Plants Native to Illinois Help Beautify Downtown

(not in order pictured) Volunteers Grace Norris, Susan Helm, Patty Morton, Erin Svendsen, Michael Higgins and Kathy Wright

A group of volunteers spent a recent Wednesday morning helping to beautify downtown with plants native to Illinois.

The idea bubbled up from members of DSI’s Design Committee, who worked with master gardener Susan Helm to develop a plan and find grant funding to conduct a pilot program in downtown’s planters.

A key member of the group is Michael Higgins, who recently won a Sustainable Springfield award for the work he’s done to utilize his Maldaner’s Restaurant rooftop to achieve sustainable goals, including installing solar panels, a beehive and a native plant container to support native pollinators. Energy use at the restaurant has been reduced by 20% over the past five years. Take-out containers are provided in compostable containers and most recently plastic straws were replaced with paper straws, the first downtown business to make the switch.

For the downtown planters project, Higgins, Helm and Erin Svendsen of SAA collaborated with the Illinois Native Plant Society, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the City of Springfield to develop their plan. They successfully won a grant from the Springfield Civic Garden Club, which donated proceeds its Annual Plant Sale to garden-related projects for a charitable organization.

The newly-planted planters will beautify the downtown area but also serve two other important functions: saving the City of Springfield money by utilizing perennials and attracting pollinators, which are an important part of the ecosystem and have been diminishing. The different species of plants used range from flowers like Coneflower and Poppy Mallow to plants like White Sage and Prairie Dropseed. Along with these plants native to Illinois, the downtown planters project added herbs for texture and pollinator value.

Each pot is essentially an entire pollinator garden. You can find them on both sides of 6th Street from Monroe to Adams Street. They are also on Adams Street between 6th and 7th Streets. Depending on the success of this first pilot project, look for an expansion to other planters in the downtown area in the coming years.

An Art Deco Gem

In honor of our first Architectural Walking Tour of the season, which takes place on Wednesday, May 1, Cinda Ackerman Klickna contributed this blog post about the 88-year-old building which houses the organization that she led for six years as President.

The Illinois Education Association building at 100 E. Edwards is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in downtown Springfield. Built in 1931 by Rockford architects Horn and Sandburg, it houses the offices of the largest union in Illinois. The IEA, with a current membership of 133,000, includes teachers and support staff, Pre-K through higher ed, plus retired members and students studying to become teachers.

IEA has a long history, starting as the Illinois State Teachers’ Institute in 1853. A constitution was written with the preamble explaining why the association was needed: “…believing that the organization of a State Teachers’ Institute is not only essential to raise the standard of teaching but conducive to the promotion of the of the greatest diffusion of knowledge throughout our

Membership grew over the years after many conventions with as many as 5000 teachers attending and with support of the legislature. In 1857, by an act of the Illinois Legislature, the name was changed to the Illinois State Teachers’ Association. The Association had by then helped to establish the Superintendent of Public Instruction as a regular full-time elected office (today the position is appointed by the Governor). In 1857, the Association helped establish Illinois State Normal University. It wasn’t until 1936 that the name became what it is today, the Illinois Education Association, because membership grew to include more than teachers.

By the 1920s, a small office served the membership; in 1925, the delegates to the annual meeting called the Representative approved money for the purchase of land and construction of a building in Springfield. A location with close proximity to the State Capitol was important so that legislative work could be continued.

Two lots on Edwards Street were purchased for $15,000. A two-story building was completed in 1931, named the William Bishop Owen Building in honor of the association’s former president who had worked to establish a permanent headquarters. The building cost $45,300.

The architects, Horn and Sandburg, designed a box-shaped structure using Indiana limestone. The facade has never changed. Four fluted carved columns rise two stories and are capped with a sunrise and geometric design. The sunrise and geometric pattern is repeated above the entrance.

Expansion occurred in 1953; the Centennial Addition was so named in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Association. The two-story addition on the back end, costing $134,000, added much needed space for offices and meetings. And in 1960, another addition, creating a “T,” was added to the back.  The ell wing, extending to the east, was added in the 1980’s.

Although the interior has been modernized with new windows, lighting, and air systems throughout the years, some parts of the original building can still be seen. Stairwells with wood railings, woodwork around glass panels, heavy doors, old radiators and grill vents add charm to the building.

IEA, a non-profit member of Downtown Springfield Inc., continues its original mission: to improve the quality of teaching by raising issues, working on legislation that helps students and raising the awareness of the needs of students and educators for successful public schools in every community.

