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City of Springfield Turns to Crowdfunding for Route 66 Roadside Park

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The park is going to be in the West Meadows area on College Street just east of Fort. The city has been planning the College Street Corridor project with residents, property owners, business owners, and community members.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield is the first city to use crowdfunding to finance a project.

City leaders are encouraging residents to make online donations to help fund the Route 66 Roadside Park.

The park is going to be in the West Meadows area on College Street just east of Fort. The city has been planning the College Street Corridor project with residents, property owners, business owners, and community members.

In the meantime, the city is enlisting the help of Springfield-based website "CrowdIt." Crowdfunding works by allowing online users, called dreamers, to solicit donations online for projects, fundraisers new businesses or other ventures that require capital.

"Springfield is the birthplace of Route 66," says CrowdIt CEO and Co-founder, Jason Graf. "This is a part of our history and a big part of our city and culture."

"It appeared that they had the resources to really help us promote the project," says Ralph Rognstad, the Director of Planning & Development for the City of Springfield. "We can do some promotion but we needed somebody who could guide us on how to do that promotion."

"By enlisting the support of the community with citizen donations through Crowdit (a local supporter, employer and business), we feel we are helping play an important role in restoring the very essence of what Route 66 symbolizes -- a piece of America that runs through the heart of our country," writes Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens in a news release.

"We do a lot of new construction, improve the city, and we try to preserve some of that past and this is a project that has a lot of public support," adds Rognstad. "I think it's important in this case to have something that honors your past."

It will take a few years before this project is completed, but the city is hoping to have the roadside park open in a year.

"It will be good for the economy and great for tourists and tax dollars," says Graf.


Meanwhile, a Birthplace of Route 66 festival will take place Saturday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Park Central Square. City leaders plan to provide additional information about the initiative.
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