City to seek grant for splash pad at Gulley Park


A two-year-old plan to add a splash pad at Gulley Park could soon take a step further.

City Council members are set to consider applying for a $250,000 grant from the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department to help fund a splash pad and interactive fountain at the east Fayetteville park. The proposal also seeks to use $128,000 in unrecognized park land dedication fees to put toward the project.

The 50-50 matching grant would come from the state department’s Outdoor Recreation Grants Program, which offers municipal or county governments funds to put toward projects that create opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Fayetteville has in the past used funds from the program to acquire parkland or make improvements at several parks, including Doc Mashburn Park, Sweetbriar Park, Bryce Davis Park, Braden Park, Grinders Skate Park at Walker Park, Gulley Park, Wilson Park, Veterans Memorial Park, and the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

Aside from the splash pad, a new activity area would be built for toddlers and seniors, along with a new outdoor pavilion with a soft-surface floor for parents and others to enjoy the shade, stretch, or participate in programs like yoga.

Gulley Park is the second most visited park in Fayetteville behind Wilson Park, according to staff documents.

The city in 2016 began work on a master plan for the park that included possible additions like a splash pad, a renovated pond area, a new pavilion and restroom facility, an expanded north parking lot, and a dog park.

The most recent update to the plan shows the splash pad located in the southwest corner of the park next to the existing playground (see map below).

Council members are set to consider the application at the next regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7 inside City Hall room 219.

Gulley Park Conceptual Master Plan