If you are looking for a community that has maintained its small town feel but is just minutes from major highways, airport and metro conveniences, then Willard would be the perfect choice. This "bedroom" city has a top notch school district and a fabulous parks and recreation system to serve it current population of nearly 6000. The Willard Recreation Center is home to two gymnasiums, the Cox Fitness Center, community room, classroom, and other amenities. The Parks and Recreation Department has over 4,000 youth enrolled between the ages of four and thirteen, in one or more of the following activities: basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, swimming, Ken-Kar, and dance. The recreation center is joined by other city facilities such as the new Willard Aquatic Center and the Willard Community Building. The lighted city walking trail and the regional Frisco High Line trail are used year round. Since 1998 the City of Willard has been designated “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation. In 2004, the City was also designated a “Storm Ready”community by the National Weather Service. Historically, Willard was a crossroads for travelers heading northwest out of Springfield by wagons and a stopover for train riders and delivery of goods. The Willard Hotel is famous as a getaway place for the infamous Bonnie and Clyde during their bank robbing days in the Ozarks. Willard is proud to be the birthplace of Missouri politician John Ashcroft who served as Attorney General under President George W. Bush. The town is also home to Olympian athletes Lori Endicott and Jason Pyrah. Endicott was a bronze medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics representing the US Volleyball team while Pyrah excelled in 1996 and 2000 track and field events. Former Willard Tiger B.J. Flores is a professional boxer making a name for himself on the national level. Today there are nearly 150 businesses and services, including four shopping centers, which serve citizens from Willard and neighboring communities. Willard offers many professional medical services locally including four doctors, three dentists, two pharmacies, two chiropractors and two veterinarians. The city has a 60-bed nursing home, a retirement village and one assisted living facility. Zott's Creamery is a longtime Willard favorite hot spot for ice cream and frozen yogurt while El Venero is the newest Mexican restaurant to open for business in this community which welcomes diversity and new services. Just a few miles down the road you'll discover 7C's Winery hosting tours and wine tasting events. Few towns celebrate Independence Day like Willard - their Freedom Festival attracts visitors from throughout Southwest Missouri with parades, pageantry. car shows, live music for all ages and of course, a big fireworks spectacle! The City of Willard Parks and Recreation Department has teamed up with AMVETS Post 188 to build a new impressive Veteran's Memorial at Jackson Street Park. The memorial is an ongoing tribute to honor Willard area vets who have served their country in all branches of the military. It features 648 paver bricks, four memorial benches, three flag poles and five monuments.
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Data Last Updated 2017-06-25
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