Photos: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer
A new stone sculpture pocket park is set to open at 10 a.m. Friday, June 21 near Town Branch Trail in south Fayetteville.
The park, called Stone Altar, is located on private land near the intersection of the trail and Stirman Avenue, but is open to the public. It includes a stone entrance and pathway that leads to an altar with more stone work and seating areas.
The project was first envisioned by local resident Jimmy Glenn after a visit to the annual Burning Man event in the Nevada desert.
Glenn was inspired by the annual temples that are built on the event site, which allow visitors to make notations on the structure with messages of love or grief, to honor friends or relationships, or to say goodbye to those who have died. When the temple is burned on the final day of the event, a quiet ceremony serves as a means of letting go.
The stone altar project, Glenn said, is an attempt to reproduce that experience on a much smaller and more intimate scale. Visitors can burn their own writings at the altar, or just enjoy a quiet place to rest, talk or reflect.
Glenn said he’s had plenty of support for the idea since its inception. He said the park land is owned by local resident Cary Arsaga, and much of the stone was donated by Flagstone Heights in Prairie Grove. Others donated money and the use of tractors or heavy equipment needed to dig holes and move the large stones on the site.
A non-profit was formed to receive donations, oversee the project, and to take care of maintenance and liability.
Glenn said he hopes to add new features over time, including a small pavilion and commissioned pieces from local sculptors.
“We feel as though we have started a process that can continue to grow and change over the years,” Glenn said. “We believe it can become a very special place in Fayetteville to visit on your own or to bring friends and family.”