All the Deets for Open Streets

For the second year, DSI is hosting Downtown Open Streets presented by Memorial Health System!! The event takes place on the paved streets around the Old State Capitol on Saturday, May 4 “May the Fourth Be With You” from 11-3, so there’s plenty of time to participate and watch the Kentucky Derby later that day….

Open Streets temporarily opens streets to people and closes them to cars. People can travel the loop from Washington Street to 5th to Monroe Street to 6th on their bikes, skateboards, skates, by foot or otherwise and enjoy the activity hubs on the “spokes” around the Old State Capitol and on Monroe and Adams.

Mosquito Joe “Outside is Fun Again” and a bevy of Springfield organizations will be providing health, fitness & FUN activities for all ages — ALL FOR FREE!

Old State Capitol Plaza

The first 200 attendees at the event will get a free drawstring backpack/shopping bag by visiting the DSI Information Booth on the Old State Capitol Plaza. Maps and times of all of the activities will also be available. Families should also stop by the Ace Bike Shop Corral on 6th at Adams Street to be entered in a drawing for an adolescent’s bike valued at $239. The drawing for the bike will be held at 1:30 pm right before the Bicycle Parade that starts at 6th and Washington.

Plus, “check out” new and gently used paperbacks and hardbacks for free from Land of Lincoln Bookshare.

5th Street between Washington and Monroe

Check your health knowledge and your blood pressure with Memorial; get a first look at Springfield’s coming BikeShare program, Gotcha; play bingo with Girls on the Run; practice Yoga with Willow City Farm’s goats and puppies; watch a performance by Dance Creations Dance Studio; do some crafts with Lincoln Memorial Garden; and learn about roller derby from the MidState Mayhem Roller Derby women’s team and Capital City Hooligans men’s teams.

Adams Street between 4th and 5th

Get ready for the 1:30 pm Bicycle Parade by decorating your bike with US Kiddos and Central Baptist Church; play “old-school” playground games in front of the Kidzeum; and get your portrait taken at the Curtain and Leaf booth.

Adams Street between 6th and 7th

Park your bike for free at the Ace Bike Shop Bike Corral and register for a childrens’ bike giveaway; stop by The Pharmacy Gallery & Art Space for the 2 pm public ribbon cutting; and test your abilities at Springfield Bicycle Club’s fun obstacle course.

6th and Washington Streets

Participate in the “Bicycle Parade”  at 1:30 pm; enjoy a performance by Springfield Youth Performance Group; take a free boot camp class every half hour with 180 Fitness; sign up to start running with Springfield Road Runners Club with their Abe’s Army program; watch experienced skateboarders in a Ramp Jam hosted by Boof City Skate Shop or learn tips for beginners; and make wind chimes with Wild Rose.

6th and Monroe Streets

Enjoy a Plant It bar with succulents and air plants with The Roost; make on-demand screen-printed T-shirts at Murphy’s Loft; look at APL animals to adopt with Studio on Sixth, enjoy 50% off select items in the store, and participate in Studio’s Sidewalk Chalk Drawing Contest, with prizes for every participant.

Monroe Street between 4th and 7th

Take free classes provided by the YMCA including street hockey, basketball, zumba spin class, and more; sit on the street in Custom Cup’s colorful tables and chairs; and enjoy a live band performance on an outdoor stage thanks to Dumb Records.

Get up-t0-the-minute posts on DSI’s Facebook event page.

Three Questions for the Candidates

Election season is almost over, and before you roll your eyes, consider how important it is that we elect people from every ward who understand the value of a revitalized downtown. The City of Springfield is DSI’s primary partner in the work that we do, and the work that we do benefits the entire city, any which way you look at it: whether tax base, corporate and medical recruitment,  making our young people want to come home, building out an entrepreneurial culture.

So first, we thanked the men and women who are running to make a difference in Springfield. It takes a lot of personal time, patience, caring and perseverance to run for elected office.

Then — we asked them three questions. The topics were:
1) future of the Y Block,
2) TIF Policy and
3) partnership with DSI.

Read the candidates’ responses here.

Voting ends at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 2. If you haven’t cast your ballot yet, the County Clerk’s office in the Sangamon County Courthouse on 9th Street is open all weekend for early voting. Download the hours here.

Meet our Farmers Market Team

Hey, Farmers Market fans! We’d like you to introduce you to Mollie Ringer, DSI’s Market Manager for the 20th season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market.

