Spring is here… Finally… we’ve got an hour more of daylight in the evenings and the temperatures are beginning to become extremely pleasant. Coming out of the doldrums of winter into spring always gets my kids asking “Daddy” to take them to the park. The exciting thing is that one park… Craighead Forest… has undergone some major improvements over the past few years and the family trips are getting better and better.
Over the past three years some amazing improvements have been made at Craighead Forest and many more are on the way.
Thanks to the Rotary Clubs in Jonesboro Rotary Park is now a reality and many physically challenged children have an opportunity to have some great fun that was previously not an option in this area. A water splash park will be complete in the coming months And adjacent to the play area is a stocked family fishing area that will be up and running in a few months.
Craighead Forest Lake has been drained, the sides smoothed, sloped and prepped to decrease erosion and better fishing habitat has been added. A new island and feeding area for Ducks and Geese has been built… a new boat launch and dog jumping dock… The old band shell has some new amphitheater seating and an updated electrical system.
Later this year the loop road will be paved… just in time for the upcoming K8-8K and the inaugural Fergus Snoddy half-marathon in October.
Although all of these improvements are the result of work of many people, but one person, Jonesboro Parks and Rec Director Jason Wilke, is really the point person in making all of the projects happen. And this is just one of the many positive things Jason and his team have accomplished. In fact, Jason was recognized this year as the Young Professional of the Year by the Arkansas Recreation and Parks Association. We are fortunate to have someone like Jason in Region 8 and we appreciate all he has done to help to improve the quality of life for all of us.
So how can we continue to improve on the great resource we have at Craighead Forest? One concern keeps surfacing over and over and over… and unless something is done soon the result is unfortunately going to be a serious injury or death. A Biking, running, walking lane needs to be built along S. Culberhouse from Parker Road to Lawson Road. Part of the road is a state highway and part of the roadway is maintained by the city. We strongly encourage the two entities to work together to resolve this situation before an accident occurs.
You have the support of the bikers, walkers and runners… the right of way is available… let’s take what is a great treasure in Region 8 and make it better. We encourage you to spend some time at Craighead Forest Park. If it has been a while since you visited… you’ll be pleasantly surprised.