One of the most intriguing outcomes of the 2005 Campus Master Plan Update, undertaken as a portion of the University’s recent long-range planning activities, was the identification of Coleman Creek, which runs the length of the campus, as a signature green space. In their analysis of UALR’s existing physical facilities, the planners concluded, “Coleman Creek is a missed opportunity; a restored and accessible natural amenity of this significance would be the envy of many a university.
Certainly, during the 50+ years that the University has grown and expanded at its present location, the creek has remained largely undeveloped. While some few classes and members of the campus community, as well as residents of the surrounding area, have made use of the creek for study and recreation, the University itself did little to integrate this unique green space into the life of the campus.
As those same planners looked ahead and envisioned UALR as it could be ten years in the future, they saw the benefits of developing the Coleman Creek Greenway as part of a strong urban campus: “Emblematic of the University’s vitality and commitment to the metropolitan area and region are the restoration and enhancement of Coleman Creek, which serves as the centerpiece of the campus and major recreational and natural resource to the community.”
The Campus Master Plan focused on broad development issues rather than specific design details, recommending additional planning efforts to guide implementation of the plan. To that end, I have asked David Millay, head of the University’s Physical Plant, to chair a committee to undertake planning of the Coleman Creek Greenway. The committee, which is listed on a later page, is made up of individuals from both the campus and the community.
This website represents the committee’s desire to keep both the campus and the greater Little Rock community informed of and involved with their efforts. It is indeed our desire to identify and preserve the ways in which Coleman Creek has contributed to both the social and educational experience of our University classes and students, as well as those who live nearby. It is also our desire that these same groups participate in planning the development of the Coleman Creek Greenway and its impact on the UALR of the future.
I invite you to read more about the Coleman Creek Greenway project on the other pages of this website. Further, I encourage you to respond to share your experiences and suggestions, and be a part of making the vision of the Greenway become a reality.
Joel E. Anderson