Fayetteville officials this week celebrated the opening of the Lower Ramble, which is part of the city’s cultural arts corridor project.
A ceremony was held Thursday at the canopy overlook area of the Fay Jones woods, southwest of the Fayetteville Public Library. The event featured remarks from Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and others, and included self-guided tours through the woods and along the Tanglewood Branch creekside.
The project included converting the wooded area between West and Gregg avenues into a nature attraction with trails, elevated walkways, an overlook, native landscaping and a variety of seating areas. The work also included restoration of the creek, removal of invasive species, and improved access to the Razorback Greenway from the library.
The project also included an overhaul of West Avenue from South to Center streets, which wrapped up in June.
Also on the schedule is the redevelopment of the parking lots west of the Walton Arts Center on both sides of Dickson Street. A new parking deck will replace the north lot, while the south lot is set to become a civic area with water features, a lawn, event spaces, pathways and two multi-use buildings. A new hotel south of the lot is also being considered.
Fayetteville voters in April 2019 approved a $31.6 million bond issue to build the arts corridor. The project was later named The Ramble, and was split into two areas: The Upper Ramble and Lower Ramble.
The name is a nod to Arkansas-born musician and actor Levon Helm. As a former member of The Band, Helm hosted Midnight Ramble sessions in a barn on his property in Woodstock, New York, until his death in 2012.
The historic Fay Jones Woods space retains its name, which is an homage to well-known architect and Fayetteville resident Fay Jones.