MacArthur Park Group
Where We've Been...
The MacArthur Park Group began in the summer of 2006, at the prompting of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, to develop ways to enhance Little Rock’s first city park and its neighborhood, a National Register and local ordinance Historic District. This group of interested citizens has been meeting weekly since and represents varied constituencies including neighborhood residents, historic preservationists, economic and real estate developers, museum professionals, city staff, tourism promoters, environmentalists, bike polo players, cyclists and runners. A unique style of collaboration and cooperation has been the key to the group’s successes.
The discussions of the MacArthur Park Group focus on four issues:
Utilization of MacArthur Park’s open urban space,
Encouragement of cultural and heritage tourism,
Promotion of safety in the surrounding neighborhood, and
Fundraising to make improvements and/or upgrades to MacArthur Park.
Stakeholders and friends of MacArthur Park envision the surrounding neighborhood to be attractive, safe and useful for residents and visitors, and becoming part of a vibrant urban environment that links commerce, entertainment, recreation, work and everyday life with a citywide system of parks, open spaces and natural settings, friendly to all pedestrians.
MacArthur Park can become the keystone for this concept of a “City in a Park.”
To get involved:
· Raised $100,000 to finance the 2006 MacArthur Park Master Plan; the road map that is still utilized today
· Developed Museum, Art & Heritage Trail to link River Market District & MacArthur Park along with other associated amenities
· May 2008 implemented first annual 5K race to help raise funds for improvements
· Installed new signage that coordinated design and look and provided direction to various improvements and destinations in the park ($30,000)
· Installed North Lawn improvements that accentuated entrance to park and provided fountain, plaza, landscape and benches as park amenities ($150,000)
· Installed McMath Boulevard and Pulaski County Lane with new sidewalk, bio swales, pervious parking spaces, and street lights (over $2 million)
· Installed dog park for both large & small dogs; incorporated splash fountain for dogs and sculpture (all valued together over $100,000)
· Worked with Bike Polo organization to convert tennis court to a lighted Bike Polo Court
· Worked with LR Parks and Recreation to create a multi-purpose court.
Where We're Going...
· Develop MacArthur Park along with Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts expansion, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and Firehouse Hostel & Museum growth by creating seamless edges and cross promotions between all programs to make this area of downtown Little Rock a destination
· Continue to strengthen relations and communications with area stakeholders and residents in developing programs that invite residents, merchants and visitors to engage with downtown area
· Continue to improve both connections to and enhancement of adjacent developments and neighborhoods in downtown Little Rock under guidance of City in a Park vision
· Continue to follow low impact development strategies that encourage adoptions in other areas of central Arkansas
· Construct a ten foot wide pedestrian/bicycle trail at perimeter of park
· Construct a universally accessible play area
· Construct second multi-purpose court
· Develop pond environment to incorporate Foster Pavilion for musical/theatrical/dance programs
· Develop pond to improve access to water utilizing fishing piers and interpreting pond’s various natural features