NWALT Moves to the Historic Ozark Mountain Smokehouse on Kessler Mountain
In March of this year, we took NWALT supporter, conservation activist and community leader Frank Sharp up on an offer to relocate our land trust offices to his historic Ozark Mountain Smokehouse. The building is located at the base of Kessler Mountain, between Farmington and Fayetteville, AR.
While you’ll no longer find the iconic smoked meats and cheeses (those of us who frequented the business for many years, including former President Clinton and his family, certainly miss the sandwich bar and homemade pickles), Frank’s vision for the second life of the building – as a location for like-minded local businesses and non-profits to come together – feeds the community in a different way.
The land trust is currently completing a conservation easement on the 387-acre Kessler Mountain Reserve, recently acquired by the city of Fayetteville as a public open space.
The Reserve is home to many unique plants and animals, including several identified as rare or threatened. NWALT’s Land Stewardship Specialist, Alan Edmondson, is completing his master’s thesis studying the old growth trees discovered during his research on Kessler Mountain. The natural park also includes trails for hiking, biking, trail running and nature observation.
In addition, the land trust is working with Fayetteville Public Schools and the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association who began an effort to establish an Outdoor Classroom on the first floor of the building. The land trust will also incorporate a Kessler Mountain Nature Center into the space, which will be open to the public. A trail loop from the building will enhance the Nature Center and Outdoor Classroom for outreach to families, organizations and area schools, including Fayetteville, Farmington and Greenland.
The land trust shares the 18,000 square foot building with its original post-smokehouse-era tenant, local clothing company Fayettechill whose offices are headquartered in the building. (For retail purchases, visit their store on Dickson Street in Fayetteville.) The building is also home to Bigbot Graphic Design and volunteer-led community groups, Ozark Off-Road Cyclists and Kessler Mountain Greenways Association.
With room to grow as we add necessary equipment, staff and increase our outreach activities, the land trust is poised to flourish well into the future in our new home.
Drop by anytime for a tour, and to learn more about the work of the land trust and our plans for the future. Directions: 1725 Smokehouse Trail, Fayetteville, AR. From Interstate 49 in Fayetteville, exit west on Martin Luther King Blvd (Hwy. 62). Travel approximately 2 miles. The Smokehouse will be on your left, just before the Farmington city limits.