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Breaking ground near you.

Siloam Springs

WOKA Whitewater Park

On October 29, 2020, the Grand River Dam Authority and City of Siloam Springs officially broke ground on a national-caliber, 30-acre whitewater park on the Illinois River. The $33 million WOKA Whitewater Park will be a best-in-class whitewater park featuring a 1,200-foot long, 100-foot wide side channel with eight drop-features.

The park is expected to have 85,000 visitors annually and generate an annual economic impact of $900,000. Park activities will include kayaking, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, tubing, and rafting. Additional amenities will include waterfront, shaded spectator seating, rental services, parking, trail system, public restrooms, and course put in and take outs.

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Bentonville

8th Street Gateway Park

Sprawling over 109 acres, the 8th Street Gateway Park will be a big, new, landscape destination for the City of Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas. The 8th Street Gateway Park is intended to be the centerpiece of the Bentonville Parks System, and the western anchor of a nearly completed 25-mile multi-use trail system that rings the city.

The park will be composed of three sections: The East Landing, The Central Yard, and The Porch—with 12.5-miles of greenways, multi-use paths and bike trails weaving through and around it.  Beyond an extensive system of bike circulation and charismatic natural landscapes, the park will offer a myriad opportunities for both formal and informal active recreation. Features include a 1-acre signature playground at the park’s core, as well as a small neighborhood-scaled scramble in the western area of the park. Adjacent to these neighborhood play features are a collection of small “blacktop,” court, and outdoor table games. Elsewhere, large-scale custom furniture elements in programmed areas of the park offer opportunities to climb, collect and creatively play.

Take a digital tour of the park and provide feedback via the website dedicated to the project below.

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Bentonville

8th Street Gateway Park

Sprawling over 109 acres, the 8th Street Gateway Park will be a big, new, landscape destination for the City of Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas. The 8th Street Gateway Park is intended to be the centerpiece of the Bentonville Parks System, and the western anchor of a nearly completed 25-mile multi-use trail system that rings the city.

The park will be composed of three sections: The East Landing, The Central Yard, and The Porch—with 12.5-miles of greenways, multi-use paths and bike trails weaving through and around it.  Beyond an extensive system of bike circulation and charismatic natural landscapes, the park will offer a myriad opportunities for both formal and informal active recreation. Features include a 1-acre signature playground at the park’s core, as well as a small neighborhood-scaled scramble in the western area of the park. Adjacent to these neighborhood play features are a collection of small “blacktop,” court, and outdoor table games. Elsewhere, large-scale custom furniture elements in programmed areas of the park offer opportunities to climb, collect and creatively play.

Take a digital tour of the park and provide feedback via the website dedicated to the project below.

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Bentonville

Airship at The Homestead

Located in the center of the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, the open-air cafe officially opened on November 1, 2020. Only accessible by paved trail, this wooded oasis will likely be your new favorite hideaway. The area features a powerful view of the preserve’s trails, renovated barns and the stunning surrounding landscape.

The Homestead is a micro-café and beverage bar designed to enhance the park-goers’ experience with convenient access to delicious and nourishing refreshments, which also includes a beer garden. Patrons will enjoy a variety of hand-crafted beverages from fresh coffee and craft beers to tea and delicious kombucha.

You can park at either the North or the South Gate entrances. Both parking lots are only 5 minutes from downtown Bentonville. HOURS: 7am-11am (November 2-8) and 7am-4:30pm service starting November 9.

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Springdale | Rogers | Bentonville

New Design Excellence Projects

The Walton Family Foundation is amplifying its efforts to enhance the region’s public spaces with three new Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program projects.

This year, the program will provide grants for the:

  • Enhancement of The Jones Center’s 52-acre campus: The Jones Trust will redesign its campus as a regional destination and create stronger physical connections to downtown Springdale and Luther George Park. The space will include park-like green spaces, inviting bike paths, infrastructure improvements and enhanced recreational amenities to serve diverse communities in an accessible and welcoming environment.
  • Reimagined network of alleys in Downtown Rogers: The City of Rogers will transform five blocks of alleyways into an arts-focused neighborhood destination and pedestrian network. Located at the heart of many downtown destinations, the project will create more social space, spur economic development and build on the unique historic fabric of the city’s downtown.
  • Design of The Commons in the Quilt of Parks: The City of Bentonville will complete the design for The Commons, a plaza in the Quilt of Parks and an extension of Bentonville Square. The plaza will include recreation spaces and areas for public events, outdoor dining and community gathering.

With the addition of these new projects, the Design Excellence Program now supports 15 public spaces across the region’s five largest downtowns.

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Springdale | Rogers | Bentonville

New Design Excellence Projects

The Walton Family Foundation is amplifying its efforts to enhance the region’s public spaces with three new Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program projects.

This year, the program will provide grants for the:

  • Enhancement of The Jones Center’s 52-acre campus: The Jones Trust will redesign its campus as a regional destination and create stronger physical connections to downtown Springdale and Luther George Park. The space will include park-like green spaces, inviting bike paths, infrastructure improvements and enhanced recreational amenities to serve diverse communities in an accessible and welcoming environment.
  • Reimagined network of alleys in Downtown Rogers: The City of Rogers will transform five blocks of alleyways into an arts-focused neighborhood destination and pedestrian network. Located at the heart of many downtown destinations, the project will create more social space, spur economic development and build on the unique historic fabric of the city’s downtown.
  • Design of The Commons in the Quilt of Parks: The City of Bentonville will complete the design for The Commons, a plaza in the Quilt of Parks and an extension of Bentonville Square. The plaza will include recreation spaces and areas for public events, outdoor dining and community gathering.

With the addition of these new projects, the Design Excellence Program now supports 15 public spaces across the region’s five largest downtowns.

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Fayetteville

Windgate Studio and Design Center

On October 13, 2020, the University of Arkansas School of Art officially broke ground on the new Windgate Studio and Design Center building. In 2017, the School of Art received a transformational $40 million gift from the Windgate Charitable Foundation to create the new art and design district that will serve students, faculty, artists, designers and the community.

The four-story 154,600-square-foot state-of-the-art building, will anchor the southern edge of the Windgate Art and Design District in the heart of south Fayetteville. The architecture firms have worked closely with the university and the School of Art to ensure the new center will be integrated into the community as a hub for the arts. The community will be invited to enjoy leisure time at the Windgate Studio and Design Center’s coffee shop as well as participate in exhibitions, attend events with visiting artists, designers and scholars, and experience the center’s courtyard and amphitheater.

The Windgate Art and Design District will further expand the reach and scope of the university’s School of Art, which was established in August 2017 thanks to a $120 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. The School of Art in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the first and only accredited, collegiate school of art in the state of Arkansas.

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ICYMI: Check out the post below for more projects!

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