The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board of Fayetteville, Arkansas, approved the concept plan for World Peace Wetland Prairie during its meeting Oct. 3, 2005. The plan was completed by Kristina Jones on Aug. 31, 2005, with the advice and consent of the Town Branch Neighborhood Association, Audubon Arkansas and project coordinator Melissa Terry of Audubon Arkansas.
The plan offers a view of some of the major features of the two-phase project. Phase one is the eastern high ground totaling nearly one-half acre. A selection of trees, shrubbery and flowering plants in that area will be made with the theme of a peace garden where rock walls will provide casual seating for contemplation of nature and a butterfly garden commemorating the life of Elleya Katelin Richardson, who died July 13, 2005, at age 5.
Elleya had spent much happy time playing on the land with other children as her parents and neighbors worked to save it from development as an apartment complex.
The naming of the 2.46-acre nature preserve fulfilled the wishes of the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology and its founder, Dr. James Richard Bennett, as a condition of their donation of one-fifth of the money to purchase the property from developer James Mathias.
Phase two of the project will involve gradual restoration of native species on the primarily prairie wetland 2 acres to the west and northwest of the entryway at 1121 S. Duncan Ave. A narrow path will meander through the wetland portion to provide access for bird-watching and wildflower study by students and nature-lovers of all ages.
The emphasis of the whole project will be on making all vegetation contribute to the enhancement and protection of the land as feeding and nesting habitat for diverse species of birds and other wildlife while conserving its water-absorbing rich soil to prevent downstream flooding of homes in the watershed of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River.
Major contributors to the purchase were the Tree and Trail Task Force of the City of Fayetteville, Audubon Arkansas, OMNI Center For Peace, Justice and Ecology, Tyson Foods Inc., the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association and the Town Branch Neighborhood Association.
The 2.5 acre World Peace Wetland Prairie entrance is at 1121 South Duncan Avenue, Fayetteville, Arkansas. The main body of the wetland prairie lies between 11th and 12th Streets, about 200 feet west of South Duncan.