Kessler Mountain Regional Park Development
What is this project?
In 2010 approximately 200 acres was generously donated by Chambers Bank for construction of the park. In 2014 an additional 387 acres of pristine Ozark forest adjoining the Regional Park on Kessler Mountain was acquired by the City as a nature preserve and outdoor recreation area. This acquisition was made possible with a generous grant of $1.5 million from the Walton Family Foundation, and an agreement with the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association to assist in raising a portion of the remaining funds and to create a conservation easement to assist with the protection and management of the property. Other acquisitions have increased the size of the park to 620 acres, making it Fayetteville’s second biggest park. About 80 acres are used for sports fields, parking, and hard surface trails. This project adds four new baseball fields, with parking, to the sports fields area.
Why is this important?
- This project completes another phase of the Kessler Mountain Regional Park Master Plan.
- Growth of baseball activities in the city is currently limited by field availability.
- This will allow our youth to play on quality fields in one location, as multiple sites put a strain on local league logistics.
- Currently hosting tournaments is hampered by events having to be housed at multiple sites. This will complete a high quality baseball tournament facility located just off I‐49, with 8 fields in one location and will make KMRP much more attractive to tournament organizers.
- This allows the re-purposing of space in Walker. If we do not build the four new fields a Kessler, we will need to invest in the existing fields which are aged and in need of improvements.
- The artificial turf will increase the playability of the fields while reducing day‐to‐day maintenance.
What is the current status?
Artificial turf has been installed on the four existing infields. This work was completed March 2020.
Garver Engineering has been selected to design and prepare construction documents, assist in bidding, and perform construction administration for this project. Design is underway and should be ready to bid in November.
The full implementation of this project will include:
- Four lighted baseball fields
- Associated parking
- Batting cages
- Bleacher shade covers
When will it be completed?
Construction is anticipated to be completed by late 2021.
How is it funded?
Funding for the project is budgeted at $7,870,000 and will be provided by the bond issue that Fayetteville voters approved in April of 2019.
Kessler Mountain Trails
The City commissioned Progressive Trail Design LLC, partnered with Alta Planning and Design and Ozark Ecological Restoration, to prepare a trails master plan for Kessler Mountain. The City is currently in the process of implementing this plan. .
Kessler Mountain was identified as a premier natural area of the region that needed to be preserved and available for public recreation. Since the opening of the park, an additional 387 acres of Ozark forest adjacent to the park on Kessler Mountain was acquired by the City. This property was established as a nature preserve and a conservation easement was entered into with the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT), which partners with the City on the protection of the mountain's environment, wildlife, and plant communities.
Rotary Club of Fayetteville Playground
Completed in 2017
Kessler Mountain Master Plan Phase One
Completed in 2016
This phase included six lighted soccer fields, four lighted baseball fields, two restroom/concession buildings, about 400 parking spaces, and other associated infrastructure including an entry road, water, electric, sewer lines, and a temporary trailhead access to the Kessler Mountain trails.