PROTECTED PROPERTIES

West Side Prairie

West Side Prairie
West Side Prairie

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West Side Prairie
West Side Prairie

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West Side Prairie
West Side Prairie

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West Side Prairie
West Side Prairie

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1/16

County: Washington

Size: 38 Acres

Date Conserved: 2020

Open to the public

54th and Persimmon in Fayetteville

(access via Woolsey trailhead at 15 Broyles St.  and head north through Woolsey)

About the Preserve

Working in partnership with the City of Fayetteville in 2020, the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust placed a conservation easement on 38 acres of remnant tallgrass prairie adjacent to Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary.

 

It’s estimated that only 1% of native tallgrass prairie ecosystems are left in North America. Botanical surveys of the property have identified more than 200 native plant species, providing habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Prairies slow and filter stormwater runoff and are particularly important for carbon sequestration. Native prairie grasses and wildflowers have deep root systems with the ability to store more carbon underground than forests can store in trees above ground.​

A solar installation to power the nearby Westside Wastewater Treatment Facility was originally sited on the prairie, but after conversations with Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, local botanists, and other partners about the ecological importance of the site, the City of Fayetteville readily agreed to relocate the installation to an adjacent degraded site. Fayetteville is the first city in Arkansas to commit to 100% clean energy by 2030, and the installation on city-owned land offset nearly two-thirds of municipal consumption in 2019. Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is working with the City to restore the prairie and implement public access.

 

Westside Prairie is predominantly remnant tallgrass prairie and oak savanna.

 

Location & Access

Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is currently working to design and install a small low impact parking area on N. 54th Street. Visitors can park at the Woolsey trailhead at 15 Broyles St. and head north through Woolsey to access Westside Prairie. Together, approximately 80 acres of prairie, savanna, and wetland can be explored.

 

Trails

Currently there is a 1-mile mowed loop trail through the prairie, with easy access from the Woolsey Wet Prairie trails. The trail is easy walking. Visitors are encouraged to wear boots and lots of sunscreen as there is very limited shade.

 

Things to See

  • Birds- The adjacent Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary is a top 3 Washington County Hotspot on eBird. Over 225 species have been observed in the sanctuary. Many of those birds can also be seen at Westside Prairie. Many raptors including Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, and hawks can be seen regularly.  In late spring and summer look for Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Dickcissels, Wilson’s Snipe, and Indigo Buntings.

  • Native Plants- Over 200 species of native plants occur on the prairie.  In spring look for large patches of Foxglove Beards tongue. In summer large patches of common, butterfly, tall green, clasping, and swamp milkweed can be seen throughout the site. 

  • Prairie Mounds- Westside Prairie has an abundance of prairie mounds throughout the preserve. Prairie mounds are low hills indicative of tallgrass prairie ground that has never been plowed. Because of their soil depth and topography, many different species of plants can be found on and around the mounds.

 

Rules & Regs

  • Open dawn to dusk.

  • Enter at your own risk.

  • In case of emergency, dial 911.

  • Foot traffic only; no bikes or motorized vehicles.

  • No dogs allowed- sensitive habitat.

  • Do not feed or disturb wildlife.

  • No collecting of plants, flowers or other natural elements.

  • No camping or campfires.

  • Pack out what you pack in; leave no trace.