A lifelong resident of Springfield, Mollie’s enthusiasm for working for nonprofit organizations started in college at Illinois State University where she completed an internship with the Children’s Discovery Museum. There she found passion working with youth and fundraising for the community.

Mollie’s non-profit resume includes the Appalachia Service Project, Illinois Grape Growers and Vintner’s Association, and most recently, Hope. She has also been active as a volunteer for DSI events.

“Coming from a farming family, I am very excited to have the opportunity to connect farmers with local consumers and to educate the community about the available healthy products and produce right in their backyard,” says Mollie.

Mollie will be joined on Market Days by Market Assistant Kailey Connour, who graduated from UIS in August with a BA in Environmental Studies. Kailey’s interests include sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and anything to do with the Ocean (as her long-time goals include working with marine wildlife). “Springfield has been my home for the past three years and I’m excited to see the extra steps that the city is taking towards a better city and a greater environment,” said Kailey.

The Market management team will oversee a 12-month calendar which includes the Old Capitol Farmers Market from May 18-October 26; two Holiday Markets in November and December; and a monthly Winter Market from January – April 2020.

This is the first year that DSI has taken on the role of producing a year-round market, taking over day-to-day management of the Holiday Markets and Winter Markets which were started by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, in addition to the summer-time Old Capitol Farmers Market, which has been managed by DSI since 1999.

The vendor application for the 2019 Old Capitol Farmers Market is now live.

Some Market dates to jot down on your calendar:

May 18 – Grand Opening of the Old Capitol Farmers Market

July 20 – Kids Day at the Market/Kidzeum One-Year Anniversary

September 5 – Friends of the Market Street Dinner (tickets go on sale in July)

October 26 – Halloween at the Market

Calling Artists for 2019 Art Alley Challenge

Artist Immanuel Ahiable greeting friends and family during our first Art Alley Pop Up.

This year’s Art Alley III Pop Up takes place on Saturday, September 14 — with a twist. Seven selected artists or artistic teams will “compete” by completing a mural in only one day. As night falls, we’ll gather for our Pop Up Party, where guests can vote for their favorite mural — so that we can give the artists prizes! — and to celebrate Springfield’s artistic community.

Tickets are not yet available but all proceeds will benefit DSI’s ARTification Public Art Program.

The Call for Artists has been released thanks to our partners at Springfield Art Association. Please download the Call for Artists and apply today: Art Alley III Mural Competition Call FINAL

Thank you to our sponsors Solomon Colors and Springfield Electric!

You can get your tickets now!  Click here for more details.




Next Steps: Momentum on Main Street

The kick-off was great — but the more important question is, what happens next?

If you attended…

the Momentum on Main Street Meet-up and Presentation, don’t forget to apply for one of the US Bank scholarships before April 1. Check your email for details!

Free How-To Sessions for Anyone

Wednesday, April 24
4:00pm – 5:30pm, Buzz Bomb Brewery
Turning Your Home Kitchen into a Business and Getting Started at the Farmers Market
Molly Gleason of Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Mollie Ringer, the Manager of the Old Capitol Farmers Market, will lead this session.

Wednesday, May 29
12:00pm – 1:00pm, Lincoln Library
Permits and City Hall- Who You Need to Know and Where You Need to Go
Abby Powell, TIF Manager at the City of Springfield, will demystify the process for you.

Wednesday, June 26
4:00pm – 5:30pm, The Incubator
Vacant Building Walk-Through: What To Consider Before You Buy
Architect Jeff Sommers will show you what to look for when you’re seeking downtown space.

Follow DSI to find out when we schedule the next three sessions on various topics or suggest a topic to the committee via email

Ready to Accelerate Your Idea Using the Co.Starters 9-week series at Innovate Springfield?

The best candidate for the CO.STARTERS program is either someone with a new idea for a business, or an existing business looking to become more sustainable, launch a new product or service, or scale.

Participants will receive guidance for a process to figure out whether or not an idea is good and how to change it to make it work; the ability to better articulate how their businesses work; defined next steps needed to move forward; and a community of peers and support.

Sessions run on Monday evenings from 5:30 PM-8:30 PM. The first cohort begins April 25th. Learn more.

Potential Investors

We’ll be rolling out our next steps to match-make potential investors with good projects in the downtown neighborhood in the coming weeks, based on the Meet-up Survey. Let us know if you’re interested in hearing about potential good investments, we’ll add you to the list.


Thank you to the City of Springfield for your investments in DSI’s work which makes the Momentum on Main Street series possible.

