The Hwy. 54 Sidewalk to the Future benches were made by Show Me Country Metals owned by Bruce, Cody and Dusty Hooper. The benches are made from different types of 14 guage tubing. Two by inch 14 gauge square tubing for the legs and back support and one inch by two inch rectangular tubing for the seats.  The design is cut out of 10 gauge plate steel. Once the bench was welded together it is then blasted and prepped to be powder coated. The benches were powder coated with black hammertone for the first coat, then a super durable clear for the finish coat.

Both powders were baked in an oven at 400 degrees. From the start to finish the building time to make a bench is around 20 hours and many hours of prep time for the designs.

The seven themed  benches design are as follows:

Bandstand/Municipal Band

The Municipal Band was formed just after the town was founded and is one of the longest continuously performing municipal bands west of the Mississippi.

The band is a tradition and a symbol of El Dorado Springs itself. The bandstand has been a focal point in Spring Park since 1886. The base stones of the current domed bandstand were a compilation from school children, townspeople and visitors during construction in 1937. It includes stones from Tibet and a Hindu temple, a stone foot from China, pottery, petrified wood, quartz, marbles and other unique items. Enjoy the band along with songbirds and cicadas performing their own renditions of some of the best-known compositions of all time as the band “plays on” every summer season.

The Spring Basin

Before El Dorado Springs was an established community, Osage Indians brought their sick and wounded to the healing waters on which the town was founded. Early settlers became familiar with its healing properties, and in July 1881 a town blossomed into one of the most prolific tourist destinations in the Midwest. The water was shipped worldwide, and thousands of health seekers visited “The Spring City.” To protect the “aquatic gold,” the land around the spring was designated as a city park. Spring Park is still the heart of many socials and celebrations. Several are timeless traditions, such as the founders’ Picnic celebration, Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lighting Ceremony and the Municipal Band performances each summer. Many locals and visitors still “drink to their health” enjoying the cold mineral-filled spring water flowing in Spring Park to this day.

Outdoor Recreation

Ecological diversity abounds in west central Missouri. Popular recreation includes hunting, fishing, birding, hiking, camping, canoeing and nature watching.

Abundant angling opportunities exist for a variety of game fish in 79,000 acres of lakes within 30 miles of El Dorado Springs including Stockton, Truman and Pomme de Terre lakes. The Osage and Sac rivers offer peaceful and rich waterways.

There are “hills and hollers” along with wetlands and woods to explore and hunt deer, turkey, ducks, geese and small game around El Dorado Springs. Two of the largest waterfowl areas in Missouri, August A. Busch/Four Rivers Wetlands and Schell-Osage Conservation Area combine to offer over 22,000 acres for hunting, bird watching and more.

Along with many other public wildlife areas and private lands, there is no shortage of nature in the area.

The Picnic

The city of El Dorado Springs was incorporated on July 20, 1881. The founders’ celebration known as the El Dorado Springs Picnic commemorates this occasion when family, friends and entertainment seekers converge on El Dorado Springs the week closest to July 20 for the community’s largest annual social event.

The festivities include a carnival, entertainment, street dance, fair food, class and family reunions plus much more.

The celebration of modest beginnings is believed to have originated on the first anniversary of the town’s founding. Early residents gathered in the shade of Spring Park for a picnic lunch and to celebrate the City of Golden Springs. The event has certainly come a long way from those original baskets and blankets in Spring Park.

Osage Plains Prairie Complex

El Dorado Springs is nestled in the Osage River watershed between the tallgrass prairie of the Osage Plains and the hills of Ozarks forests. Within 30 miles of El Dorado Springs there are over 155,000 acres of scenic prairie featuring wide open spaces, majestic landscapes and an abundant diversity of flora and fauna.

The 4,040 acre Wah’ Kon-Tah (Great Spirit) Prairie, 1,680 acre Taberville Prairie and others make up the largest protected prairie complex in the Osage Plains. This prairie is home to a wide variety of native grasslands, wildflowers and many rare plants and animals including rare greater prairie chickens on their native booming, dancing and mating grounds.

You may see regal fritillary and monarch butterflies, pink katydids, bobwhite quail, trophy whitetail deer, eastern turkey and other animals of interest.

Rural Life

Tri-county area residents enjoy a rural lifestyle. The communities are surrounded by croplands, farms and a scenic landscape. The region features a diverse agricultural area including various livestock, field crops and specialty crops. The countryside boasts open spaces, fresh air and clear night skies.

It is a place where you know your neighbors. You see friendly, familiar faces and folks wave as you pass through town. People visit as they shop or while sitting on the Spring Park rock wall. Traffic jams are rare unless a farmer is moving equipment through town.

The love of God, family and our country is prevalent in rural life. Rural folks are close, having a sense of community, loyalty and pride. Most are practical, self reliant and hard working. Rural life in El Dorado Springs offers peaceful tranquility, slower paced simplicity, country charm and natural beauty, where our best days are yet to come.

Gray Bat

You may never be bitten or harassed by a mosquito in parts of El Dorado Springs.

A rare colony of Gray Bats called Northern Cedar County home. Some bats can eat hundreds of mosquitoes and other insects within an hour. The approximate local population of Gray Bats is more than 5,000 individuals. Some congregations are male bachelor colonies. Cedar County hosts female bats assembling in a nursery colony, a major transient site in the fall.

The Gray Bat’s average weight is 1/2 ounce, the wing span is ten to eleven inches, and life expectancy is up to 15 years.  It is very important to protect these rare mammals and their environment. People should never disturb them or enter the bat’s habitat.

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