Save Markham Hill from development and make it a nature and wildlife preserve

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We, the undersigned, respectfully request the City of Fayetteville to:

(1)    Oppose development on the 144-acre Markham Hill property.

(2)    Help secure and protect the 144-acre Markham Hill property as a nature and wildlife preserve.

Specialized Real Estate Group is asking the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas to allow them to put a large commercial and high-density residential development on the Markham Hill property which is surrounded by low-density residential neighborhoods.

Why do we want to save Markham Hill from development?

  • Saving Markham Hill meets two of Fayetteville’s Vision 2050 Guiding Principles: Naturally Beautiful City and Ecosystem Preservation. Markham Hill is an important and significant part of Fayetteville because of its large acreage of trees, wooded pastures, plants, birds, rock formations, wildlife, and history.  Markham Hill is the last large acreage of woods where wildlife can take refuge this side of the interstate highway. For many years bird enthusiasts, naturalists, and University of Arkansas professors and students have studied and enjoyed the nature and wildlife of Markham Hill.
  • Markham Hill is historically part of Fayetteville’s mature tree cover and green infrastructure, contributing to the City’s environmental health.  One acre of trees will trap 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide, helping to eliminate greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change. Tree cover improves a city’s air quality by decreasing air pollution. Trees act as natural water filters, providing cleaner water to our watersheds and resulting in less expense to the City in dealing with sewage, drainage, erosion, and water quality. Markham Hill is one of Fayetteville’s Natural Areas and so requires conservation and preservation according to Fayetteville’s 2030 Plan.
  • Markham Hill’s woods within the City is an example of Fayetteville’s diversity in land and neighborhood types. Diversity is highly valued in Fayetteville and is part of the City’s character and appeal. Having 144 acres of protected and preserved forest within a City is special and unique.
  • Markham Hill contributes to the physical and emotional well-being of Fayetteville residents. Over the years nature lovers, bird enthusiasts, horseback riders, hikers, runners, campers, and explorers have enjoyed Markham Hill. Many can tell you stories of their fond experiences.
  • Markham Hill/Pratt Place property is in the Arkansas Register of Historic Places. Its history goes back to 1900 when the Pratt family settled the land. Markham Hill has remained in the Pratt family ever since until very recently. We would like to honor the two Pratt sisters, Joy Markham and Evangeline Archer, by permanently protecting Markham Hill as a nature and wildlife preserve.  Both sisters did much for the good of Fayetteville and Arkansas during their lives.

The future of Fayetteville is one of expansion. That means the City must make a concerted effort to both protect and grow our urban forest in order to continue to enjoy the benefits it provides. The plans outlined by Specialized Real Estate Group for the 144 acres of Markham Hill would seriously decrease these benefits. In summary, the 144 acres of Markham Hill must be protected and preserved.