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City Reaches $15K Goal for Route 66 Roadside Park

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A roadside park planned to celebrate Springfield as the birthplace of Route 66 has raised a projected $15,000 through online donations.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A roadside park planned to celebrate Springfield as the birthplace of Route 66 has raised a projected $15,000 through online donations.

The city hopes the park will not only commemorate history and put to use an empty piece of land off College Street, but also revitalize the West Meadows area.

"That's why I'm investing here," Mother Road Antiques & Uniques owner Mark Cockrum said. "We heard about the redevelopment so we bought the building -- and renovated the 107-year old building -- and started a new business."

"I really feel relieved right now," Springfield City Planning and Development Director Ron Rognstad said about the city reaching its financial goal.

The money was raised through CrowdIt, a crowd-funding start-up based in Springfield.

"They found a way thinking outside the box to fulfill promises that they've made," CrowdIt co-founder and CEO Jason Graf said. "This is where I grew up. I love being part of it."

With a couple of more days left in the fundraiser, the city may have a surplus of donations to use on extras.

"It's very innovative on their part -- very in tune with the times and the technology and the way we are communicating," Graf said.

City planners hope the redeveloped corridor will lead to further improvements in the area of both homes and businesses.

"In the past we've had success with where we've made investments like street scales and they've led to other private investments," Rognstad said.

With several artistic nods to the past, the park could become an ever-growing pit stop for Route 66 nostalgia.

"There will always be these things that we'd like to add," Rognstad said.

"I'm just excited to see things develop down here," Cockrum said.
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