Ozark Chamber Guide | 2020

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PROMOTION City of Ozark 205 N. 1st Street, Ozark, MO 65721 417-581-2407 RICK GARDNER Mayor | rgardner@kw.com STEVE CHILDERS City Administrator | schilders@ozarkmissouri.org SAMANTHA PAYNE Parks & Rec Director, Public Information Officer | spayne@ozarkmissouri.com

Ozark Chamber of Commerce 1471 W. South Street, Ozark, MO 65721 417-581-6139 ANNA EVANS Executive Director | anna@ozarkchamber.com


On behalf of the City of Ozark, I encourage you to take a journey through this guide of our small, but beautiful town. Along the way, you will find incredible restaurants, shops, venues and historical sites to fill a day, evening or weekend. Our motto in Ozark is “Making Ozark Better Every Day,” and every resident, business owner and visitor does just that. I welcome you to come experience Ozark for yourself and see how the vital presence of community, you included, contributes to the culture of Ozark.

LOGAN AGUIRRE Publisher | logan@417mag.com GARY WHITAKER Founder | gary@417mag.com JOAN WHITAKER Founder | joan@417mag.com


MEGAN JOHNSON VP of Custom Publishing | mjohnson@417mag.com

The Ozark Chamber of Commerce invites you to visit our charming town. Ozark has it all: A thriving historic downtown square, locally owned retail shops, incredible schools, churches, parks, and trails—not to mention wonderful dining. Every season offers an incredible experience. Our Chamber members include business and civic leaders, educators, political leaders, and citizens who believe in working together to better our community.

AMMIE SCOTT VP of Strategy | ascott@417mag.com KATIE POLLOCK ESTES Editorial Director | editor@417mag.com HALEY PHILLIPS Editor | haley@417mag.com

It is with great pride and excitement that I welcome you to the second annual “Ozark” guide in 417 Magazine! Whether you’ve opened up this booklet because you’re from Ozark or you were intrigued just by the cover, I am confident a piece of Ozark will stay with you. Whether it’s a boutique, a restaurant, a picture of our beautiful Finley River, or an event, my hope is for you to come see it brought to life in town. I look forward to the continued growth of Ozark and hope there will be even more for you to experience.

SARAH PATTON Art Director | sarah@417mag.com BRANDON ALMS Senior Photographer & Designer | brandon@417mag.com AD DESIGN Elisabeth Anderson, Courtney Keady, Christy Howell


CLIENT COORDINATORS Brittni Bynum, Kathy Grieve

One of the greatest perks of life in Ozark is the opportunity to witness the city’s connection to its roots. Whether they be natural roots present at the Finley River or historic roots embedded in Downtown Ozark, I am confident you will find beauty in the past and present Ozark. I encourage you to visit, explore, and learn more about Ozark through this guide, and then come see it for yourself. The future of Ozark is just as exciting as its past, and I hope visitors and residents alike find opportunity to come witness its growth.

SALES Jamie Wightman, Janelle Haik CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & EDITORS Ren Bishop, Karen Bliss, Megan Dollar, Juliana Goodwin, Jamie Thomas CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Brandon Alms, Sara Gensler, Brad Zweerink

Whitaker Publishing 2111 S. Eastgate Ave., Springfield, MO 65809 | 417-883-7417 Fax 417-889-7417







Photos by Sara Gensler, Brandon Alms, courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce





107 S. Third St., 417-582-1331, facebook.com/springcreektearoom Meet your girls for some classic tea room fare at this charming cafe tucked inside Spring Creek Antiques. The cafe keeps the bakery case full of homemade pies and cakes, so don’t skip dessert.

Start the day exploring with a guided tour through the famous Smallin Civil War Cave, where you can learn all about the landmark’s history and folklore. 1 P.M.: MARKET HOUSE CAFE AND BAKE SHOP

113 N. Second St., 417-551-4370, facebook.com/MarketHouseCafeandbakeshop Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, stop in for a bite to eat on the square. Don’t miss the freshly baked goods for a sweet treat to go!

