For many residents of Springfield, the nice weather has brought lifted spirits and high hopes for what the season will bring. Many students in the surrounding colleges have used the weather as an opportunity to study outside and take a break from stuffy classrooms and noisy hallways.
Families have been able to return to regularly visiting parks, and parents have been getting a chance to let their children blow off some steam once they get out of class. For many, this weather feels like the breath of fresh air people need in order to finish all of the things they need to do before the summer starts.
If you're like me, the first thing you want to do when the weather is nice is go hammocking. Students at Missouri State University are lucky; our school has put up stands to hang hammocks on, so there is more room to spread out and study. Once their school day is over, some students will head to the park and hang up their hammocks, hoping to finish up some leftover assignments while they relax.
In Chapter 82 of the Code of the City of Springfield, the park rules are outlined. One of the rules focuses on hanging things from park trees. The rule states: "it is unlawful to attach wires, ropes, placards, notices or other contrivances to any structure, tree, shrub, plant, or utility lines without prior written permission of the park board."
Unfortunately, this includes hammocks.
So, what are the consequences of breaking this law? You won't get arrested for trying to relax in your hammock, but you might get fined. Breaking a city ordinance typically leads to receiving a ticket from someone on the park board.
Now, while this ordinance may seem absurd, it's actually for a pretty solid reason. The park board is trying to protect their trees and other greenery from being accidentally damaged. Each tree in the Springfield parks are cataloged and looked after by the park board, who cares very much about their trees.
So, before you get frustrated at not being able to hammock in a Springfield park, pretend it's Leslie Knope who signed that ordinance into action. Who could be mad at her for trying to save some trees?