Property to Become Steele-Stevens Heritage Park
The namesake spring of Elm Springs has been permanently protected through a conservation easement that will allow for public access to one of the most historic pieces of land in the city. Landowners Gene and Glenda Stevens donated the easement to the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust.
The approximately one-acre site that surrounds the spring will soon become the Steele-Stevens Heritage Park, managed in part by the Historical Society of Elm Springs.
Protection of this site is an example of the collaborative win-win conservation efforts we strive for. This project helps preserve the heritage of Elm Springs, protect water quality, and provide a scenic park accessible to the people of Elm Springs.
This is the first property protected under our new LandWise Conservation Initiative, an effort to engage regional decision-makers and willing landowners in the permanent protection of important landscapes in the growing NWA region. The LandWise Initiative is supported by a matching grant from the Walton Family Foundation and tied, in part, to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission’s Open Space Plan. The Elm Springs site received the highest conservation priority ranking possible under the Plan due to its combination of historic and ecological significance. For more information about LandWise, click here.
The land and spring have a rich history as a Native American site, a civil war training ground, a trout farm and more. As the Steele-Stevens Heritage Park, it will be used to educate present and future generations about the story of Elm Springs.
Preservation of the property as public space is a dream shared by Glenda Stevens. The property has been in her family, the Steele Family, for over 100 years.
We thank CEI Engineering, who donated the survey of the land and Realty Title, who donated the title investigation. The Historical Society of Elm Springs will conduct a parkland dedication ceremony for the Steele-Stevens Heritage Park in the spring of 2016.