The Gully Park Master Plan was updated in 2018 and helped locate the new Niokaska Trail and other improvements for the park. During the Master Planning process, additional parking was identified as a high priority. In this phase one project, 2019 bond funds are being used to expand parking from 31 to approximately 60 spaces in the Township parking lot. Additionally, funded by other means, work on the development of enhancements around the existing playground area are planned. This work will include an interactive fountain, seating, activity shelter, outdoor games area, restroom improvements, and expansion of the playground area.
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.
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What is the current status?
Construction on improvements and expansion of the Gulley Park parking lot at Township begins January 4, 2021.
The rest of the project will begin with the preparation of construction plans and specifications into bid-ready documents. Once plans are ready, the project will be advertised for selection of a contractor. At that time, construction will begin.
How is this funded?
Total funding for these projects is budgeted at $993,000. Fund sources will include:
Budgeted City funds through hotel/motel/restaurant tax - $523,000
State Outdoor Recreation Grant award - $220,000
Phase 1 bond funding approved by voters - $250,000
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.