Gulley Park Master Plan and Trail Reconstruction
2018 Update to Gulley Park Master Plan
An update to the master plan for development of Gulley Park was recently approved by the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board at the September 10, 2018 meeting. This is the culmination of planning efforts which have been underway since the park’s expansion in 2014. These themed areas and facilities were derived from earlier conceptual plans which were presented at multiple times for public comment. The received comments were reviewed and evaluated, and the final plan is the result of those efforts.
The intent of this plan is to designate primary use areas throughout the park to maximize opportunities for desired user activities, while minimizing detrimental impacts to the park. Although new areas of activity are have been proposed, it was also important to preserve the open space of the park, as well as provide isolated areas of quiet and solitude.
What is this project?
In late 2014, the City of Fayetteville expanded Gulley Park with the acquisition of a ten-acre parcel on the park's north side. This expansion prompted an update to the overall development plan for the Park. The process of finalizing an updated plan has been progressing since the summer of 2016 and resulted in the adopted layout.
On March 10, 2016, a public meeting was held specifically to listen to citizen ideas in an effort to determine user preferences for Gulley Park. Specific development ideas resulting from discussions at the public meeting, as well as written and emailed comments, were evaluated and many were incorporated into the master plan.
The acquisition also included two adjacent houses; however, these were put on the market and publicly sold through a bidding process. The larger of the two homes was purchased by Apple Seeds, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to the inspiration of healthy living through garden-based education. As a stipulation of the offer, Apple Seeds requested a twenty-year lease of an adjacent two acres for the establishment of an interpretive teaching farm. It was determined that this mission of Apple Seeds coincided with ideas favored by the City of Fayetteville and the Parks and Recreation Department to establish public gardens and orchards, provide education and interpretation of fresh food sourcing, and increase public knowledge on farm-to-table food processing. Because the mission and ideas of Apple Seeds complemented these objectives, the City agreed to the sale and two-acre lease. This two acres is a portion of the new acquisition and lies along the western boundary of the new park addition, adjacent to the new Apple Seeds headquarters. The Parks and Recreation Department is excited about this opportunity and looks forward to an educational and management partnership with Apple Seeds, Inc.
Trail Improvements begin at Gulley Park
Construction of a portion of the Niokaska Creek Trail has begun in Gulley Park. The new trail will link Gulley Park to Sweetbriar Park and the Razorback Greenway. The trail will be a 12-foot wide concrete trail that will connect to the future cycle track along Old Wire Rd and extend through Gulley Park, terminating at the current endpoint of Mud Creek Trail on Old Missouri Rd.
In addition to the construction of Niokaska Creek Trail, the existing asphalt loop trail at Gulley Park is also being replaced. The loop trail, originally constructed in 1992, consists of approximately 0.85 miles. The new loop trail will be an 8-foot wide concrete trail that will also include replacing the two 5-foot wide bridges with new 12-foot wide bridges.Use of certain areas of the park as well as portions of the trail will be restricted at times as construction progresses around the park. The trail work is set to be completed in the Spring of 2019. Please use caution when utilizing the park during construction.
For a look at the graphic route of the Niokaska Creek Trail, please see the map below.