What is this project?
The City of Fayetteville purchased Kessler Mountain, an approximately 387-acre forest, for public use. The City commissioned Progressive Trails Design LLC, a local trails design, planning, and construction company, partnered with Alta Planning and Design and Ozark Ecological Restoration Incorporated, to prepare a master plan for recreational trail use at Kessler Mountain. In addition to the recreational trail planning, the major emphasis for the plan will be environmental protection for the 387 acres.
Why is it important?
Kessler Mountain was identified by multiple organizations and individuals as a premier natural area of the region and the state that needed to be preserved and available for public recreation. The nature preserve, coupled with a developed recreation area, will provide the people of Fayetteville and surrounding areas unparalleled experience in outdoor recreation, education, observation and appreciation. Citizens are already enjoying the almost seven miles of nature trail accessible from a new trailhead located at the adjacent Regional Park, which is currently under first phase development. To further ensure protection of this unique resource, a conservation easement with the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust will be entered into.
What is the current status?
draft of the plan is currently available for public view. The master
planning process for trails and backcountry use began in August
2015 with the formation of a stakeholder group as design team advisors
to provide guidance in the decision making and planning efforts. A
series of stakeholder meetings have been held, as well as public
meetings to gain public opinion and ideas regarding the plan
preparation. The stakeholder group has continued to work toward
consensus on the two primary goals of preserving the natural resource
while providing existing and increased trail recreation opportunities.
These efforts have resulted in the preparation of a draft trails plan as
shown below. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board adopted the master
plan; it will be presented to the City Council for formal adoption on
May 3, 2016.