Grabbing a snack and drink at The Workshop’s coffee shop. And keep an eye out for future lifestyle and culinary classes when they start back up in the future.



Christian County Library: Ozark Branch, 1005 N. Fourth Ave., 417-581-2432, christiancountylibrary.org On your way to the river, check out fishing poles and tackle boxes from the library to round out all the gear you’ll need for a relaxing afternoon on the water.

1:30 P.M.: ORW BOARDS 417-849-5989, ozarkriverwalkers.com


Want to give paddleboarding a try? Sign up for one of ORW’s events for a guided trip through Ozark’s waterways.

620 N. 25th St., 417-485-4077, bbtheatres.com Take in the big screen with seatside service. Browse the menu for dessert or share a root beer float—just like old-school movie sweethearts.


1734 W. State Hwy F, Ozark, airbnb.com (Charming Ozark Farmhouse) Check–in to this cozy 1910 farmhouse for a peaceful night away from the city, but rest easy knowing you’re just minutes away from all the amenities and attractions.

Sundown: FINLEY



Fuel up for your day on the river with fully loaded subs and spuds to go.


Get outside and engage in some friendly competition at the park’s disc golf course. Just remember to bring your own discs!


Start the night off with cocktails in the basement speakeasy of this remodeled church building. The renovated sanctuary also features fine dining and a new courtyard for outdoor dining.


907 E. Parkview Street, 417-5817002, ozarkmissouri.com

Grab the lawn chairs and blankets and head to Finley River Park for Family Movie Night to catch a free family flick under the stars.

Noon.: BIG AL’S SUBS 206 N. First St., 417-551-4113, facebook.com/bigalssubs

Shop the square for the latest trends in style and home decor at boutique favorites like Torn Boutique and NEST.


891–961 N. Riverside Road, 417-581-7002, ozarkmissouri. com/333/Finley-River-Park

5:30 P.M.: THE FINLEY 206 E. Elm St., 417-582-1912, facebook.com/thefinleyozark

Noon: SHOP DOWNTOWN 115 N. Second St., 417-551-4847, tornboutique.com and 101 W Church St., 417-485-4044, shopournest.com

840 Finley Farms Lane, 417-2106690, finleyfarmsmo.com




5255 N. 17th St., 417-581-7665, heatherhillfarms.com Unwind from a full day of shopping as you sample cheese and wine, or order a glass as you browse gourmet snacks.



1759 W. State Highway J, 417-8820399, thevineyardmarket.com Round out the staycation vibes with brunch and exploring on the town.


Trailhead located at The OC, 1530 W. Jackson St., Ozark Enjoy an afternoon stroll along the scenic Finley River Greenway Trail. When you find a shady spot, break out the fishing gear for a lazy afternoon cast on the river.

Photos courtesy Finley Farms, Ozark Chamber of Commerce

11:30 A.M.: SMALLIN CAVE 3575 N. Smallin Road, 417-5514545, smallincave.com


Photos courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce, Shutterstock, by Brandon Alms, Brad Zweerink


Four ways to make the most of your trip to Ozark. Haley Phillips



The bakery counter at The Pantry will sell breads and other baked goods made fresh right at the mill.

