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Prep work begins on Bentonville's 28th Street Park

by Mike Jones | January 22, 2022 at 7:00 a.m.

BENTONVILLE -- It might not be apparent to most people, but work has started on 28th Street Park, a city official said.

David Wright, parks and recreation director, said erosion control at the site is going on now.

Soil erosion involves the breakdown, detachment, transport and redistribution of soil particles by forces of water, wind or gravity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The park will sit on a 25-acre site and connect with a 1.6-mile trail that will run from Southwest 28th Street to Southwest Greenhouse Road, Wright said. The Walton Family Foundation provided a $1.4 million grant for the trail, he said.

The city has a $7.35 million agreement with Flintco to build the park. Another part of the early work will include setting up mobile offices for the contractor, Wright said.

"It's a big footprint and a lot of things have to be nailed down before the big equipment moves in," he said.

That equipment should be on site within the next 30 days. Construction should take 14 to 18 months, Wright said.

Amenities will include a destination playground, splash pad and a lighted dog park, according to the city.

The park's cricket pitch will be the first such regulation-size field in the area, Wright said. Cricket players now use the ball fields at Memorial and Phillips parks, he said.

Residents have requested a cricket pitch for about seven years, Councilman Tim Robinson said. The Indian community has a very active league in the city, he said.

There wasn't a great space to put a cricket pitch in parks given many of the fields are also used for soccer, baseball and softball, Robinson said.

"So with this new park, having lots of green space, it was easy for us to place this there," he said.

Another unique feature is the park will have a stream running along its western boundary, which should be a calm, pretty feature, Robinson said.

About 85% of the project will be paid from fees developers pay before receiving a certificate of occupancy, Wright said.

The park will be adjacent to Osage Creek Elementary and Creekside Middle schools.

There's a demand for parks in west and southwest Bentonville, given that's where residential home growth has been the strongest the last several years, Robinson said.

"Many of our parks today exist on the north side of town or around downtown," he said.

The city has 20 parks covering about 1,000 acres, said Debbie Griffin, city director of administration.

Prep work such as erosion control also has started on the dog park at Orchards Park. The dog park will be 4 acres, bigger than the one on North Walton Boulevard that sees constant use. That dog park is just an acre, Wright said.

"If you drive by you can see where they are staging stone," Wright said. "It's preliminary work."

The sod will need to take root before the park can open, and Wright hopes to have the park online in May. There still are concerns with getting the pavilion materials on time because there is a 16- to 18-week delay, Wright said.

Orchards Park is on the southeast corner of the intersection of Northeast J Street and John DeShields Boulevard, across from the Amazeum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The City Council at its Dec. 14 meeting approved $533,417 to Milestone Construction for the purchase of material, labor and services to construct the dog park and to make playground area improvements at Orchards Park. The city will add a $26,582 owners' contingency to the contract, bringing the total potential contract to $560,000, according to city documents.

The council also approved a $255,768 budget adjustment to pay for equipment, material and services that will be used for a playground at Orchards Park.

Parks benefits

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City parks provide access to recreational opportunities, increase property values, spur local economies, combat crime and protect cities from environmental impact, according to the City Parks Alliance, an organization based in Washington, D.C.

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