The grant will fund the second phase of Walter Turnbow Park, which involves uncapping Spring Creek between Johnson Road and Emma Avenue and creating terracing that extends down to the water. Because heavy rains would cause the creek to overflow and flood parts of the downtown area, it was covered and paved over between 1973 and 1975, said Susan Young, outreach coordinator for the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. Phase one of the project is expected to be completed in December, with phase two scheduled to begin in 2015.
Additional phases of the project to be pursued after the park is finished in 2016 will include uncapping the creek on the south side of Emma Avenue and building a splash pad and pavilion on that side of the street, Lisa Ray, vice president of the Downtown Springdale Alliance, told NWA Online. As a destination for users of the regional trail system, the new park is expected to attract more people downtown, which in turn will boost spending, sales tax revenues, and property values in the area.
"I always call it a beautiful circle," said Ray. "All of these things are going to help the coffers of our city."