Since 1883, the Ozark Mill has been an anchor in the community. Bass Pro Shops’ Johnny Morris owns the property and is renovating it in true Morris fashion with awe and sustainability at the forefront. When it’s complete, it will pay homage to the past but also be an economic engine for the future. Here’s an update on the progress. | Juliana Goodwin

Photos courtesy Finley Farms, Ozark Chamber of Commerce

Photos courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce, Shutterstock, by Brandon Alms, Brad Zweerink

WHAT’S OPEN NOW In November 2019, The Workshop debuted. It’s a restored industrial brick garage from the 1930s with steel framed windows, natural light, high wood plank ceilings, butcherblock countertops and an industrial feel. The stunning space is available for private events, but also serves as a coffee shop, restaurant and classroom for culinary and crafts courses. “People are loving the culinary classes,” says Sarah Stracke, manager. “They are the most popular.” Pie making, knife skills and pasta making have been favorites. But there’s an array of offerings on the horizon such as foraging, gardening, beekeeping, floral arrangements, cake decorating and more. While The Workshop can accommodate nearly 100 for private events, classes are capped at 12.“You get one-on-one attention and it’s hands-on. People really enjoy it,” Stracke says. There’s a list of classes online. If a class doesn’t have enough demand, then they wait until it fills up so people can always sign up online. Private classes for team building are also available. Across from the Workshop is The Market Shed, a rustic seasonal event space that can accommodate 300.

WHAT’S IN THE WORKS Restoration of The Ozark Mill continues, says Megan Stack, Johnny Morris’ daughter, who is spearheading the project. When the mill opens it will house a restaurant boasting views of the river; The Garrison, an intimate speakeasy; and several event spaces. “Guests will also be able to tour The Mill and learn about local history,” she says. Chef Kevin Korman has been hired and is designing both menus. He pulls inspiration from the historic Riverside Inn and is working to incorporate ingredients that will be grown on site, says Stack. The farm is under construction and will feature an apple orchard, nearly two acres of growing space, a greenhouse and a pack shed for processing produce harvested from the farm. Bees were added this year, too. Across from the Mill, a chapel is being erected from reclaimed materials. It will be modeled after historic chapels and is set on the banks of the F inley River. The Ozark Mill, The Chapel and a bridal suite are planned to open at the same time to accommodate weddings, says Stack. Another aspect of the project is also restoring the historic Riverside Bridge, built in 1906 .

Craftsmen are preserving as much of the mill's original structure and material as possible.

WHAT’S CHANGED The initial plan included an ice cream and coffee shop, The Post, but that has been scratched. Instead, The Workshop serves as the coffee shop. The restaurant inside the mill was originally going to be named Riverside Grill but now will be called The Ozark Mill to reduce the number of names used. 2020 OZARK COMMUNITY GUIDE




Meet the 2019 Ozark Business of the Year, Rosie Jo’s Café. For nearly 20 years, the restaurant has served downhome food and cultivated a loyal following. Juliana Goodwin


n Ozark, if you want home cooking, head to Rosie Jo’s Caf —but expect a wait at the popular spot. It has been open since and was named the Ozark usiness of the ear. Customers rave about its fluffy homemade biscuits, plate-size pancakes, succulent fried chicken and homemade pies, like the best-selling coconut cream pie.

James Haik, Owner


20% OFF


Ozark’s Helpful Place | 417-582-2700 | 1791 W. James River Rd. 4


Rosemary “Rosie” Griffin, real job and came to work for the restaurant’s namesake, has me, I introduced him as Mr. worked in the food industry Rosie and now everyone calls since the late 7 s and learned him Mr. Rosie,” Griffin says, to cook along the way. “ ears chuckling. is real name is and years ago, my grandmother Vince and you can thank him owned a restaurant and I used for those flaky pies. to hang out in there there, and I had In business nearly two deforgotten about it until I cades, Griffin has amassed lewent to work in one gions of regulars.“I don’t even and it just felt call them regulars anymore; right,” Griffin our regular customers are says. A Mich- our friends,” Griffin says. The igan native, restaurant has had three locaGriffin followed tions over the years and people her husband come from surrounding cities to the area with a to dine there. Dinner is the job relocation in . busiest meal during the week. Now, southwest Missouri is The Griffins have eight home. She worked at Riverside grandchildren, who will probInn for nearly 5 years and then ably work at Rosie Jo’s in the opened her own restaurant. future. When the 7 -year-old Today, Rosie Jo’s Caf is retires, her children will take a family affair. er daugh- over the restaurant. As for ter aysie, and sons Charlie when that will happen “Not and Alex, all work there, and any time soon,” Griffin says. so does Mr. Rosie. “ ears ago, “As long as I’m walking and when he retired, he uit his talking, I’m working.”

