Plans for Outdoor Destination in Bentonville Unveiled
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 16, 2019 – The Walton Family Foundation today unveiled plans for Osage Park – an adventure-based outdoor destination in Bentonville that will engage and excite visitors of all ages, interests and abilities. Once complete, the urban park will offer opportunities to fish, explore the wetlands and enjoy local music. The park will help meet the demand for recreational green spaces west of Walton Boulevard, where 58% of residents currently live according to the City of Bentonville.
“Osage Park will deliver a unique outdoor experience for visitors by creating a gathering place near Thaden Field and Lake Bentonville Park,” said Steuart 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.”
Osage Park will be located on 55 acres on I Street near Thaden Field. Aviation, art and preservation are the themes that inspired the park’s design. The current lake will be expanded by more than 6 acres for kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding and will include multiple piers, platforms and banks for fishing. There will be a diverse range of 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, intimate music venue and 84 parking spaces.
The connectivity between Osage Park and Lake Bentonville Park, which is currently under renovation, will enhance the overall outdoor experience. At Lake Bentonville Park, visitors will be able to take advantage of an expanded lake, a destination playground and a pavilion with boardwalks and fishing piers. 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,” said David Wright, City of Bentonville director of parks and recreation. “These next-generation parks will provide our citizens 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.”
The Walton Family Foundation 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 last 12 months.
Select areas of Osage Park are scheduled to open to the public summer 2020.
About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2018, the foundation awarded more than $595 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit waltonfamilyfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.