Deserves an Adventure"


The goal of "The Crossing at Angel Court" would be to increase the physical activity of the citizens of Saline County and neighboring communities, especially those with disabilities. The park would be the first public park in Central Arkansas that is fully accessible and would include a walking trail, accessible playground equipment, and the first-in-the-nation accessible outdoor soccer field. Because of its proximity to the "I CAN! Arts and Resource Center," which brings in special needs families from all over Central Arkansas, the park would be used frequently by those with disabilities. "The I CAN! Art and Resource Center" already has an active special-needs soccer program that would be expected to grow with the addition of a field compatible for wheelchair users and those with physical limitations. The organization would be keeping record of its number of participants in those programs which will in turn help with estimates of the usage at the park by special needs families.

The location of "The Crossing at Angel Court," at 1041 Angel Court, would also serve those in the eastern half of Saline County, parts of Pulaski County and Grant County where park access is limited or not available at all. In the non-incorporated East End community of Saline County, where the park would be placed, no park exists. The 2010 population of East End was 6,998 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Currently, those wishing to take a walk find themselves using church parking lots as a walking trail. Parents who wish to take their child to a playground drive 25 to 30 minutes to the closest park. Residents would be more likely to participate in those physical activities if the availability was closer.

The Arkansas Obesity Task Force created by the Arkansas legislature in 2000 stated in its report that "because Arkansas is a rural state, many do not have access to safe, user friendly places to engage in physical activity." It also concluded that "since our smallest communities are the ones that usually do not have access to fitness facilities or non-vehicle/safe walking areas and are generally the most unhealthy, these communities could be targeted first. There are numerous studies that show if you provide citizens with these types of areas, they will use them. One advantage to these walking parks is that they can be used by all ages regardless of fitness level or economic background."

The Obesity Task Force also determined that Arkansans favor walking over other forms of outdoor physical activities. The report listed walking at 52 percent, running at 5.6 percent, cycling at 3.5 percent, and swimming at 1.3 percent.

Due to the cooperation of the Little Rock South Lions Club, events such as health fairs, walk-a-thons, etc., could be planned at the park to promote healthy living. The club already has an annual 5K Race and Health Fair but uses a local church for its event. The park would allow not only this civic organization, but others such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, etc., to offer physical fitness activities for all.