BELLA VISTA -- A tree house project in a park is set to open Saturday, according to a news release.
Trailblazers and Natural State Treehouses announced the eco-friendly endeavor via the release.
"Trailblazers is excited to announce this new project and we hope that this build can be used as inspiration for future infrastructure projects not only throughout the state, but nationwide," said DJ Adams, director of marketing and communications for Trailblazers. "It was an absolute pleasure working on this with Natural State Treehouses. Our organizations are excited to see local citizens and tourists enjoy its features."
Natural State Treehouses was founded in Fayetteville in 2011 by Josh and Kate Hart. Trailblazers is a nonprofit group formed in 1996 through the recent merger of NWA Trailblazers and BikeNWA, according to the release.
The park is at 20 Riordan Road just west of the U.S. 71 intersection along the banks of Little Sugar Creek and adjacent to the Little Sugar Creek trail system, according to the release.
The park and the closed-looped Bluebird Trail running through it are open, and the tree house is set to open next, said Joan Glubczynski, director of recreation for the Bella Vista Property Owners Association.
In the future, there will be an extension of the Razorback Greenway for access to the park, according to the release. The greenway is a 40-mile, primarily off-road, shared-use trail extending from south Fayetteville to Bella Vista.
"The placement is really fabulous," said Josh Hart. Construction started in July, he said.
The Walton Family Foundation provided money to create and sustain the project, according to the release.
"Our goal is to get kids and families outside playing and experiencing nature, and there's no better way to do that than in a tree house," Hart said. "We're so happy to know that these tree houses will be enjoyed by the community, and we're grateful to Trailblazers and the Walton Family Foundation for making it happen."
There will be four tree-house platforms with clubhouse spaces and play elements, such as slides, swings, climbing activities and educational signs, according to the release. The platforms are 4 to 5 feet off the ground, Hart said.
Some of the trees, a mix of black walnut, oak and box elder, are more than 80 years old, Hart said.
Natural material is used throughout the park, including locally harvested cedar posts, natural branches and net railings, according to the release.
The design allows stormwater to move under in a natural way stopping unnatural erosion from occurring while protecting the integrity of the structure, according to the release.
"We have been building tree houses for over 12 years now," Hart said. "In that time, we have done a lot of work for families, Make-A-Wish projects and public parks. Through those 12 years, we have had a chance to do some amazing and unusual things with a focus on sustainability. We're excited to see how we can apply what we have learned to all kinds of future projects."
The park is on Bella Vista Property Owners Association property and will be open to the public, said Ashley Wood, association director of marketing and communications. The association maintains 10 parks in the city, according to the association.
Natural State Treehouses built a two-story tree house at Lake Atalanta Park in Rogers at part of a renovation project several years ago.
In September, Springdale's City Council voted to contribute $250,000 to help build the Gerald Harp Memorial Park at the city's Randal Tyson Sports Complex. The Rotary Club of Springdale developed the idea and has organized fundraising efforts.
The club intends to build a tree house park on the west side of the Tyson complex, said Greg Collier, a recent past president of the local club.
The tree houses will be built around and among the trees on the west side of the park, Collier said. He noted Rotary Club members planted those trees about 30 years ago. In addition to tree houses, the park will feature rope swings, bridges and more among the trees.