Thursday, December 24, 2009

Natural Resources Conservation Service removed some pretty healthy riparian vegetation from Scull Creek but left some bad spots with targeted debris blocking stream flow

Please click on images to ENLARGE.

The Scull Creek trail bridge at Ash Street and Chestnut Avenue has had this same debris hung up on it for maybe three months or more since the worst flood of the fall of 2009 sent water flowing over the bridge, but the NCRS contractors ignored it and spent a lot of their time paid for by federal money cutting live trees from the riparian zone and overflow areas of Scull Creek and other streams in Fayetteville, such as the Town Branch.

The good news is that the native wildflowers along the same stretch of trail in the Scull Creek riparian zone were mostly left standing. That means more seed to sprout in spring and more seed for the wild birds to eat. The square stems with now-wrinkled huge leaves still forming water-holding structures along them are cup flowers. a species that grew 10 feet tall and more at World Peace Wetland Prairie and many other prairie areas in Northwest Arkansas in 2009.

By morning, tall grass and tall wildflower seed and other sources such as this native smartweed near Scull Creek and native buckbrush and nonnative China honeysuckle and nonnative privet berries will be among the few places for migrating birds to feed if the snowfall is as predicted.

Wouldn't the birds love it if the trash were picked up from the ditches running from the streets and the apartment dwellers would actually help?

Remember that birdfeeders are important for wintering birds but that every stick of vegetation and every square foot of natural soil left in place are more important for birds and other wildlife.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Democrat/Gazette December 21, 2009, editorial advocating saving sale-barn land for Fayetteville National Cemetery pleases majority of veterans and neighbors, but the problem is that saving Town Branch homeowners from flooding downhill from the cemetery is still being ignored: VA already at work preparing to dredge and fill wetland and pipe stormwater directly to Hill Avenue and thus to the 11th Street bridge on the Town Branch

Please click on individual photos to ENLARGE view of wetland area along the north edge of the Fayetteville National Cemetery being prepared for dredging and filling for grave sites. The depressional wetland developed over centuries because it is above a bedrock karst area where groundwater sinks into the underground caverns and aquifers and reduces surface-water flooding. When it is piped to the Town Branch it will further aggravate the flooding danger between Ellis and Van Buren avenues already created by the University of Arkansas' failure properly to manage stormwater on the campus and by paving and development along Martin Luther King Boulevard and on the Aspen Ridge/Hill Place project.

Save acres for vets

Now buy the land for the cemetery

Monday, December 21, 2009
LITTLE ROCK — LIKE WARM Arkansas Christmases, dry eyes after It’s a Wonderful Life, and little boys from the Natural State scribbling “LSU gear” on their annual wish lists, some things are just not meant to be. That’s the way it seems with the controversial student apartments that apparently won’t be built in south Fayetteville. You know, where Washington County’s historic livestock auction house operated until June.
A lawsuit that sought to override the city’s denial of a rezoning request seems to be kaput. Campus Crest developers of North Carolina wanted to buy the property from the auction house’s owner, Bill Joe Bartholomew, and build 500 apartments on the property. But the drawn-out legal ordeal surrounding this purchase became just too much to bear. Mr. Bartholomew now wants his suit dismissed.
The proposed sale to Campus Crest became a flashpoint for veterans and others last summer. They wanted to secure the site across Government Avenue from the city’s National Cemetery so they might preserve the sacred nature of that location. They basically argued that more student apartments in an overbuilt Fayetteville wasn’t an appropriate use of the land. They had a point. The former auction barn parcel does provide an ideally located space to enlarge this rapidly filling cemetery.
Fayetteville’s council denied Mr. Bartholomew’s request to rezone his property. The rezoning would have sealed the sale and enabled Campus Crest to purchase and develop the property. That’s when Mr. Bartholomew filed his suit against the city.

This latest development means the corporation that oversees the cemetery’s operation, Congress, the national office of Veteran’s Affairs, and veterans’ organizations need to find a way to purchase this property. The space needs to be preserved and protected as a final resting place for our veterans in the decades to come.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Natural Resources Conservation Service contractors use Bobcat loader to disturb the bed of the Town Branch without permission on day major watershed-protection news announced

Please click on image to go to Flickr site and enlarge and search for related photos and information.
What part of NO don't these guys understand?
The living things in a half mile of this urban tributary of the West Fork of the White River were displaced and their habitat damaged for four days in November 2009 with no apology.

