Springfield natives, sorority founders honored with park amenities

A Springfield park received a special upgrade in honor of two women who helped found an international sorority.

The National Trail Parks and Recreation District and the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for new amenities at Perrin Woods Park.

The new additions, which include a picnic shelter, benches and a memorial plaque, were dedicated to Mytle Tyler Faithful and Viola Tyler Goings, two sisters from Springfield who helped to found the Zeta Phi Beta sorority in 1920.

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Hundreds of ZPB members from across the country attended the dedication ceremony, which was part of their 2020 100th anniversary celebration.

NTRPD Director Leann Castillo said the new amenities are a good addition to the park.

“When the sisters said they wanted to do something in honor of their founding sisters, we thought that was a great gift to give,” she said.

The new amenities are the first additions at Perrin Woods in the past few years. The park, located at 1551 Southern Parkway in Springfield, was created in 1932, has not had many upgrades since its inception. The 18-acre park has been largely untouched wooded land and hosts several natural hiking and bike trails.

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The Zeta Phi Beta sorority was founded at Howard University as a sister organization to the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. The Tyler Sisters — along with Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Fannie Pettie Watts and Pearl Anna Neal — became the founding members of the organization, dubbed the Five Pearls. The sorority first became incorporated in Washington D.C. in 1923.

The group later became the first sorority to charter a chapter in Africa in 1948.

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