SPRINGDALE -- The City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to accept a donation of roughly 8 acres along the Razorback Greenway to use as a park and enhancement of the Greenway.
The land sits on the east side of the Greenway and Spring Creek, north of West Huntsville Avenue and south of the Greenway trailhead on Sanders Avenue. Bluff Cemetery sits to the east across North Shiloh Street from the trail area, which will add to the beauty of this new space, said Mayor Doug Sprouse.
The donation of the land comes from the Fellowship Club, represented by Frank Kelley, according to City Attorney Ernest Cate. Kelley revealed Tuesday afternoon the club is an organization of 12-step groups but declined further comment.
The 8 acres are valued at $1,350, according the website of the Washington County assessor.
Sprouse said he contacted Kelley a while back to inquire about the property. "He didn't see any better use of it," Sprouse said. "He agreed it would be better used by the city. We are pleased to accept it."
Thick woods cover much of the city's new land, and the city will remove much of that, Sprouse said on a walk down the portion of the trail Tuesday. He noted the city's Public Works Department has arborists on staff to guide the cleanup.
He said he envisions picnic tables and lighting in the area.
Two tents in the woods mark a camp of presumably homeless people and are visible from the trail. Sprouse said the city will allow them plenty of time to move.
He said both the clearing of the woods and lighting will add safety for the users of the trail.
"We want to add safety factors to this area before safety becomes a problem," he said.
Many people were walking and biking this section of trail during the lunch hour Tuesday.
Sprouse also hopes the city could obtain the thickly wooded land west of the trail in that area. The land sits straight down a bluff behind Springdale Thompson Warehouse, which owns the land, the assessor's website reports.
And Sprouse said the city owns a lot adjacent to the trail area and the former Fire Station 3 on the southeast corner of Sanders and Shiloh, which might provide more opportunity for the city and the park land, he said.
The Fellowship Club was gifted the land in 1994 from C. Mayo Inc., the assessor's website says.
In other business, Sprouse presented his "state of the city" address, citing tremendous growth in the city during 2020.
To read the state of the city address visit: nwaonline.com/39statecity/