Girl Scouts plan “hammock hotel” at Wilson Park

Fayetteville will soon have its own hammock park similar to Hammock Grove at Governor’s Island in New York City.

Photo: Trust for Governor’s Island

Residents will soon have a new place to hang a hammock in Fayetteville.

The Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board this week signed off on a proposal from Girl Scout Troop 5114 to build a “hammock hotel” at Wilson Park.

The hotel will consist of seven 12-foot-long posts that will be driven 5 feet into the ground. The posts will be arranged 14 feet apart in the shape of a hexagon, with one post in the middle. Each post will have hooks that people can use to hang their hammocks. The shape and placement of the hooks will allow for up to 12 hammocks.

Planning and construction of the hotel is a service project requirement for a group of four local girls looking to earn their Bronze Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve.

Plans for the hammock hotel at Wilson Park

Girl Scout Troop 5114

Karen Smith, April Stanley, Abby Lawson, and Jayla Purifoy came up with the idea after noticing how many Fayetteville residents use hammocks in the city’s parks.

While hammocks are a fun and entertaining way to relax and enjoy nature, some officials say they pose a threat to trees if they’re not properly hung.

The city of Charleston, South Carolina earlier this year considered banning hammocks in city parks.

Daniel Burbage, Charleston arborist, said when hammocks are repeatedly are tied to tree trunks, they can weaken and wear away the bark, which could lead to insect infestation and disease. The Charleston City Council eventually deferred a vote on the ban while city officials consider alternatives.

During the debate, some residents suggested adding posts in city parks so people could still enjoy hammocks.

While some cities are considering banning hammocks, the scouts of Troop 5114 want Fayetteville to embrace hammocking while incorporating clearly defined guidelines for use with minimal impact practices, said Kristina Smith, Troop Leader.

Members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board voted unanimously Monday to approve the project.

As part of the requirements for the Bronze Award, each scout must log at least 20 hours of planning and construction work during the project, and the girls must work together as a group.

Smith said the girls hope to get started on the project sometime this summer, as the deadline for earning their Bronze Award is Oct. 1.

She said the troop hopes to secure discount donations from local hardware stores to put toward supplies needed for the project, such as posts, hooks, and concrete.

Anyone else who’d like to donate to the project should email kristina (at) kristinasmith (dot) us, or call 479-422-0121.