for what could one day be a truly unique city park along the James River.
In 2017, Nixa Parks and Recreation received a donation of 50.98 acres from Eoff Family Farms, LLC. The donated land is to be used for a new city park to be named Eoff Family Century Farm Park.
“To say we are excited about this property and what it means to Nixa is an understatement. We are very much looking forward to the planning and implantation of this plan to bring a new park space to our community,” Nixa Director of Parks and Recreation Matt Crouse said.
The land sits along State Route AA and includes pastures, hills, forest and the banks of the James River. It is on the far northern edge of Christian County, close to where Nixa’s northern city limits meet up with Springfield.
Brothers Stephen and DuWayne Eoff donated the land from their grandfather’s century farm as a way to preserve their family history in Nixa. It’s a way to avoid seeing the land get developed for other uses, such as industrial or commercial construction.
Today, the Nixa Department of Parks and Recreation is budgeting to plan the park’s construction in 2020. First comes some impact studies, design work and a great deal of listening to Nixa citizens.
“This planning period will certainly take some time and we will certainly be looking to the community to provide feedback and input into the plan for this park space,” Crouse said. “This plan, once complete, will outline the best use plan for the park space that we hope to begin construction in 2020, with city council approval.”
In 2018, a firm called ALTA created the Trail Study for the Nixa Community. The $25,000 planning document, paid for by the Ozarks Transportation Organization, helped suggest ways that different parts of Nixa could be connected through a trail system.
“We hope to incorporate this into the parks master plan next year to shed light on the direction and focus of the parks department for the foreseeable future,” Crouse said.
What was once a rural farm is now a valuable piece of land in Nixa, a suburb of Springfield with a population of about 21,000 people. While Nixa continues to grow, some of its residents want to protect their green spaces. The century farm park could serve as a place to get away and play and also be a hub along a trail system.
The Parks Department is budgeting to perform a comprehensive plan for the Eoff Family Century Farm Park land in 2019. That planning process will identify priorities and establish a plan for how to spend parks and recreation funds to transform the land into Nixa’s newest park.
Some of the Eoff family’s connection to the land will be preserved through two buildings still standing on the property
“One part of the master plan that must be accommodated due to the agreement with the land donation is that the house and barn located on the property must remain,” Crouse said, “So we will work to renovate and salvage them to become a useful part of the park.”
A full list of improvements and amenities has yet to be determined and will become available once the master plan for the site is complete.