Alex Smith County Park in Texarkana sees big improvements
TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - A 60-year-old ArkLaTex nature park has gotten a facelift, and leaders there are hoping the improvements will bring in more visitors to the area.
The raising of a flagpole in Miller County, Arkansas Tuesday morning (July 13) is a signal of improvement; the Alex Smith County Park is nearly completed.
“We’ve got a lot of people excited about what’s happening at Smith Park,” said Deryl Jones, chairman of the Southern Miller County Rural Development Authority.
For the past two years, the Southern Miller County Rural Development Authority has worked to spruce up the park. Jones says they received around $60,000 in federal and state grants for this project, with most of the labor being done by volunteers. Improvements includes more than two miles of walking trails and a quail habitat. The habitat also serves as a haven for butterflies. There are about seven to 10 species living in the park.
Alex Smith County Park is made up of 300 acres of land along the Sulphur River in Miller County. The land was donated to the county in 1962. Leaders say thousands of people visit the area each year; it’s a big tourist draw for southern Miller County.
“It’s bringing people in from everywhere to bird watch and just to bring their family out here where it is peaceful and quiet,” said Jones.
Selena Brown is a regular visitor at the park and told us she likes what she sees.
“There is more clear areas we can see where we are walking and we went down a trail yesterday and went by a beach area with a creek. It was just clear water; it was really beautiful,” said Brown.
Officials say they hope these improvements will bring more to what they say is the “gateway to Arkansas.”
“I just hope they help us keep it neat and clean and don’t tear things up and just come out and enjoy,” Jones said.
Jones says there’s still some work to do on the park, such as building bathrooms and showers.
Copyright 2021 KSLA. All rights reserved.