Era of Exploration for First Presbyterian Church

A church with historic significance, a grant opportunity, and a group that could help figure out a better way to use 36,000 of underutilized square feet: the First Presbyterian Church at 7th and Capitol, known for its red front door, started off this year with a soul-searching process that could greatly benefit not only the downtown community but all of Springfield.

Flashback nine months ago: Pastor Susan Phillips was only into her new post for a few months and asking normal-new-job questions such as, “Why do we do this? What if we did that?”  Sarah Watson, a parishioner who is the Executive Director of Looking for Lincoln/ A. Lincoln National Heritage Area, read of a grant opportunity through National Heritage that was available for religious groups. The grant could bring in Partners for Sacred Places, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the preservation and use of historic, religious sites. Phillips and Watson had a conversation.

Pastor Phillips leads a tour of the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church.

Pastor Phillips says, “Members of the congregation were discussing our future – do we stay downtown and do some renovation, or move to another site? Our church is rooted in history; we cherish our tradition of social justice and have been an incubator of programs. We wanted, though, to look at how we could serve the community in new ways.”

Along with another parishioner, Mary Beth Stephens, the three realized the church was a “hidden gem in downtown,” as Stephens says.

They won the grant, which paid for Sacred Places to lead a community development process that helps identify assets, not only in the church but also in the surrounding community, called Asset Mapping.

Community leaders with a wide range of interests and positions were invited to attend a three-hour Convening session on January 19. The invitees were promised that the session wasn’t a fundraising pitch, but that they needed to bring their “energy and imagination,” Stephens says. “The program was meant to be a jumping off point for the congregation to reach back out to the community, like we used to do.”

The exterior of the oldest part of the church is shored up with beams.

The day of the Convening turned out to be one with inclement weather, but over 40 people showed up anyway. Watson says, “I was thrilled that the group showed up on a snowy, Saturday morning, all with an interest in Springfield and downtown.” The participants toured the church, many amazed at the large number of nooks and crannies–and potential. They then broke into groups to identify strengths and resources and list assets of the community, the church, and the neighborhood.

Phillips, Watson, and Stephens all share that the meeting led to wonderful discussion. People developed potential ideas how the church’s space could be used to address community needs and even started to collaborate on ideas beyond what might happen at the church itself. For example, the fact that the church’s sanctuary is 150 years old and the Lincoln family pew is on display in the lobby made attendees say that the church should include more about the Lincoln connection in Springfield tourism. (Fun fact: Only Eagle Scouts may sit on the pew.)

Ideas for space included renting out rooms for meetings, a hang-out for legislators,  space for artists-in-residence, tapping into the Homeless Outreach Team, offering counseling for homeless, and providing trainings or classes. “Whatever is decided,” Phillips says, “these activities need to help us partner in broader, deeper ways to better serve people and the community.”

To be fully utilized, the church needs renovation. There are many sections that are inaccessible and not up to ADA code. But, there are many rooms. Water availability in many rooms would make it possible to host art classes. There are offices and a library, a commons area connected to a kitchen and a kitchenette, a lounge, computer lab, even a movie theater room. Sacred Places will ultimately help the congregation figure out how the space could be upgraded and re-purposed for today’s community needs.

The next step is to present the asset mapping ideas and discussion to the congregation, receive input, review, reflect and then decide which direction(s) to take. Phillips calls this in-between period, “Rooted and Reaching.” By the end of the Sacred Places process, the congregation will have determined how to, once again, use its beautiful, historic home base to its fullest potential, reaching out to the community and partnering with other organizations.

Stephens adds, “We know it will take time, and we don’t want to lose momentum. This is a wonderful thing we’ve started.”

Cinda Ackerman Klickna is sharing her talents with the downtown community by contributing interesting stories to our blog. First Presbyterian Church is a non-profit member of DSI.

Inspection Policy

Why Farm Inspections?

The Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) is committed to a producer-only policy in order to foster the growth of local farms and businesses and showcase products that are grown, raised, gathered, and hand-crafted in Illinois. When products are purchased wholesale from auctions, grocers, distributors, or processors, it undercuts the value and hard work that small farms and businesses surrounding Springfield have dedicated to raising their products, and jeopardizes their ability to sell those products at a fair price.  To ensure the integrity of our “Producer-Only” policy, farm inspections and visits are done to provide evidence to the Market Manager that (1) the products sold at the Market are grown by the vendor on his/her designated property and (2) to familiarize market staff with the excellent operations we represent as voices of the Old Capitol Farmers Market. Inspections will not be used as a tool to evaluate sustainability practices and all inspection results will remain confidential.

