New sculpture in Snyder Park reflects city’s history

An approximately 15 foot sculpture has replaced a vacant spot in Snyder Park - where the Madonna of the Trail statue previously stood.

Leann Castillo, director of the National Trail Parks and Recreation District, explained that the spot has been vacant for about nine years. In September 2011, The Lagonda Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, relocated the Madonna of the Trail to downtown Springfield - leaving an empty space in the park.

There has been many ideas over the years of what could go in that spot, but an idea had not been selected until two years ago, Castillo added.

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“We really wanted to select something that was representative of more than just Snyder Park,” Castillo said.

The new aluminum rose sculpture, entitled “Heirloom,” reflects back to when Springfield was called the “Rose City.”

“We wanted it to be an ode to our community,” Castillo said. “A lot of people don’t know that we were once called the “Rose City” because we produced more roses than any other location in the world. We really felt this was something that could highlight that and bring out that history for people to learn and appreciate.”

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The sculpture, funded by the Carleton Davidson Trust, was designed by Cincinnati Sculptor James Perkins and is the first piece of a multi-year project to rehab and restore parts of Snyder park, Castillo said.

She explained that the project will include prairie areas, meadows, a wetland, a wildlife viewing area, trails for individuals to explore and boardwalks.

“We really wanted (the park) to be a passive place where people can come and enjoy nature and view the wildlife that is here,” Castillo said.

She added that the sculpture is a “nice piece” to tie the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum and future projects together.