On the day that these photos were taken, the NRCS announced a huge effort to improve water quality in many states, including Arkansas. How does treating the riparian zones of Fayetteville's tributaries of the White River and the Illinois River watersheds make sense when the agency's overall mission includes protecting and enhancing such areas?

Release No. 0586.09
Brad Fisher (202) 720-4024

Initiative Will Provide Approximately $320 Million in USDA Assistance In Basin Area

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 41 watersheds in 12 states, known as Focus Areas, have been selected to participate in a new initiative to improve water quality and the overall health of the Mississippi River Basin. The selected watersheds cover over 42 million acres, or more than 5 percent of the Basin's land area.

"The USDA is committed to working cooperatively with agricultural producers, partner organizations and State and local agencies to improve water quality and the quality of life for the tens of millions of people who live in the Mississippi River Basin, the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative will help" Vilsack said. "Today's announcement is another step toward achieving this goal, and I encourage as many eligible participants as possible to join us in this major conservation effort."

The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), which was announced on September 24, 2009, will provide approximately $320 million in USDA financial assistance over the next four years for voluntary projects in priority watersheds in Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. MRBI will help producers implement conservation and management practices that prevent, control and trap nutrient runoff from agricultural land.

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) manages the initiative. NRCS State Conservationists from the 12 watershed states selected the watersheds with guidance from State Technical Committees and state water quality agencies. Selections were based on the potential for managing nitrogen and phosphorus -- nutrients associated with water quality problems in the Basin -- while maintaining agricultural productivity and benefiting wildlife.
Next, smaller watershed projects will be selected through a competitive process under NRCS' Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). NRCS assistance will be leveraged with contributions from partners, expanding the capacity available to improve water quality throughout the Basin.
Three requests for project proposals will be announced in the next several weeks, including one for CCPI. Funding for CCPI projects will come from NRCS' Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program.
Two other requests for proposals will fund projects through the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program and Conservation Innovation Grants. For information about these programs, visit .
State(s) Watershed
Arkansas/Missouri - Cache
Arkansas - Lake Conway-Point Remove
Arkansas - L'Anguille
Arkansas/Missouri - Lower St. Francis
Illinois - Lower Illinois - Senachwine Lake
Illinois - Upper Illinois
Illinois - Vermilion (Upper Mississippi River sub-basin)
Illinois/Indiana - Vermilion (Upper Ohio River sub-basin)
Indiana - Eel
Indiana - Upper East Fork White
Indiana - Wildcat
Indiana/Ohio - Upper Wabash
Iowa - Boone
Iowa - Maquoketa
Iowa - North Raccoon
Iowa/Minnesota - Upper Cedar
Kentucky/Tennessee - Bayou De Chien-Mayfield
Kentucky - Licking
Kentucky - Lower Green
Louisiana - Mermentau
Louisiana/Arkansas - Bayou Macon
Louisiana/Arkansas - Boeuf River
Minnesota - Middle Minnesota
Minnesota - Root
Minnesota - Sauk
Mississippi - Big Sunflower
Mississippi/Louisiana/Arkansas - Deer-Steele
Mississippi - Upper Yazoo
Missouri/Iowa - Lower Grand
Missouri - North Fork Salt
Missouri - South Fork Salt
Missouri/Arkansas - Little River Ditches
Ohio/Indiana - Upper Great Miami
Ohio - Upper Scioto
Tennessee - Forked Deer
Tennessee/Kentucky - Obion
Tennessee - South Fork Obion
Tennessee/Kentucky - Red River
Wisconsin/Illinois - Sugar
Wisconsin/Illinois - Upper Rock
Wisconsin/Illinois - Pecatonica
For information about the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative, including eligibility requirements, please visit the MRBI web page at or your USDA Service Center. A map of the project area is available the MRBI Programs webpage.
Subscribe to NRCS news releases and get other agency information at or contact NRCS Public Affairs at 202-720-3210.
NRCS celebrates its 75th year of service in 2010.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Instructions that Natural Resources Conservation Service contractors are supposed to be following

Please click on image to go to Flickr site and ENLARGE for reading and find related documents and photos.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Red Oak Park plan would tear up the ground and displace mature trees and other significant vegetation but do nothing to protect the park from the huge upstream flow of water from the south, east and west

Red Oak Park Plan

MAYBE, this plan would help protect the property of the landowner downstream to the north toward Hamestring Creek. But it will totally miss the point of trying to protect the existing mature trees and will allow an incredible increase in erosion during construction and have only a minimal chance of improving the park in any credible way.

