The Gulley Park Master Plan was updated in 2018. Since then, the trails have been improved in the park, the Niokaska Trail has been constructed, the Township Parking lot has been expanded and the restroom has been renovated. Work to expand and renovate the playground area as well as add an interactive fountain, seating areas, pavilion, outdoor games area and connectivity to the Old Wire lot began in July 2023.
Why is it important?
Gulley Park is one of Fayetteville’s major community parks and improvements are planned to expand recreational opportunities for a variety of users of all ages. Growth in the immediate area, expansion of connecting streets and bicycle trails, and the need for additional public open space and outdoor recreation facilities within the park quadrant have made these improvements increasingly important.
Gulley Park Playground Area Improvements (Click to enlarge)
What is the current status?
Construction of the playground area improvements began on July 14, 2023. Improvements are expected to be complete in spring of 2024. Fencing will be placed around the playground, which will be inaccessible until the project is complete. The existing restrooms and pavilion will remain open. Improvements include a pavilion, interactive fountain, new playground equipment, landscaping and other amenities.
Construction of the parking lot addition and renovations to the restroom were completed in 2021.
History of the Project
In late 2014, the City of Fayetteville expanded Gulley Park with the acquisition of a ten-acre parcel on the park's north side. This expansion prompted an update to the overall development plan for the Park, resulting in the adopted layout below. Specific development ideas resulting from discussions at a 2016 public meeting, as well as written and emailed comments, were evaluated and many were incorporated into the master plan.
The acquisition also included two adjacent houses; however, these were put on the market and publicly sold through a bidding process. The larger of the two homes was purchased by Apple Seeds, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to the inspiration of healthy living through garden-based education. As a stipulation of the offer, Apple Seeds requested a twenty-year lease of an adjacent two acres for the establishment of an interpretive teaching farm. It was determined that this mission of Apple Seeds coincided with ideas favored by the City of Fayetteville and the Parks and Recreation Department to establish public gardens and orchards, provide education and interpretation of fresh food sourcing, and increase public knowledge on farm-to-table food processing, so the City agreed to the sale and two-acre lease.