Community Forest at Garrison Springs

Update: February 14, 2023

The City of Ozark is partnering with Watershed of the Ozarks and Ozark Fire Department on a prescribed burn for the Community Forest at Garrison Springs.  

As a part of the grant received to acquire Garrison Springs from the Federal Forestry Department it is required that the City do a prescribed burn. The prescribed burn will be broken into FIVE phases.  Prescribed burns are most beneficial when done in the dormant season, which is Christmas to Spring Green up.  

Benefits of a safe and successful prescribed burn:

  • Combats trees and shrubs that shade out prairie and other shade-intolerant plants
  • Removes old vegetation to make room for new growth
  • Shifts soil nutrients to a state more favorable to prairie species
  • Helps reduce the spread of invasive and pest species
  • Consumes excess fuel, such as dead and downed trees, reducing dangerous and intense wildfires
  • Burning in patches creates a mosaic of habitats for a variety of plants and animals

For more information on the benefits of prescribed fires please check out this video HERE:


Picture credit:  National Geographic Society. 

Update October 10, 2022

Staff have began removing invasive species from around the property.  New trees will be planted to replace the invasive ones removed.


UPDATE: August 15, 2022

Garrison Springs is currently closed to the public as we are working on maintenance upgrades.  Please keep clear of the area as crews are working.

We are currently working on new metal fencing, parking lot, solar panel with security upgrades, new gate and lighting.

Check out the new gate.  The detail is amazing.  Great craftsmanship by Full Metal Customs


Working on a solar panel pole to keep electrical cost to a minimum. This solar panel will run security upgrades, and new automatic gate 

June 13, 2022

Crews are beginning work on the parking lot and metal fencing.

Garrison Springs Staff Clean up
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We are working with Full Metal Customs designing new signage for Garrison Springs Community Forest

The map below is only a DRAFT SITE PLAN and has not officially been adopted 


The City of Ozark contracted with James River Basin Partnership for a plan for the Community Forest Management Plan. You can read the whole document HERE

Welcome to Ozark Community Forest at Garrison Springs

The City of Ozark purchased this property in March 2021.  It was purchased with the assistance of two grants; Missouri Department of Conservation Land Conservation Partnership and a Federal Forestry Grant.  

Please be patient as we begin to make updates and perform maintenance on the property.  We are very excited to offer the citizens of Ozark our very first Community Forest.

When residents and guests visit the new community forest, they will enter a hidden, natural world, contained entirely within a long valley defined by steep tree-covered hillsides with outcroppings of exposed rock. This is a landscape dominated by trees, abundant water, and karst features. Along the valley floor meanders Garrison Branch, a small stream fed in part by three springs on the property. The springs are connected to a cave system that has been mapped and classified as the seventh longest in the state, by the Springfield Plateau Grotto, an organization that promotes cave conservation, surveying, and management. One spring flows forth from a small cave located high up on one of the hillsides. Water cascades down this hill, forming pools along the way behind low, man-made walls so old that no one today knows why they are there, though theories abound. A perennial spring on the property was one of the original water sources for the City and a segment of the Old Wire Road, a historic regional mail trail, cuts through the property. Whether these impoundments were used to water horses on a mail run, wash laundry, or provide a scenic gathering spot for early settlers, they are now in a state of disrepair.