Missouri State University’s (MSU) Springfield campus is an urban campus located in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. Located in the southwest portion of the state, the City of Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri with a population of approximately 169,700 (2020 U.S. Census). Geographically, Springfield is located on the Springfield Plateau. The city is essentially divided by two major watersheds – the James River and the Little Sac River. A majority of the city exists within the James River watershed, so that most drainage is to south and west flowing tributaries of the James River.
The MSU campus covers approximately 225 acres located just to the southeast of downtown Springfield, in a largely residential area of the city. To the south across Grand Street is the Phelps Grove neighborhood and to the east across National Avenue is the Roundtree neighborhood. Immediately north of campus is an area of largely Greek fraternity and sorority organizations. In recent years much of the area west of campus has evolved from single-family residential to more high-density multi-residential units. Some commercial activity (generally retail and dining) is interspersed within these areas around the edges of campus.
In general, the campus is bounded on the south by Grand Street, on the west by Holland Street, on the north by Elm Street, and on the east by National Avenue, though there are several exceptions to these boundaries. Campus parking lots are present south of Grand Street, and some University buildings are present west of Holland in the northwest part of campus. Non-university properties exist within these boundaries, largely on the north end, and the campus is dissected by several city-owned streets.
There are two detention basins on MSU property: one at the southwest corner of the Grand and National intersection, and one immediately west of the Greenwood Laboratory School (GLAB). The GLAB basin was modified in 2016 to remove the existing concrete channel and replace it with an infiltration trench filled with large stones to increase the infiltration rate for the basin. The trench is bordered approximately 10 feet on either side with native plants. Underground stormwater detention is also present, as a series of vaults underlying John Q. Hammons Parkway between Bear Boulevard and Harrison Street. Several smaller underground detention vaults are present across campus.
A minor topographic ridge aligned northeast to southwest divides stormwater surface flow across campus such that runoff on the east side of the ridge runs to and exits campus at the Grand-National detention basin, and runoff on the west side of the ridge exits campus to the city stormwater system near the intersections of Kimbrough and Harrison streets and Grand and Holland streets.
Due to the existence of several city-owned streets cutting across campus, storm water infrastructure is a mixture of university-owned and city-owned. Storm water from municipal sources (roads) blend with storm water from campus within the existing infrastructure. For example, flow from drains on the east side of campus enter city-owned storm drains along National Avenue, along with storm water from National Avenue, which then flows south to enter the University’s detention basin at Grand and National. This blended water then exits campus at the outflow on the southeast corner of the basin. Essentially all the storm water flow from campus is blended with water from city streets or non-university properties. Click here to view a map of storm water management features at the University.
All the storm water leaving the University campus flows to Fassnight Creek, located approximately 0.5 miles south of campus. Fassnight Creek flows west to enter Wilson’s Creek. Wilson’s Creek flows west and south to become a tributary to the James River.
The James River begins upstream of Springfield and flows along the southern edge of the city. Because Springfield is located on a plateau, several tributaries begin within the city limits and flow out into the county. The majority of the city drains into tributaries of the James River. A smaller portion of the city drains into tributaries of the Little Sac River which is located north of the city.
MSU submitted a MS4 stormwater permit application in June 2022. This application was mandated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources based on the campus location within the Springfield Urbanized Area (UA) with an onsite population of greater than >1,000 people (40 CFR part 123). The agency awarded a permit to the University in August 2022, with an expiration date of September 30, 2026. A campus stormwater management plan will be developed and implemented during this initial permit period.