Who is inspected?

All growers are subject to a one-time farm inspection completed by the Market Manager and/or inspection team. A grower is defined as:

“a vendor actively involved and invested in the planting, growing, raising, and harvesting of agricultural products. This definition includes ranchers and dairy farmers. Agricultural products are fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, honey, eggs, fresh herbs, flowers, and any meat, dairy, or other agricultural product that is produced on farm and sold by that farm.”

Prepared food vendors, complementary vendors, and artisans are not subject to farm inspections but may be subject to other rules and regulations to insure the integrity of the Producer-Only Market rule.

Overview of Inspection Policy

New growers: All new growers to Old Capitol Farmers Market must have an inspection completed by the Market Manager and/or inspection team and must pay a one-time $80 inspection fee. Inspections will be conducted over the course of the market at the discretion of the Market Manager. The Market Manager will schedule the inspections that must be completed in a 30-day time frame.  Non-compliance will result in forfeiture of your right to participate in the market. Nothing learned on the farm including production practices, proprietary information, and potential rules violations will be revealed to anyone other than market management.

Existing growers: Existing vendors may be subject to an inspection by the Market Manager and/or inspection team on a rotating basis throughout the season. If an existing grower adds a new line/product, that line will need to be inspected before bringing it to Market. There are no additional charges for these inspections. Vendors who refuse inspections will not be able to participate in the Market and may forfeit their space without refund.

Farm Visits and Inspections

All inspections will be announced and scheduled in advance with the grower. The grower must provide any help necessary to thoroughly document the property being inspected and the products brought to market.  All inspectors will use the same Inspection Report form for each inspection. The Old Capitol Farmers Market Inspection Report form will be sent prior to inspection.

The inspection report includes the following subsections:

(1) Property Verification

(2) Farm Information

(3) Resale Information

(4) Farm Product List and Additional Products

(5A) Prepared Foods, Value-Added Products, etc.

(5B) Food Preparation Product Information

(7) Inspection Review & Follow-up.

During the inspection, the inspector(s) will tour the farm(s) and facilities asking questions and completing the Inspection Report form. Vegetable growers will be asked to provide seed purchase and transplant receipts.

Livestock Producers

Livestock operations will be subject to the same Inspection Report as vegetable producers, with some minor modifications. Producers will need to be able to verify that they have raised the meat for 75% of its weight.  This may include showing receipts if they purchased feeder animals, baby chicks, etc.  If they birthed the animals, they need to be able to show records.  Feed receipts or other records of vet care, etc. may be requested. Inspectors will evaluate pastures and ask for records regarding seeding, maintenance, and harvest of pastures, as well as the purchase of hay and straw (if necessary).

As all meat must be processed at a state or federally-licensed facility, producers will be asked to share their processor info on the ManageMyMarket application and will also be asked to share their processing receipts during the inspection.  If the Market Manager and/or inspection team has any suspicions, the processors will be contacted and weekly inventory inspections of growers coolers/freezers may be conducted to ensure that what producers are bringing to market is in-line with the animals raised/processing receipts/other records.

Inspection Results and Disciplinary Action

If the producer-only veracity is called into question for any product, the grower will be asked to cease the sales of those products for the remainder of the season and a written warning will be issued. If sales continue, the grower will be asked to leave the market without refund for the remainder of the season.  If a grower believes the inspection results were incorrect, they may contact the Market Manager and request a hearing before the Market Advisory Committee.

The grower checklist: “What to expect when we’re inspecting”

In order to expedite the inspection process, please complete the form below and have all of the following applicable items on hand at the beginning of your inspection.

  1. A farm map (required): A farm map identifying locations of all crops and livestock and directions to the farm(s) will be required prior to the inspection. The farm map will need to include each field outlined with crop plantings (include greenhouses, high tunnels, and storage and handling facilities) and pastures (include feed and grain storage and livestock housing facilities).
  2. Seed purchase, transplant, or plug receipts for all annual vegetables, fruits, and flowers listed on your ManageMyMarket market application
  3. Livestock birth records or other records of vet care for all livestock listed on your ManageMyMarket application
  4. Livestock purchase receipts
  5. Processor receipts
  6. Pasture maintenance records (seeds, fertility, harvest yields)

Community Group


The Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) is a producer-only farmers market located in the heart of Downtown Springfield at or near the corner of 4th and Adams Street. The 2019 season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a total of 24 weeks, beginning Saturday, May 18th and ending Saturday, October 26th. This is a total of 47 market dates. The Market will take place every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. RAIN OR SHINE. In the case of severe weather, the Market Manager will make the determination regarding closing the entire market early.

