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A Mission To Create The River Institute of Northwest Arkansas: An innovative space, blending science, design, and the humanities.

The Watershed Conservation Resource Center (WCRC) and the City of Fayetteville purchased a 98-acre property along Dead Horse Mountain Road, to protect and restore the wetlands, floodplain, and other natural features, all within the Fayetteville, Arkansas city limits.


Phase I will establish The River Institute’s  space adjacent to the wetlands, near the West Fork White River (WFWR), and consist of the following elements:

  • A community space located adjacent to the West Fork White River (WFWR) in Fayetteville, AR, with indoor and outdoor classrooms to support public short courses on:
    • Streams, floodplains, wetlands, prairies, and riparian conservation and restoration
    • Native plant identification and use for residents & businesses
    • Invasive plant removal techniques and native replacements
    • Residential stormwater solutions
  •  A butterfly and native plant greenhouse to propagate native plants for stream and wetland restoration projects
  • An innovative space to house the WCRC to support river assessment and restoration
  • Support for needed ongoing monitoring and maintenance of existing river restoration sites 

Phase II of the River Institute involves creating the riverine commons, a public access to over 90-acre property on the WFWR. The public will enjoy walking/hiking trails with exhibits memorializing Native American, African American and Euro American riparian life-ways and historic cultural landscapes formative to Fayetteville and its early agriculture; birding, and native plant identification. A paddling access to the wetlands and WFWR with public access to the river for canoe/kayak floating, and a transit node in a developing intercity water trail.