Help us build a 4 mile trail from the Razorback Greenway to the Watershed Sanctuary!

On Sunday, April 17, a variety of outdoor activities are planned to dedicate the new North Shore Pavilion at the Watershed Sanctuary and to kick-off a campaign for the next phase to build a 4-mile trail to connect the 30-acre nature center in Cave Springs to the Razorback Greenway.

IMG_8031North Shore Pavilion at the Watershed Sanctuary

Recreation activities will begin at 1:00 pm with a community bike ride starting from two locations along the Razorback Greenway—Rogers Mercy Trailhead and the Lake Springdale Trailhead—where participants will ride from both locations to reach the Watershed Sanctuary for the dedication of the North Shore Pavilion at 2:00 PM.

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Bike route between Watershed Sanctuary and Rogers Mercy Trailhead on the Razorback Greenway

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 Route between Watershed Sanctuary and Lake Springdale Trailhead on the Razorback Greenway

Canoeing, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, fishing, nature hikes, bat box demonstrations, and more will help us kick-off a new season of outdoor recreation and wildlife preservation at the Watershed Sanctuary.

Many partners made the establishment of the Watershed Sanctuary and Learning Center a reality. The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission provided a Wildlife Recreation Facilities Grant of $542,700 toward this project, totaling an $880,000 investment of AGFC funds at the Illinois River Watershed Sanctuary since its establishment in 2012. With the generous support of these partners, the region can now enjoy a beautiful lakeside pavilion where events and educational programs can take place.

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For the next phase of development, the IRWP and the city of Cave Springs are working together to connect to the Razorback Regional Greenway. After years of planning and construction, the much-anticipated Razorback Regional Greenway—a 36-mile recreational trail linking NW Arkansas’ largest communities—is finally complete. The process of connecting smaller, outlying communities to the Greenway, however, is just getting started.

The NWA Regional Planning Commission has been working across Benton and Washington Counties to develop a comprehensive bicycle/pedestrian plan that connects communities and promotes healthy lifestyles and safe outdoor recreation for residents of NW Arkansas. The trail connections to additional communities are considered “catalyst” projects and the Watershed Sanctuary (Cave Springs) is listed as one of the most viable catalyst trail projects in the Regional Planning Commission’s Bike/Ped Plan. http://www.nwabikepedplan.com/

We invite you to join the IRWP and help us build a 4-mile trail to connect the Razorback Greenway to the IRWP Watershed Sanctuary in Cave Springs! More opportunities on how you can volunteer and/or financially support this effort are coming in 2016!