The only worthwhile and effective use of the money set aside for this plan would be KEEPING the water WATER WHERE IT FALLS: On the lots in the subdivisions to the south, east and west in raingardens created in the yards and in the treeless portion of the park at the southeast corner.

Helping people create raingardens using the natural soil remaining in the area and encouraging NOT to mow but to protect native vegetation there would decrease the dangerous runoff to a manageable level.

It is illogical to spend money doing some that won't meet the goals of the people who originally began complaining about the situation.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Veterans Memorial 5K entry form for Saturday, November 7, 2009

Please click on image to move to Flicker site and ENLARGE.
5K Entry form 09
Please click on image to move to Flickr page and ENLARGE view.
Please click on image to ENLARGE view of a sample of items that will be in the goody bags of the first 300 runners who sign up for the Nov. 7, 2009, Veterans 5K.
Please click on image to go to Flickr page to Enlarge logos of first two major sponsors of the Veterans' 5K race set for November 7, 2009, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Bank of Fayetteville ad 09
Condom Sense 09

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Green Groups Guild meeting Thursday

From: Green Groups Guild ( on behalf of ggg (ggg@UARK.EDU)
Sent: Tue 10/13/09 2:31 PM

Meeting 10/15/09 7:00 p.m.
209 Thompson Ave. Three Sisters Bldg on Dickson above Fez Hookah Lounge.
Patrick Kunnecke
GGG President
ASLA Vice President
4th Year Landscape Architecture Student

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Runners and Sponsors sought for Nov. 7, 2009, 5K veterans' memorial race to benefit Fayetteville National Cemetery

Please click on image to move to Flickr site and ENLARGE for easy reading. The Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation meets at 10:30 a.m. Saturday October 10 and needs to add sponsor names to the file for the race T shirts and the brochures so that printing can begin. Already, Tyson Foods has donated at the Medal of Honor level and has challenged others to join them at the top of the list, thanks to the effort of RNCIC Secretary Peggy McClain.
RNCIC 5K sponsorship levels 09

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Webcast on Clean Water Act quality standards FREE by registration

Still Time to Register!
To register, visit
Free September Watershed Academy Webcast -- Second in Clean Water Act Series
Join us on Thursday, September 10th at 1-3pm Eastern for an "Introduction to Water Quality Standards," a second in series of Webcasts on the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA is the cornerstone of surface water quality protection in the United States and it sets broad goals for restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's water. Water quality standards (WQS) are aimed at translating the broad goals of the CWA into waterbody-specific objectives.
Tune into this Webcast to learn about WQS, which are the foundation of the water quality-based pollution control program mandated by the CWA.The Webcast will highlight the three major components of state and tribal water quality standards e.g., designated uses, water quality criteria, antidegradation, and will include a case study of how one state is working to strengthen its WQS program. Future Webcasts will highlight other aspects of the CWA including monitoring and assessment, total maximum daily loads, programs for managing point sources and nonpoint sources, and wetland protection.
Dr. Thomas Gardner, Environmental Scientist, U.S. EPA's National Water Quality Standards Branch; Heather Goss, Physical Scientist, U.S.EPA's National Water Quality Standards Branch; and William (Bill) Cole, Research Scientist, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Water Quality
Standards Unit
To register, visit

Saturday, May 2, 2009

FarmToTable theme of today's program in the Rose Garden of the Walton Art Center with renewable-energy lecture at Night Bird bookstore at 2 p.m.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of OMNI Springfest poster.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of poster.

