An update to the master plan for development of Gulley Park was recently approved by the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board at the September 10, 2018 meeting. This is the culmination of planning efforts which have been underway since the park’s expansion in 2014. These themed areas and facilities were derived from earlier conceptual plans which were presented at multiple times for public comment. The received comments were reviewed and evaluated, and the final plan is the result of those efforts.
The intent of this plan is to designate primary use areas throughout the park to maximize opportunities for desired user activities, while minimizing detrimental impacts to the park. Although new areas of activity are have been proposed, it was also important to preserve the open space of the park, as well as provide isolated areas of quiet and solitude.
In late 2014, the City of Fayetteville expanded Gulley Park with the acquisition of a ten-acre parcel on the park's north side. This expansion prompted an update to the overall development plan for the Park. The process of finalizing an updated plan has been progressing since the summer of 2016 and resulted in the adopted layout.
On March 10, 2016, a public meeting was held specifically to listen to citizen ideas in an effort to determine user preferences for Gulley Park. Specific development ideas resulting from discussions at the public meeting, as well as written and emailed comments, were evaluated and many were incorporated into the master plan.
The acquisition also included two adjacent houses; however, these were put on the market and publicly sold through a bidding process. The larger of the two homes was purchased by Apple Seeds, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to the inspiration of healthy living through garden-based education. As a stipulation of the offer, Apple Seeds requested a twenty-year lease of an adjacent two acres for the establishment of an interpretive teaching farm. It was determined that this mission of Apple Seeds coincided with ideas favored by the City of Fayetteville and the Parks and Recreation Department to establish public gardens and orchards, provide education and interpretation of fresh food sourcing, and increase public knowledge on farm-to-table food processing. Because the mission and ideas of Apple Seeds complemented these objectives, the City agreed to the sale and two-acre lease. This two acres is a portion of the new acquisition and lies along the western boundary of the new park addition, adjacent to the new Apple Seeds headquarters. The Parks and Recreation Department is excited about this opportunity and looks forward to an educational and management partnership with Apple Seeds, Inc.