City seeks ideas for Buddy Hayes Park

Courtesy image / City of Fayetteville

The City of Fayetteville is seeking ideas from the public for improvements to Ralph “Buddy” Hayes Park.

The small park, located at 235 E. Rock Street, is slated for improvements as part of a project to expand Yvonne Richardson Center.

The city’s Parks, Natural Resources and Cultural Affairs Department will host drop-in event from 4:30-6:30 p.m on Thursday, April 11 seeking ideas for amenities and improvements to the roughly .5 acre park.

Those unable to attend the in-person event may also provide feedback online beginning on April 11 via the city’s engagement website,

Hayes, who the park was named for, was a beloved figure in Fayetteville in the 20th century. A musician, he played a unique style of jump blues for white and black audiences from the 1930s through the 1960s. A shoe shine man at the U of A Barber Shop by day, and a jazz musician by night, Hayes was lovingly known as the “Mayor of Dickson Street.”

The Yvonne Richardson Community Center expansion is one of several projects in the works as part of the parks Improvement Bond approved by voters in 2019. The expansion will also receive funding from Walton Family Foundation.

For more info about the project, visit