Solar Power Struggle
Professor Richard Hutchinson of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston will speak on "The Struggle for the Solar Future" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
An inquiry into environmental change and the obstacles and opportunities in the path of the renewable energy transition.
Sponsored by OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fayette Junction Master Plan to be presented at 6 p.m. Thursday

Please click on image to ENLARGE one of the slides found at the link below.

The Fayette Junction Master Plan Community Presentation has been rescheduled
for Thursday, Feb. 5 at BioBased Companies, which is located at the SE corner of Razorback Road and Cato Springs Road. Over 100 stakeholders contributed to the vision that will be presented, and a draft of the vision document and Illustrative Plan are now available at
Please paste in address above or go directly to the information at the link below:
Access Fayetteville drawings and photos from Fayette Junction planning session

Please join us on the 5th for tours at 6:00 p.m., the presentation at 6:30 p.m., and light
refreshments following the presentation.

Karen Minkel

Karen Minkel
Interim Director of Long Range Planning
City of Fayetteville
(479) 575-8271

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mayor Lioneld Jordan's 2009 state-of-the-city address to the city council

Partners in Progress

Mayor Lioneld Jordan

State of the City
January 20, 2009

I am privileged to serve as Mayor of our wonderful city, and I am humbled by the
responsibility that the people have entrusted to me. I am honored to be your servant, and I
will work every day to make our community better for every citizen. That is my solemn
pledge to you.

Thanks to the vision of Mayor Dan Coody, the dedicated effort of our fine Aldermen, the
hard work of our outstanding city employees, and the contributions of many individual
residents who share our civic concerns, I am pleased to report to the City Council and to
my fellow citizens that the State of our City is sound.

We begin the year with a balanced city budget, solid progress on improving our
infrastructure, dedicated police officers and fire fighters who assure our safety, and a
commitment to institutional and individual partnerships to nurture and sustain the things
we love about this great community.

We also begin the year facing many new challenges and we must be prepared to face
those together with resolve. We are not immune from the problems of a faltering national
economy, and we must anticipate and be prepared for the consequences of any revenue
shortfall. We must be responsible stewards of our tax dollars, and we must maintain
essential city services for our citizens. Toward that end, I have already begun to identify
potential cost savings and have implemented a more effective management structure to
improve efficiency and control costs. Our staff already has offered many good solutions,
and we will institute an ongoing, frequent, consistent review of cost/benefit analysis of
operations and projects to assure the services and quality of life that our citizens expect
and deserve.

I believe in leadership by example, and I have proposed to cut the mayor’s salary and roll
it back to last year’s level. I have signed an affidavit that I will not avail myself of the
special lifetime retirement plan funded from general revenues. I have asked to return the
$5,000 annual car allowance formerly paid to the mayor and instead, to use a vehicle
from the city fleet when necessary to travel on city business. We have already achieved
some savings in the salaries of top staff, and I will continue to look for savings in all
areas of city operations. My staff and I are partners in this effort.

Even in uncertain economic times, we must be bold in our efforts to develop and
implement a strategic economic development plan for our city. Not only can this lead to
increased revenues without a tax increase, but more importantly, it can help assure green
jobs, good jobs that pay a living wage, allowing individuals and working families to have
the basic necessities and a better life. We already know that we need greater efficiency in
the development approval process, a workforce trained for the jobs of the future, and
better methods to accurately measure the results of our efforts. We can draw on the
suggestions of recent studies and the work of my outstanding Transition Team to craft a
plan that is consistent with Governor Mike Beebe’s long-term strategic plan to help
achieve economic improvement for our state through collaboration and cooperation.

To that end, know that I am serious, and within six weeks I will host a Community
Summit on the Future of Fayetteville that will be open to every citizen and I will consider
all views in forging our own economic and community development strategy. We must
have the participation of the business community and advocates for working families,
students and retirees, public institutions and private citizens, as partners in our shared
progress. We will have, within 90 days, an economic and community development
strategy that considers support for existing small businesses as well as nurturing new
opportunities, and together we will work to make it a reality. A slow national economy is
no excuse for inaction but an opportunity for us to move quickly and prepare now for our
shared future.