Photos by Brandon Alms



OZARK’S hidden treasures The Ozark community and antiques go hand in hand. Here are some of Ozark’s best-known antique stores and what you can find there. Karen Bliss

Photo courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce

Photo by Brandon Alms

THE AVANT GARDE’N 140 N. 20th St., 417-485-4857, theavantgardenonline.com WHAT YOU’LL FIND: The Avant Garde’n is known as a place to find upscale resale items such as furniture and home decor. These high-end pieces come straight from the estate sales hosted by the store.

KEEN EYE ANTIQUES 2070 W. Evangel St., 417-485-3072 WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Keen Eye Antiques means business when it comes to antiques. Furniture, signs, car parts and antique gasoline pumps are just

the sort of items you will discover at Keen Eye. If you’re looking for a oneof-a-kind find, Keen Eye might just be the place for you.

CAMP FLEA ANTIQUE MALL AND VINTAGE MARKET 1900 W. Elm St., 417-581-2575, campflea.com WHAT YOU’LL FIND: As the largest antique mall in Ozark, Camp Flea has over 250 vendors with a variety of items to browse. In-store items range from farmhouse primitives, industrial salvage and retro kitsch to vintage uniques.



107 S. Third St., 417-582-1331 WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Besides the great variety of antiques offerings, such as glassware and collectibles, Spring Creek’s tea room features daily lunch and dessert specials. Stop in to enjoy a decadent slice of cake before browsing the store for antiques.

2004 W. Evangel St., 417-485-0614, littlebluebirdvintageboutique.com WHAT YOU’LL FIND: Little Bluebird is not your traditional “antique” store; vendors selling items here often offer either vintage or antique items that are updated to fit today’s modern home trends.

purelycleanchemdry.com | 417-221-8883 1985 W. Hilltop Road | Ozark

We’re all in this together. State Farm® has a long tradition of being there. That's one reason why I'm proud to support Ozark and the many wonderful people and organizations thatShop makeour this a great place to ® live. Ozark—It's Our Home Too! Here toboutique help life go & right. learn about all the services we offer!


We’re all in this together. State Farm® has a long tradition of being there. Through difficult times, we support our community and help where we can. Whether we sponsor events and charities, or help a single family recover from the unexpected, we’re here for you. We are proud of the people and organizations that work together to build a stronger community. Ozark. — It’s Our Home Too.

417-582-1300 • 5349 N. 22nd St., Ozark 2020 OZARK COMMUNITY GUIDE



A PLACE TO belong

Karen Bliss

FITNESS The OC features a 3,739-squarefoot strength center and an innovative cardio center. There are even fitness classes such as spinning, water fitness, yoga and more.

PARTY RENTALS The OC rents out more than just party rooms. You can have pool, inflatable, laser tag and rock wall parties, and also privately rent the indoor or outdoor pool for an event.

FREE COMMUNITY PROGRAMS Often a destination for free community programs, the community hosts events such as the city Easter Egg Hunt behind The OC on the nature trails, and many others put on throughout the year. There are also banquet and meeting rooms that organizations can rent out to put on these events for the community.

YOUTH PROGRAMS Youth programs such as the afternoon kid’s club, kid’s night in and summer camps are also available at the center. At these events, kids keep busy with crafts, swimming, climbing the rock wall, field trips and other fun activities.

SENIOR PROGRAMS Programs like Silver Sneakers and On The Road Again (O.T.R.A.) are available to local seniors. The O.T.R.A. group does a 55+ field trip every month, with prior trips including stops at museums, performances, dinner and more.