Market Mission

The Old Capitol Farmers Market strives to:

  • Support small farms and local growers by providing a venue to directly market their goods.
  • Strengthen the local economy by providing a venue for the public to connect with local growers, artisans, musicians, and entrepreneurs.
  • Build community by providing a public gathering space for community members to engage, interact, and exchange ideas with the people and projects around them.
  • Encourage healthy lifestyles through increasing availability of fresh produce and locally raised food.
  • Celebrate the diversity of locally-grown food and artisan products that are unique to Springfield and central Illinois.
  • Support, revitalize, and grow downtown Springfield by increasing foot traffic and patronage to the downtown area.

Community Group Vendors

As a service to the community, the Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) allows booths for non-profit community groups whose mission aligns with the mission of the Market. A community group is defined as a non-profit, charitable, educational, or government organization. An application, pre-approval, and payment are required for community group booths.

  • All groups must feature an educational activity or service that engages the community. Examples include games, photo-booths, raffles, crafts, face painting, and wellness services (dental check-ups, chiropractic services, bicycle repairs).
  • Groups will not be allowed to distribute religious or political propaganda.
  • The Market Manager will evaluate each application before approval.


The 2019 vendor fee structure will be as follows:

  • Market Season Fees
    • Full Season Wednesday and Saturday:  $500
    • Full Season Wednesday Only: $300
    • Full Season Saturday Only: $300
    • Half season: $300 (24 market dates of your choosing)
    • ⅓ Market: $120 (8 dates of your choosing)
    • Daily rate: $25 per Market day*
    • Street entertainment $5 per Market day
  • Manage My Market Registration Fee: $15
  • Inspection Fee: $80. Only new Growers will be obligated to pay the one-time $80 inspection fee. For more information see the Inspection Policy.
  • Electricity: There will be no charge for electricity at this time.

*Daily vendors and street entertainers must be pre-scheduled one week in advance and approved by market staff. They are required to pay ahead of time or by 8:30 a.m. the day of the market at the market information booth. If payment is not received on the day of the market, a $10 late fee will be charged. Daily vendors and street entertainers also must register through ManageMyMarket.

Application Procedure

The Old Capitol Farmers Market uses online software called ManageMyMarket to register vendors, track certifications, and assign spaces. Vendors must apply to the Market online.  Applications are available at

There is a yearly registration fee of $15 for approved vendors. If you do not have access to the Internet or need assistance with filling out an application, you may schedule a time to register with the Market Manager at the Downtown Springfield Inc office by calling (217) 544-1723. Remember that you will need copies of your liability insurance certificate, Illinois Business Tax Id Number, current vehicle insurance, and any and all necessary documentation from the Sangamon County Health Department/State of Illinois.

Community Group vendors will need to create an account, select the Old Capitol Farmers Market, complete the online application process and upload supporting documents. Remember, only fields with a red asterisk (*) are mandatory. For questions that apply only to growers or farmers, leave these fields blank of place “n/a” (not applicable) in the required fields. When you are prompted to enter a product list please choose “Community Resources” from the list of potential products.

For additional information on Vendor Policies and Requirements click on the link below:



If you are interested in becoming a Community Group vendor at the Old Capitol Farmers Market, the application is live! Once you have completed your application, it will be reviewed for approval. If you are approved you will receive an email notification and an invoice. Payment is not due until after application is processed. Your application will not be considered complete until all documents and photos are uploaded or received.

We have not yet begun approving, placing, or invoicing vendors. Please be patient as we review applications.


2019 Vendor Agreement

I have read the 2019 Vendor document and agree to adhere to the policies, guidelines, and rules as stated and agree to submit all required documents and fee payments via ManageMyMarket by the May 1, 2019, deadline. If I am not able to use ManageMyMarket, paperwork and payments must be delivered to Downtown Springfield Inc (DSI) prior to the May 1, 2019, deadline.  I understand that failure to comply with all applicable rules may result in vendor termination and forfeiture of any paid fees.

Questions? Contact Mollie Ringer, Market Manager at or call Downtown Springfield Inc’s Office at 217-544-1723.

For more vendor resources see below:



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