Nov. 1, 2017
Keith Stephens Chief of Communications
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the planned Northwest Arkansas nature center Thursday. The ceremony will be held in Springdale on the 61-acre site along Spring Creek, near the intersection of Interstate 49 and Wagon Wheel Road, beginning at 3 p.m.
Construction on the $18 million facility will focus on natural elements and ecosystems found in the northwest region of the state. Construction is estimated to take about three years. Land for the facility was donated by the City of Springdale.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation is leading a fundraising campaign to help offset costs of construction. “We’ve been fortunate that Mrs. Johnelle Hunt will contribute $5 million to the project, and we’ll use that money as a foundation to raise funds for this worthy project,” Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation president Deke Whitbeck said. “We’re especially grateful to the Hunt family and Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse for the generosity as we take the next step forward in this campaign,” Whitbeck added.
Proposed facility highlights include 36,000 square feet of improvements, including a state-of-the-art educational building, indoor and outdoor classrooms, education pavilions, traditional and 3-D archery ranges, watchable-wildlife walking trails, wildlife habitat areas, a creek boardwalk and overlook, native plant gardens, wildlife-viewing blinds, and many other conservation education and outdoor recreation amenities.