Ozark Innovation Center

Building Hometown Pride.





Photos courtesy The OC

The Ozark Community Center (The OC) has been around for 11 years and continues to be a destination spot to bring community members together. “Just like our logo states, it’s your destination for recreation,” says Samantha Payne, parks and recreation director and public information officer for the City of Ozark. “We take this one step further; we want to be your destination for everything.” Here are five things to do and see at The OC.


Photos courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce, The City of Ozark

Photos courtesy The OC

a downtown UPDATE Catch up on what's new at Ozark's historic square, where improvement efforts are making the space better than ever.

Haley Phillips

 Pictured is a view of the Ozark Square, surrounded by local businesses.


ver the last 20 years, the historic Ozark square has seen many improvements to restore its charm and beauty. Starting with the revitalization efforts of the Ozark Main Street project in 1999 to the Historic River District’s involvement today, the preservation of downtown has been an ongoing project, adapting to the needs of

the community through the years. To continue these efforts, the Historic River District partnered with the City of Ozark this past spring to take part in the city’s Journey 2030 project—a plan of what life in Ozark should look like within the next 10 years—to gather feedback from the community. Along with plans to improve infrastructure, the idea of incorporating an updated landscaping design to include more seating in the square’s interior was discussed as part of the next phase of the revitalization. With requests from community members for more walkability throughout downtown, additional crosswalks are being added, giving visitors another  These renderings show the difference between reason love spending a day the existing sidewalk section (above), and the proposed sidewalk section with seating (below). exploring the square.





Ozark’s Journey 2030 Campaign is paving the way to a prosperous and thriving city where families love to live. Learn more about the campaign an its 10-year road map. | Ren Bishop and Megan Dollar


n 2019, the Christian County Health Department purchased three parcels of land in the Ozark Central Business District. One of those parcels consisted of a dilapidated house that was planned to be demolished. The old house lot, located just 50 yards from the Ozark town square, was the type of space that could be anything. City Administrator Steve Childers got the Ozark Parks and Recreation team together and contacted the Christian County Health Department Administrator, along with members of the town’s nonprofit Friends of Ozark Parks. Together, they decided to dream big. Their plan: a pocket park. “Green spaces have the incredible ability to create a sense of place,” says Childers. “This pocket park, located steps from downtown, helps to keep that small town charm that people love about our area. And that’s what we’re always looking to provide for our citizens in new ways.”



In the next 10 years, the City of Ozark is embarking on a journey to innovate, with projects designed to meet the needs of a dynamic, thriving community. The Love Your City Journey 2030 campaign launched in January 2020 and is a 10-year, culminating vision of what life is and should be in Ozark. The comprehensive community vision and plan is made up of five smaller, but long-term Ozark civic master plans: future land use, transportation, sidewalk, sewer and parks. Together, they make the framework and serve as a guide for civic leaders. “We are wanting to become a destination, but there are so many steps we need to take to get there,” says Samantha Payne, Public Information Officer for the City of Ozark. “Ozark has come a long way and we’ve grown so fast, but it’ll continue to grow, and we need a plan for that growth. Every stakeholder has something to gain from Journey 2030.” To compile the list of

projects and create a timeline for the next decade, Ozark gathered feedback from its citizens. More than 400 residents completed surveys to share their priorities for their tax dollars, and focus groups provided neighbors an opportunity to share what they loved about Ozark, and what they dreamed could be possible for their town. Again and again, Ozarkians’ shared that they loved how safe Ozark is, and they hoped for more recreational spaces. This feedback guided the top priority projects. And although a Local Use Tax did not pass this past June, there are still numerous exciting projects in the works aimed at protecting the experience of Ozark. “That’s why we’re focused on our river and preserving our downtown, celebrating our history,” says Childers. “That small town charm comes from things like safe sidewalks, walkable trails, police officers who patrol on bicycles. All of that together is why people love where they live.”


INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND Ozark is a town made of families. More than 70 percent of its residents drive to Springfield each day to work, but those young professionals crave spaces where they can spend time with their children. But, too often are families deterred from public, recreational spaces due to lack of accessibility. Now, the City of Ozark is changing that for their community by building an inclusive playground at Neal and Betty Grubaugh Park in the heart of town. Dubbed the park where “everybody can play,” the park will be accessible to children of all ages and abilities. “We hope this will become a place where families can bring a picnic and spend the day,” says Childers. In addition to serving Ozark, supporters hope that the park can serve the greater Christian County community by providing an accessible option closer to home.

Photos courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce, Ozark Greenways

EXTENSION AND EXPANSION OF CHADWICK FLYER GREENWAY The Ozark Greenways are a favorite in 417-land, and the ability to hop on a bike in one town and land in another is an economic asset to communities along any bikeable trail. That’s why Ozark is embarking on an epic 7.5-mile extension of the Chadwick Flyer Greenway, funded in part by the Use Tax and federal grants. “We’re trying to connect our downtown to Lake Springfield and Galloway Village,” says Childers. “The Chadwick Flyer Greenway begins in Galloway Village, and we want to reconnect it.” Years ago, the construction of Jackson Street cut off the Chadwick Flyer Greenway—the first obstacle to overcome within the Chadwick Flyer project. The City of Ozark will complete two underpasses for bicyclists and pedestrians, going underneath Jackson Street as it is widened. These underpasses, which also serve as storm water management drains, will cost $1.8 million, but Ozark is making its tax dollars stretch and expand to make this goal a reality. The underpasses will be funded using a combination of federal grants, as well as MoDOT 50/50 matching funds and donations from the Ozark School District. The underpasses and adjoining trail will allow connectivity between school campuses. “We’re really working on making it more walkable here in Ozark,” says Payne. “That provides more options for our citizens to get around town without a car, and it also helps our kids stay safe getting them to school.” 2020 OZARK COMMUNITY GUIDE



PUBLIC SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS Small town charm comes only with an accompanying low crime rate. The Ozark Police Department continues to focus and invest in Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving. With public safety proven to be a top community priority, a continual focus of this certified police agency is to build partnerships and foster relationships with citizens, visitors, and all areas of the community. “You cannot enjoy every other aspect of a community if you feel unsafe in it,” says Payne. In 2017, the Ozark Police Department became certified by the Missouri Police Chiefs Charitable Foundation, which Chief Justin Arnold summarizes as “a display of our organizational commitment to professionalism, policing in a manner consistent with our stake-holders expectations, and being community owned and operated”. The town’s police force is funded by Ozark’s general fund, collected from a one cent sales tax from citizens. Nearly 95% of collected sales tax revenue goes to the police, which still does not eliminate many fiscal obstacles. Addressing aging police vehicles, competitive recruiting of top talent and a significant need for more police officers as the city grows is neces10


sary-and Ozark citizens want it. “I hear it over and over again, ‘We live in Ozark because this is a safe community to live in, and we don’t want that to change,’” says Childers. “To do that we want our public safety professionals to be well-trained, well-supported and well-equipped”.

Photos courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce, Ozark Police Department

MILL POND BRIDGE The bridges that span Ozark’s Finley River are symbols of the small city and its history. While the wear of time on the metal Mill Pond Bridge is charming, the structure requires extra attention to ensure travelers stay above water. The City of Ozark is working to evaluate traffic patterns on and around the bridge in order to preserve and maintain the integrity of the city icon. With data and observations collected from the traffic study, the city hopes to craft plans for future work and upkeep on the bridge. For the traffic study to be thoroughly conducted, the bridge must be shut down for additional inspection by the Missouri Department of Transportation, MODOT, but the city hopes that these studies will increase the longevity of the beloved bridge.


