Citizens of the Fort Smith area will enjoy a new downtown park thanks to a $25,000 donation from the Arvest Foundation.
The gift was announced today at Gateway Park. Beth Presley, Roger Holroyd, Les Smith, and Mike Jacimore of Arvest Bank were on hand to present the check.
The funds will aid in the construction of the new Gateway Park located near the intersection of Rogers and Garrison Avenues. Gateway Park will feature three historical bronze statues. The key figure will be Judge Isaac C. Parker, joined by statues of John Carnall and Mother Mary Teresa Farrell, R.S.M., representing law, education, and healthcare. The new park is a 64.6 Downtown initiative and is being funded by the generosity of the community, including the Arvest Foundation.
When completed this fall, 64.6 Downtown will donate the park property to the City of Fort Smith. It will become a gathering place for residents and visitors alike to learn more about the contributions these three community leaders made in the late 1800s. The park will also include a flag plaza featuring flags of the United States, Arkansas, and the City of Fort Smith.
“64.6 Downtown creates vibrant spaces in Fort Smith to further economic development, creative place-making, arts and cultural events,” said Steve Clark, founder/chairman of the board for 64.6 Downtown. “Gateway Park is a reflection of how 64.6 Downtown’s program, The Unexpected, brought attention to an important intersection in downtown, with the activation of Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel’s Universal Chapel. The work transformed a simple white building into a gateway entry to downtown Fort Smith. Gateway Park is a continuation of the development of this important downtown entry point.”
“We are pleased to present this donation on behalf of the Arvest Foundation to support the 64.6 Downtown initiative of the development of the Gateway Park,” Holroyd said. “This donation is just one of many we have made throughout the area. It demonstrates the foundation’s ongoing commitment to support parks, history and greenspace in our community.”