Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Liatris aspera a showy Arkansas native prairie plant

Please click on images of blazing star to go to Flickr and use magnifying tool above pictures to enlarge one or two sizes!

DSCN7074blazing star EXC

DSCN7032liatris aspera EXC

DSCN7033blazing star

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Video from the Fayetteville National Cemetery with Washington County Livestock Auction barn in the background

Please go to
to see some of today's photos online. My picasa gigabite is full!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Karst map of NW Arkansas significant tool for identifying green infrastructure deserving of protection

Please click on images to ENLARGE to read and see detail.


The Town Branch Neighborhood is the smallest rectangle on that map. Enlarge the chart to read it.
Our neighborhood is a small hotspot for groundwater recharge and you can see how the wetland with springs and depressed land coincides with the karst coloring when you click and blow up the map.
Although the Nature Conservancy guys who created it admit that more ontheground investigation (and underground) to confirm a stricter scientific map is needed, it matches what I have believed about our neighborhood for some time. You can see the national cemetery circle with the karst just to the north along the old alley between Gov ave and Hill ave and pinnacle and wpwp are bright as is my own yard!
Please note one particular error. Cato Springs Branch, a northeast-flowing tributary of the Town Branch, is mistakenly called the Town Branch on the map. The oldest available government maps mark the portion of the Town Branch that flows from the UA and through our neighborhood as the Town Branch.
This is a significant tool for working on green-infrastructure plans and the FNHA already has it but in PDFs, which I can't post on the blogs.
Aubrey James Shepherd

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Skip Descant of The Morning News reports on delay of vote on sale-barn issue

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Sale Barn Zoning Delayed A Month

By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE — Even though veterans and community groups wanted to see the Fayetteville City Council move forward on a zoning request, the city stalled.

The council Tuesday evening ceded to a delay request by developers wanting to build apartments on the 9-acre Washington County Livestock and Sale Barn site.

The council is now to decide the sale barn rezoning Sept. 15.

What irked groups was the continued delay at making a decision.

"This whole issue is beginning to sound like a good-news, bad-news joke," said Sam Sansom, president of the Northwest Arkansas Military Officers Group. "And bad news doesn't get any better."

The tabling request came from Campus Crest, the North Carolina student housing developer set to purchase the site if the zoning request goes through. Developers are still working through the "bills of assurance." Those are guarantees by the developer the project will have certain limitations regarding issues such as density or height.

"There's a lot of moving parts. It's a timing thing, and we'd like some more time to reach out and make some plans," Alex Eyssen, an attorney representing Campus Crest, told the City Council last night.

Veterans groups oppose the zoning change because they would like to buy some of the land as an area to expand the Fayetteville National Cemetery. But they also oppose the idea of college students living next door to the cemetery.

The City Council voted 7-1 to table the request. Robert Rhoads voted against. But other council members also expressed discomfort with the delay.

"I really don't want to table it, myself," said Shirley Lucas, a council member from Ward 4. "It bothers me that the people asking for the extension are not the ones who own the property."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Do we need another Hill Place-type development in our neighborhood? Next to our National Shrine??

John Lennon video singing Imagine
Please click on images to ENLARGE view of Dunn Avenue along the east edge of the Fayetteville National Cemetery as it would appear if student apartments were allowed to be built on the site of the former Washington County Livestock Auction.



Campus Crest's draft of a concept drawing/tentative plan for apartments the company wants permission to build

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of a draft of a concept plan for a proposed student-apartment complex along the east border of the Fayetteville National Cemetery as it was shared by a representative of the developer on August 11, 2009.

Should rezoning to Downtown General be approved by the Fayetteville City Council to allow apartments or other large-scale projects next to the National Cemetery, the plan would be modified in later meetings with the planning department and planning commission. But rezoning to Downtown General would basically eliminate future council input into what kind of project might go on the land.
Veterans, members of the Town Branch Neighborhood Association and hundreds of others have expressed opposition to the rezoning. And finding someone who believes apartments would be appropriate on that site is difficult.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Senator Pryor pledges support to buy sale-barn property

Please click on images to read August 12, 2009, Northwest Arkansas Times stories on Senator Mark Pryor supporting acquisition of sale-barn property for addition to the Fayetteville National Cemetery and story about possible delay in vote on sale-barn property until first council meeting in September.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Town Branch neighborhood shows up on the map of karst features in northwest Arkansas.
Please click on the images to ENLARGE view. Town Branch neighborhood is at the center of the third photo, near the left in the middle photo. One of the brightest areas marked as a high-priority karst ground-water recharge area on the map is the World Peace Wetland Prairie and adjacent Pinnacle Foods Inc. wet-prairie land. Another is along Indian Trail Street from Razorback Road east to the Railroad. A smaller but equally important karst wetland recharge area is north of the Fayetteville National Cemetery and the Washington County Livestock Auction property. The Hill Place (former Aspen Ridge) student-apartment project was built on fill dirt atop some of the neighborhood's karst wetland recharge area.