Photos courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce

Photos courtesy Ozark Chamber of Commerce, Ozark Police Department

TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS One of the appeals of small-town living is that residents often know their town like the back of their hand. Each winding backroad, side street and long-forgotten bridge is a path more traveled by locals, so it’s important that these routes are maintained. The City of Ozark began a 5-year cycle of transportation improvements in 2017 with a goal of bettering city roads, sidewalks, bridges and trails. Since work began 3 years ago, five sidewalk and trail projects have been completed, including a number of projects that improve pedestrian transportation near schools. Traffic patterns are also being studied at specific locations in the city, such as the intersection of Jackson and Third Street, in order for the city to analyze recent developments and planned improvements. The study will be used to identify and plan proposed transportation improvement projects and to consider the impacts of completed projects, such as the South Street corridor project. Payne says another cycle of transportations will be up for vote in 2022, when the current cycle will be completed.

COMMUNICATION VIDEO LIBRARY The City of Ozark’s Communication Department, made up of Public Information Officer Samantha Payne and Communication Specialist Brooke Pawling, make a daily effort to keep Ozark residents informed and engaged with their local community and city leaders. Together, they manage Ozark’s presence on social media, gather analytics and data on post reach and engagement, collaborate on educational marketing campaigns, write press releases, answer messages, emails and respond to questions sent in through the City’s socials. “The City of Ozark has seen an amazing uptick in followers, engagements, and post reach over the last few years,” says Payne. “The Communication Department works hard to reach residents and visitors via popular channels so everyone can stay up to date and informed.” In August 2020, the City of Ozark’s Instagram account, @ozarkmo, was a top location among surrounding communities for audience growth. Its Facebook page continues to see a steady uptick in fans and followers. A monthly newsletter is sent out to over 8,000 residents, and includes a comprehensive report of city news and updates, upcoming local programs and events, and a special note to Ozarkians from Mayor Rick Gardner, and special guest notes from the Board of Aldermen. Payne encourages anyone, resident or not, to sign up for the newsletter by going to OzarkMissouri.com to keep up to date on current programs and events. In addition to growing its audience, the department helped spearhead the City of Ozark’s Love Your City campaign launched in early 2020. The logos, marketing material, educational infographics, and presentation materials were all created by the Communication Department in hopes of creating a consistent, uplifting message to residents to love their city and help envision what they want Ozark to look like in 2030.

“Everything we create as a department is for the residents, whether that be to encourage engagement, inform, or make them smile,” says Pawling. “We want to take every opportunity we can to make sure residents feel open to communication with their city. If we want them to love their city, we have to be able to communicate with them.” 2020 OZARK COMMUNITY GUIDE



Find Finley River event schedules and contact details at ozarkmissouri.com. To find out more about the races, visit finleyriverraces.com.

The Finley River runs right through Ozark and offers opportunities for hiking, biking, trail-walking, kayaking, paddleboarding and more. | Jamie Thomas


he Finley River winds through Ozark itself, taking you right through the heart of the beautiful midwestern wilderness. Bring a kayak or canoe or rent a paddleboard from Ozark River Walkers (ozarkriverwalkers.com), and paddle your way along the river. Or if you’re looking to soak up the surroundings on foot or by bicycle, take to the trails along the river for fresh air, foliage and wildlife-spotting. Finley River Park (891 N. Riverside Road, Ozark), which sits on the bank of the river, is the perfect place to picnic or even host a par-



ty. The park has five pavilions available for rental year-round. The Finley River isn’t just about floating, paddling or exploring nature. You also have the chance to get competitive. The Finley River Races is a series of outdoor and indoor races of all different kinds and skill levels that runs all year long. Kids can take part in their own race at the Tiny Tri, while those looking for something a little different can sign up for the Finley River Night Light 5K—a nighttime race (or walk) lit by wearable LED rings and glow powder.

The Finley River Races have events for every member of the family.

Photo courtesy Heartland Racing Co


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