Plans announced for Walton Family Foundation-supported Osage Park in Bentonville

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 5,633 views 

Details of a new urban recreational park in Bentonville were announced Wednesday (Oct. 16).

Osage Park is described as an adventure-based outdoor destination for visitors of all ages, interests and abilities. The park is situated on 55 acres along I Street near Thaden Field, the city’s municipal airport.

The first sections of Osage Park are scheduled to open in summer 2020. More details and artist’s renderings of the development are at this link.

The new amenity, according to a news release, will help meet the demand for recreational green spaces south of Walton Boulevard, where 58% of Bentonville residents live, according to the city.

The park will connect to Lake Bentonville Park, which is currently under renovation. The Walton Family Foundation (WFF) is supporting the development of Osage Park and improvements to Lake Bentonville Park as part of its efforts to improve quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. According to the foundation’s recently released Quality of Life Survey, parks are the most-used amenities in the region, with 81% percent of residents reporting accessing a park in the past 12 months.

“Osage Park will deliver a unique outdoor experience for visitors by creating a gathering place near Thaden Field and Lake Bentonville Park,” Steuart Walton said in a statement. Walton is the grandson of Helen Walton and Walmart founder Sam Walton. “Our community’s environment also stands to benefit as the park will preserve additional green space and improve water quality in the Illinois River Watershed.”

Aviation, art and preservation are the themes that inspired the park’s design, according to the release. Lake Bentonville is being expanded by more than six acres for kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. It will also include multiple piers, platforms and banks for fishing.

Osage Park will have several amenities, including a multipurpose lawn, an aviation-themed play active zone, pickleball courts, multi-use trails and floating boardwalks that offer a first-hand look at the site’s 12-acre wetland system. The park will also feature an open pavilion, music venue and 84 parking spaces.

For further accessibility, both parks will have ADA-compliant parking lots.

“The renovation of Lake Bentonville, when paired with the seamless connection to the new Osage Park, will prove more than the traditional park opening,” Bentonville parks and recreation director David Wright said in a statement. “These next-generation parks will provide our citizens with public spaces that will have an immediate impact on our community. From preserving wetlands to providing areas for social and passive recreation, Osage Park and Lake Bentonville will offer something everyone can enjoy.”

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