Parks & Recreation Calendar of Events
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Park Rangers and City Wide Clean up at Western Hills Park
March 8th, 2014
Park Rangers and City Wide Clean up at Western Hills Park
- Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will lead the efforts to create a new multi-use trail from the eastern boundary of the park to the large 20 acre lake that the city owns next to First Tee Golf. This will allow safe passage for those who wish to access this lake to go fishing, while also creating new opportunities for walkers, hikers, joggers, mountain bikers and people who want to walk their dogs out to this large lake. There is currently no safe access out to the lake from the Western Hills Park area. This first trail will set the stage for additional trails to be created within the wooded area surrounding the lake, that can branch off this initial trail.
- Members from the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance (CATA) will assist AGFC with the above trail building project. This group of Mountain Bikers is very interested in maintaining and developing new multi-use trails.
- There will be a large volunteer group picking up litter at the eastern edge of the park property. This is where the main drainage ditch carries the neighborhood storm sewer water around the edge of the park to Fourche Creek. The overgrowth of vegetation over the years of inactivity in this area since the golf course closed, has resulted in the trash being captured along the banks of this waterway.
- A tree canopy raising project is underway to clear the low-hanging limbs that prevent the mowing crew from being able to mow underneath many of the trees. The park area will look much cleaner, open, safer, and inviting, once this project is completed. Volunteers will be used to drag the cut limbs from this project and also limbs that have naturally fallen from these trees over a period of time. They will be making a number of burn piles throughout the park, so that the brush doesn’t have to be hauled away.
- A student from the Clinton School of Public Service will be creating a unique composting project out in the park. In addition to the use of normal yard waste, this project will also use food waste. This pilot project could develop into a much larger operation over a period of time that could evolve into a revenue generating project for the city.
- A crew will be raking leaves that will be used for this composting project. This will save Parks & Recreation staff from having to haul them away from the park.
- A small, open, area within the park will be used to create a community garden. As the composting project progresses, this material will be used in this new garden area to supplement the soil.
- There is a smaller lake that came with the property acquisition of the former Western Hills Golf Course. The banks of the levy have overgrown over the many years, since the golf course closed. Volunteers led by members of the Diamond State Disc Golf Course will be cutting and clearing the brush from around this area. This project will allow increased access for all those who wish to fish at this lake, while creating a new multi-use trail such as the trail being created out to the large lake. These disc golf friends helped build the first disc golf course within a city park, almost 4 years ago at Hindman Park. An 18-hole championship level course at Western Hills Park is in the future plans for development.
- There will be members from the Arkansas Canoe Club and other groups clearing litter along Fourche Creek, while floating on their canoes and kayaks. Ground crews will be collecting litter along the banks of the creek, while assisting all those who are working on the water.
- Trash that is collected will go to a special recycling area that the Meadowcliff/ Brookwood Neighborhood Association created and operates near the Hindman Golf Course Clubhouse area. This successful operation has been in operation for a couple of years, thus diverting a great amount of trash that normally would go straight to the landfill.
- If all goes as planned and the weather cooperates, some initial planting at the new community garden area will take place.
- Members of the Board from Arkansas Urban Forestry Council and a representative from the Arkansas Forestry Commission will be present to plant 2 trees in this new park. Bemis Tree Farm learned about the AUFC plans to purchase and plant these trees in this new park and will now donate these trees for this project.
- With the recent grant of assistance that was received by Audubon Arkansas to begin the assessment of the almost 2,000 acres of the Fourche Bottoms property along Fourche Creek that is owned by the City of Little Rock, staff from Audubon Arkansas will be assisting the volunteers at Western Hills Park during this event. The Meadowcliff/ Brookwood Neighborhood Association along with the Westwood Neighborhood Association which is adjacent to Western Hills Park, are two of the core group of stakeholders who are working with Audubon Arkansas and the National Park Service with the development of Fourche Bottoms and the creation of a Fourche Creek Water Trail that will flow right through both of our park areas.
- Staff from Little Rock Parks & Recreation will be assisting all of our volunteer groups with special tools and equipment.
- Park Rangers from the Little Rock Volunteer Park Ranger Program will be leading multiple work groups and watching over the safety of all of our volunteers.
- Members from Little Rock Team NUSA (Neighborhoods, USA) will be scattered amongst the many neighborhood volunteers coming out to work in the park.
- Jon Moran, Special Assistant for Agency and Legislative Affairs from the Office of Governor Mike Beebe, will be present. Jon is also involved in the Fourche Creek Water Trail Project and a member of the Central Arkansas Trail Alliance Board.