SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The first of several meetings between the City of Springfield and its residents over the revamping of Lake Springfield has begun.

Wednesday afternoon’s meeting was for area residents only but nearly 100 people filed into the Lake Springfield Boathouse.

“It was very exciting to me to see like an open mind, you know, from the standpoint of all the consultants, everybody putting things together and they really have a plan, but there’s not in concrete.” Neighbor Bob Roberts said.

Meetings will later be open to the public, starting with one scheduled for November 17.

The project is primarily funded by a federal grant and isn’t adding any additional costs to taxpayers.

“It was identified as an opportunity because of the natural resources that are here, the large expanse of 1,000 acres of undeveloped land.” Project Manager Olivia Hough said. “We recognize that it has a lot of opportunity.”

“It’s just a rare opportunity to get to redevelop Springfield Lake and they’ve kind of got a blank slate on what they’re going to do, and we’re all excited to see what they’re going to come up with.” Ravenwood South Neighborhood Association President Brian Ash said.

“My wife and I live near here and we really like this park, and it’s always just been a nice place to come and walk the dogs, and it’s nice and quiet.” Neighbor Ricky Hernandez said. “We just don’t want to become overpopulated and too many things going on.”

“I certainly enjoy the wildlife that’s in the area. You know, you can come down here and see bald eagles or deer or anything like that. I would like them to make sure that is maintained.” Roberts added.

One major focus is to improve the water quality and activities in or around Lake Springfield.

“People love to come here to fish or kayak, but we recognize it’s underutilized,” Hough said.

“I also want it to be an area where we can have water sports in and that the lake would be maintained and that it would be able to be maintained for kids and grandkids,” Roberts said.