Spring­dale ded­i­cates new park, un­veils memo­rial

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - ASH­TON ELEY

SPRING­DALE — A large crowd gath­ered down­town at 11 a.m. Tues­day to cel­e­brate the Fourth of July with the open­ing of the Wal­ter Turn­bow Park and un­veil­ing of the Fallen Sol­diers Memo­rial.

The park is lo­cated along the Ra­zor­back Green­way and con­nected to the re­cently un­capped por­tion of Spring Creek, which had not seen day­light in decades. It’s all part of the changes in the area pushed for­ward by the Down­town Spring­dale Al­liance.

Turn­bow was an outspoken ad­vo­cate of Down­town Spring­dale in the early stages of the al­liance, Mayor Doug Sprouse said.

“I re­ally be­lieve Wal­ter’s in­volve­ment helped bring a lot of dif­fer­ent fac­tions in Spring­dale to­gether to make this down­town re­vi­tal­iza­tion a re­al­ity,” Sprouse said. “When he is pas­sion­ate about some­thing, he won’t let you go. I ap­pre­ci­ate him so much.”

U.S. Sen. John Booz­man, R-Ark., also spoke and said that “no­body rep­re­sents any bet­ter the def­i­ni­tion of a giver than Mr. Turn­bow.”

Turn­bow is a long-serv­ing mem­ber of the Spring­dale In­dus­trial Com­mis­sion and the Spring­dale Pub­lic Fa­cil­i­ties Board. He has served on the Beaver Wa­ter Dis­trict Board, Spring­dale Wa­ter and Sewer Com­mis­sion, the school board, the Care Foun­da­tion and the Arkansas State Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

“What I like about Spring­dale is the op­por­tu­ni­ties it has given me over the past 70 years. It has given me a good place to live and a good place to raise my kids and to ed­u­cate them,” Turn­bow said to the crowd. “It’s not what I’ve done for Spring­dale; it’s what it’s done for me and other peo­ple here.”

Turn­bow’s hu­mil­ity has not stopped him from get­ting things done and hav­ing hand in most of the city’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“He is a great, great man,” said Alan Forten­berry, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Beaver Wa­ter Dis­trict, who at­tended the park’s open­ing. “He is very hum­ble, but he can get things done. He is one of the shak­ers and movers of Spring­dale.”

The Wal­ton Fam­ily Foun­da­tion con­trib­uted $2 mil­lion to the com­ple­tion of the park. Af­ter deal­ing with some

is­sues with the orig­i­nal con­trac­tor, Sprouse said, the park was com­pleted by Milestone Con­struc­tion.

From Turn­bow Park, the crowd walked across John­son Av­enue to Shiloh Memo­rial Park to see the hard work of one ded­i­cated Ea­gle Scout can­di­date and his­tory lover, Ho­gan Maestri.

The Fallen Sol­diers Memo­rial fea­tures the 56 names of sol­diers from Spring­dale who have died in bat­tle since World War I. Most of the sol­diers listed fought in World War II, to­tal­ing 42. Each sol­dier’s name was read aloud by mem­bers of Boy Scout Troop 777.

Maestri first had the idea af­ter vis­it­ing the Viet­nam Memo­rial in Wash­ing­ton a few years ago, he said. When it was time to com­plete his Ea­gle Scout project, he spent close to 40 hours sift­ing through gov­ern­ment records, news­pa­per and town archives and on­line re­search to find the names of the sol­diers.

“I’ve been a part of a lot of Ea­gle projects, and this is by far the most am­bi­tious,” said Bryon Tay­lor, Scout mas­ter and vet­eran. “It’s go­ing to stand the test of time.”

Maestri raised money from Go­FundMe, do­na­tions from North­west Arkansas busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“This is a great thing that this young man has done,” vet­eran Tom Chas­tain said. “The city has long waited for some­thing like this to re­ally show ap­pre­ci­a­tion to vet­er­ans. He went out here and made it hap­pen.”

Sprouse said “this is a project that stands on its own” and the city is still open to ideas for other memo­ri­als for the fu­ture.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/FLIP PUTTHOFF

Wal­ter Turn­bow (left) and Spring­dale Mayor Doug Sprouse (right) ap­plaud re­marks Tues­day at the ded­i­ca­tion of Wal­ter Turn­bow Park along Mill Creek in down­town Spring­dale. The park is named for Turn­bow, who has served Spring­dale for many years in sev­eral city and phil­an­thropic roles.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/ FLIP PUTTHOFF

Peo­ple gather Tues­day around the Spring­dale Fallen Sol­dier Memo­rial af­ter a cer­e­mony. The memo­rial hon­ors sol­diers from Spring­dale who have died in bat­tle since World War I.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/FLIP PUTTHOFF

Doug Sprouse (right), Spring­dale mayor, com­ments Tues­day dur­ing the ded­i­ca­tion of Wal­ter Turn­bow Park in down­town Spring­dale. The park is sit­u­ated along Mill Creek on the north side of Emma Av­enue.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/FLIP PUTTHOFF

Ho­gan Maestri, Boy Scout with Troop 777, speaks Tues­day dur­ing the ded­i­ca­tion of the Spring­dale Fallen Sol­dier Memo­rial at the Amer­i­can Le­gion build­ing in down­town Spring­dale. The memo­rial is Maestri’s Ea­gle Scout project and hon­ors sol­diers from Spring­dale who have died in bat­tle since World War I.

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