Parks board OKs design for project
Three structures set for Frisco Trail
FAYETTEVILLE — The Frisco Trail will receive a little bit of a face lift after board members unanimously approved the design plans for the Razorback Greenway Gallery structures Monday night at the Parks and Recreation meeting.
Three structures will be placed on the backside of electrical boxes along the trail to create a rotating curated photo gallery. They will hide the boxes from being seen on the trail, said Paxton Roberts, the executive director of Bike NWA, which is the organization donating the frames for the trail.
The electrical boxes that will be covered are on the Frisco Trail between the parking lot of the Walton Arts Center and George’s Majestic Lounge off of Dickson Street. The gallery structures will be attached to electrical support frames and will not interfere with access to the boxes.
The structures are made from steel and will feature laser-cut depictions of the Ozark Mountains on top of them. Low- wattage, LED light bulbs will be installed behind the mountains and give off a green glow at night. The words “Greenway Gallery” are also cut into the frame.
“We wanted to do something that looked rustic and industrial but also had an ode to the Natural State,” said Mike Abb, creative director at the Runway Group.
The pictures will be provided by students from the University of Arkansas’ new Social Innovation program, which encourages students in the Walton College of Business to engage and partner with different organizations in the community. The photos will highlight the work of these students and rotate on a quarterly basis with all pictures being approved by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Roberts said.
The only concerns raised by the board involved the height of the structures, which will hang over the trail. Roberts said the height is about 8 feet, which would provide enough clearance for someone to go under.
“I like them; I think they’re great,” chairman Richie Lamb said. “We just have to make sure no one pops a wheelie.”
The structures are built and waiting on approval from the City Council to be installed.
Roberts said he hopes they would be able to be put in as soon as possible but wants them to be placed before fall at the latest.
“We want to give people time to experience them,” Roberts said.
The whole project will cost $5,000 to $6,500, with all of the money coming from a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, Roberts said.
Bike NWA partnered with the Runway Group, which connects nonprofit groups with the foundation, to fix the problem of the unsightly electrical boxes on the trail. The organizations approached the board in March to get approval for the concept of the galleries but didn’t have finalized plans until now.
“The inspiration really started from the ugliness of it,” Abb said. “It was born of, ‘How can we make something this ugly better?’”
“They were eyesores in an otherwise beautiful area.”