By David Laffoon, Features Writer
Despite being a small college town, Rolla has surprisingly many fun things to do. Whether you’re putting off homework, hanging out with some friends, or taking your significant other on a cheap date, it’s good to know what your options are. Maybe the most refreshing of your options is to visit a park in or around Rolla. There are a bunch of parks and they all have relaxing things to do and unique ways to provide entertainment. Here is your guide to parks around Rolla: where they are and what to do.
Rolla is home to twenty parks of varying sizes and four major parks: Ber Juan, Buehler, Green Acres, and Schuman. In addition, Maramec Spring Park is just outside Rolla, about a twenty minute drive away. Ber Juan is the biggest of the parks inside Rolla with almost 85 acres. It is bordered on the South by 10th St and on the North by 14th St. For contrast, Buehler is only 2.2 acres and is located on at the intersection of King’s Highway and Fairgrounds Rd. Green Acres is 8.5 acres and is accessible off of Green Acres Drive and Olive St. Schuman Park is the most accessible from campus. It has 15 acres and is just a short walk east of campus. While these parks are the biggest, the amount of other parks ensures there will be one nearby you wherever you go in Rolla.
Just as it is the biggest park, Ber Juan has the largest number of attractions. The most unique of the them is the Splashzone. When it gets hot, head on over there to cool off. The park also has a skate park, miles of walking trails, tennis courts, playgrounds and picnic areas. If you are in the mood for playing sports, going for a job, relaxing in a pool, or just about anything else outdoors you can imagine, Ber Juan park is probably your best bet. Buehler Park is much smaller and only has a football/ soccer field and some picnic stations. However, it is more historically relevant as it used to host the Rolla Fairground.
In the mood to play some baseball? Head to Green Acres, which has the home field of the Rolla Lady Bulldogs softball team. It also has the typical picnic areas and playgrounds. It also has basketball and sand volleyball courts. Green Acres is the park for those who play sports to have fun. Schuman Park has a baseball field, sand volleyball court, playgrounds and picnic areas, but many people choose Schuman Park because of the beautiful lake in the middle of it. It also has great historical interest with the train on display near the train tracks. To get a souvenir from the park, just put a few coins on the tracks and wait for a train to go by to make your own personal flattened pennies.
Maramec Spring Park is relatively more difficult to get to, but absolutely worth it. It has gorgeous scenery of the spring with hundreds of trout in it’s fishery. It is a great place for fishermen to visit with miles of spring to fish in. Hiking trails will take you through beautiful wooded areas and past historic sites. The Park is an excellent way to get a taste of the outdoors that is hard to come by living in a city.
There you have it, a crash course on the major parks around Rolla. Finals are coming up, and with them comes all to much stress. When you are incredibly stressed out, consider taking a break and going for a walk, playing some sports or having a picnic with friends at a park nearby. After all, life isn’t just about your education. It’s also about enjoying yourself and enjoying what’s around you. Happy relaxing!