house to house recently to invite people to attend the first meeting
of this neighborhood association, I have been impressed by the diversity
of our neighborhood and the many areas of concern cited by its residents.
people who lived in the neighborhood in their childhood are still
here or have returned here to retire. Many people are in this neighborhood
because it is conveniently situated, relatively quiet and safe and
displays a great deal of natural beauty. There
are no expensive houses but there are some really nice houses as
well as a few historic houses. There
are some houses in need of a great deal of repair and some that
are perfectly kept. There are even a few new ones and others being
are people who prefer the natural look that must have dominated
this area when it was mostly pastureland up into the 1940s. Some
dream of how it must have appeared before it was settled and encourage
the native plants to grow to keep the air and water pure without
demanding human care.
are people who prefer the closely cropped look of a golf course
and others whose plantings rival those in a botanical garden.
important, there is an air of respect for and tolerance of the choices
of others. Some want native plants to grow to feed the area's abundant
and diverse population of birds. Others keep feeders full of store-bought
and nourishing seed. However, almost everyone here appreciates the
shade of the mature trees that grace many lots and the smaller,
understory vegetation that provides food and nesting sites for many
species of birds.
but care-free flowering species such as the Rose-of-Sharon may be
seen in many yards while others are abundantly populated by species
that require constant attention and effort. My yard has blooms on
the Rose-of-Sharon bushes starting in late June and more buds appear
ready to burst open even in October if the frost doesn't come early.
And these excite and please me as much as some of the flowering
plants I have made much more effort to encourage!
Branch, which originates from now hidden springs and from runoff
from areas such as Razorback Stadium and Walton Arena, flows through
our neighborhood, providing not only some of the most beautiful
back yards in all of Northwest Arkansas but also outstanding wildlife
habitat, good fishing in some of the larger, deeper holes and a
length of free flow over rocks that cleanses the runoff from Sixth
Street and the campus before this water enters the West Fork of
the White River on its way to Beaver Lake. The cannery to the west,
despite the odor and noise and excess light that shines through
the windows of bedrooms in some houses in the area is a valuable
part of the neighborhood because it has provided employment for
generations of residents.
National Cemetery to the east provides a historic significance that
few parts of Fayetteville can match. When guns are fired to salute
the passing of veterans a few times a week, most of us hear the
sounds and remember the sacrifices of these and other veterans of
wars in our lifetime. The old cemetery to the south of the National
Cemetery contains the grave markers of members of some of the city's
Salvation Army Store and shelter on 15th Street to the southeast
and the Seven Hills shelter to the northwest on Sixth Street remind
us to live a bit more prudently and unselfishly than we might because
there is always someone who needs a bit more than we. It is never
far to drive to donate items we no longer need or something for
the kitchen stock of these worthy facilities. Many of us take pride
in shopping for necessities at the Salvation Army Store and the
resale shop that helps support City Hospital's efforts. We know
that the small profit on what we buy in these shops is spent to
help people nearby.
nursing homes ‹ City Hospital to the northeast and Rochier Heights
on top of the mountain to the northwest ‹ remind us that our youth
and strength will not always be with us and that we must throughout
life consider the needs of the very young, the very old and the
neighborhood is home to many retired people and to many young families.
The children have to go a bit further to school now that Bates Elementary
has closed, but Jefferson really isn't far. And it will be getting
some of the most innovative programs in the city before long. And
sometimes the children are endangered by careless, speeding drivers
who cut through the neighborhood and the elderly are disturbed by
the sounds of those speeding cars. But overall it is a relatively
quiet and safe neighborhood. Most people in this neighborhood, except
those who are students, can't afford tickets to Razorback basketball
or football games, but many attend Razorback baseball, soccer, softball,
volleyball and other events for less than the price of a movie and
don't have to drive far to reach them. And many of us gather on
weekend afternoons to play softball or basketball or soccer in Walker
Park or walk a dog in Greathouse Park.
Fayetteville trolley visits our neighborhood to provide inexpensive
transportation and many people find the walk to 71 B and Sixth Street
easy enough not to have to drive to shop for the basics or to enjoy
a good restaurant meal.
neighborhood isn't perfect. But, together, we can improve it. And
together we can try to see that the things that make it special
don't change too rapidly.
Aubrey Shepherd, Oct.