A firm of park architects out of St.
Louis, MO, drew up a master plan that would emphasize the natural
aspects of the proposed park. Paul Stover, an engineer and land
surveyor, was asked to do the initial layout for the park roads.
Under the direction of Mr. Stover, old
orchards, eroding farm grounds, briars and thickets were transformed
to a lovely scenic park. Paul, accompanied by his father, Holie
B. Stover (the city engineer at the time) designed the impressive
stone entrance piers, bridges, and numerous rustic shelters found
throughout the park. Paul Stover then accepted the position of
Park Superintendent, which he held until his retirement in 1986.
Over the past forty years the park has grown and flourished. Its
boundaries now contain nearly 300 acres of preserved park grounds,
which for a city the size of Centralia is quite exceptional.
Throughout the park an emphasis on maintaining
a natural appearance is evident. Once you enter, you become surrounded
by nature, with little notice to the outside world. One can be
awed by the selection of plants and trees, as well as small animals
who make the park their home. Despite the feeling of seclusion,
you're never more than a few minutes from civilization.
The word "Foundation" by definition means funds given for the permanent support of an institution. Consequently it was named The Centralia Foundation Park System. Privately owned, privately funded, yet open to the public.
The park is open to the public year-round from dawn until 11 pm daily. The main road is closed through the winter months. No alcoholic beverages are permitted. No motor vehicles are allowed off the road. There is no charge* for using any of the park's facilities.
When visiting, all we ask is that you take
only memories, and leave only your footsteps.
For shelter reservations or further information, contact park superintendent, David Sachtleben.
* Note, there is a charge of $100 for use of the park for a wedding.