My first and immediate goal will be to do everything possible to secure and support the
establishment of a Satellite Campus of the University of Arkansas Medical School and a
Regional Trauma Center in Fayetteville. In the longer view, we should also develop a
close relationship with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and seek a regional presence for that
institution. This commitment clearly illustrates the close connection between economic
development and our quality of life.

The University of Arkansas is a priceless resource, and it is one that helps define
Fayetteville. We must be active partners in progress with the University, drawing on the
vast local resources of knowledge and expertise as we grow together and achieve our
mutual goals. From the development of knowledge-based industry, to community design
plans, to solving social service needs, to collaborating on support for a vibrant arts
culture, the possibilities are limitless. I will actively reach out and pursue this partnership.

The economic, environmental, and cultural aspects of Fayetteville’s advancement are
deeply interconnected. For example, any consideration of transportation policy must
consider getting to work, moving goods, access to cultural resources, and environmental
impact, requiring an integrated and connected system of streets, mass transit, multi-use
trails, bike lanes, sidewalks, and parking, along with a revised transportation impact fee
to help growth pay for itself. We will pursue the development of each of these elements,
and we will urge the Regional Mobility Authority to support a feasibility study and
planning for a future light rail system.

As we consider infrastructure development, we must seize the same opportunities. My
administration will go beyond the current recycling program to implementation of a
comprehensive waste minimization program for our entire community. We are pursuing
the idea of solar greenhouses to kill pathogens and reduce the volume of bio-solids now
going to landfills. We are investigating an effective Hillside Development Ordinance and
a storm water utility to better control the primary transmitter of pollutants into our water
supply, and we will implement and enforce a better plan for the protection of riparian
zones. We will be active partners with the “Green Infrastructure” project being developed
with the help of the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, Arkansas Forestry
Commission, the city’s Urban Forestry program, the Tree and Landscape Committee, and
citizen volunteers. Our ongoing city sustainability efforts can also be expanded and
shared to benefit the entire community, evidenced by our new initiative to provide and
exchange CFL light bulbs in the apartments at Hillcrest Towers. In each instance, we will
be partners in progress.

One major change that will be implemented is a reorganization of our Parks and
Recreation Department. While much attention in the past has been focused on sports
playing fields, we know that our outdoor public spaces can serve other essential
functions. I will propose a new division, to be implemented without additional costs, that
emphasizes our community heritage and citizen participation. Examples to be considered
will be increasing the number of way-finding signs and local historical markers, planting
of native trees and grasses in portions of the parks, establishing a community garden
program in appropriate neighborhood parks, opening a convenient dog park, and
partnering with the University, the County, the Fayetteville School District, the
Washington County Historical Society, and private citizens to identify, preserve, and
promote our historic buildings and other cultural resources. In conjunction with these
changes, I will appoint a volunteer citizen task force on Festivals and Community Events
to seek a closer partnership with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to identify needs
and opportunities, and we will promote the “creative economy” in Fayetteville by
developing a comprehensive Cultural Plan, in partnership with the Fayetteville Arts
Council, the University, local artists, entertainment businesses, and concerned local

Finally, I want to reiterate and make clear my unwavering commitment to Open
Government. This administration is dedicated to access, transparency, inclusion, timely
responses, personal recognition, and exceptional customer service for our citizens, and
we will be held accountable to those we serve. From Town Hall Meetings to an improved
interactive city website to information on civic literacy to empowered Neighborhood
Associations, we are preparing to implement real changes to better provide information to
our citizens and, more importantly, to seek and consider ways for citizens to
communicate their ideas, arguments, suggestions, and problems to their city government.
My Transition Team has listened to your ideas and has made a series of steps we will be
implementing to assure an effective community conversation. We must be partners in the
progress of our community, and every citizen must have a voice and be treated with the
respect and dignity that they deserve. You have heard my ideas, I now ask our City
Council to help me work toward these goals and I look forward to hearing their input and
the input of citizens, especially how I can be a better mayor and do a better job for our

Thank you for your patience in listening as I share my plans and thank you for the
opportunity to serve you and our city.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Lioneld Jordan sworn in as mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Mayor Lioneld Jordan a few minutes after being sworn in by Judge Mark Lindsay on Friday, January 2, 2009, being congratulated by admirers and supporters in the Washington County Courthouse.