Over the last eight months, The Jones Center has been working with Denver-based landscape architecture firm, Civitas Inc., to develop a dynamic vision for the 52-acre Jones Center Campus in downtown Springdale. Through an expansive public engagement phase, the Campus Vision design team has listened to the community’s important ideas and input. Now, the Campus Vision Plan is moving into the detailed design phase.

The public is invited to meet members of the newly expanded design team on Thursday, Nov. 11 from 4-8 p.m. at the Jones Campus. Explore various design elements at the Lighting Station, Ecology and Recreation Station, Play Station, Architecture Station, and Art Station. These pop-up exhibits include hands-on interactive activities that are suitable for all ages. In addition, children can enjoy a cornrow maze, sensory play tubs, and interactive sound & art activities.

Exploration Bingo will provide a series of chances to win prizes through the evening as participants visit a variety of interactive stations. Gift certificate prizes will be awarded hourly from 5-7 p.m., and grand prizes will be awarded at 8 p.m. Contestants must be present to win the randomly drawn prizes.

Guests are encouraged to park at the east main parking lot of The Jones Center. Campus maps will be provided to guide guests as they explore a variety of interactive stations across the campus including:

The Lighting Station, located at The Jones Center’s JTL Main Plaza, will feature lighting design concepts. Guests can pick up a glow stick and explore how light changes spaces and places.

The Ecology and Recreation Station, at Runway Bike Park, gives opportunities to learn about plans for native plant design, the watershed that flows on and around the campus, and the NWA bike ecosystem. Watch and join in a bike demonstration by Gary Vernon. A native plant will be given away (one per household.) Savor complimentary vegetarian curry provided by Indian Dhaba @NWA.

The Play Station, at The Jones Center’s West Entrance, will showcase early playground designs, which highlight four realms of inclusive play – physical/motor, social and emotional connection, sensory, and cognitive. Visitors can find their way through the Freedom Cornrow Maze and play in the Corn Crib Sensory Space. Enjoy free hamburger sliders from Big Sexy Food.

The Architecture Station, at the South Entrance of The Jones Center, will showcase design concepts for two pavilions and art installations proposed for the existing Tire Plant structure. Families can create their own gazebos using found materials and crafts. Enjoy delicious cuisine from Taqueria Mexico.

The Art Station, at the southwest campus/former JTL Truck Wash building, will feature three arts activities. Meet the Artists: Dance Step Exploration, with local musician Papa Rap, includes drums, music and plastic feet, where participants can “map out” dance moves on the sidewalk. Artist Danielle Hatch will engage visitors in community weaving, to explore the ideas of color and emotion and add a layer to a larger weaving. Reilly Dickens-Hoffman will invite guests to use three giant sets of ear horns to explore how sound projects over distance. The Odd Soul restaurant will provide complimentary pizza.

From 7-8 p.m. gather at the Main Plaza to listen and dance to live music by Epiphany “Big Piph” Morrow, Gente Privada, Estilo Rancho Viejo, Matt and Arsi (of Mark Harmony), Jordan Strickland and Matt Magerkurth (of Honey Collective), and DJ Afrosia. Vegetarian dishes will be offered by Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food.

Guests can view a special video presentation showing early designs for the new Jones Campus Vision.

Guests must be present to win a variety of grand prize drawings at 8 p.m. including $150 gift certificates from The Groove Skate Shop in Springdale, Strider Bikes in Bentonville, and Walmart.

Additionally, visitors can learn about the variety of services provided by area nonprofits with representatives from All About Kids, Community Clinic, Teen Action & Support Center, Arkansas Crisis Center, Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, and more.


Project Background and Inspiration:
When Bernice Jones established The Jones Center in 1995, she intended it to serve Northwest Arkansas families for generations. Bernice had the forward vision to repurpose the former Jones Truck Lines (JTL) Main Terminal Facility — the property she and her late husband, Harvey, owned — into a regional 220,000 square foot recreation and education center. Bernice gave all of their wealth for the betterment of families across this region. She recognized the need for a welcoming and safe destination where people could learn, grow, collaborate, and thrive. More than 25 years later, the Center and its 52-acre campus, continue the philanthropic spirit of founders Harvey and Bernice Jones. Today, The Jones Center welcomes more than half million visitors annually.

The Jones Trust received one of three Design Excellence Grants, awarded by the Walton Family Foundation, in September of 2020. The Campus Vision Master Plan will re-imagine the Jones 52-acre campus to modernize and remain relevant in the ever-changing region. The master plan was developed with extensive input from the community at both in-person and virtual engagement events, work sessions with Civitas Inc., Denver-based landscape architecture firm, and guidance from The Jones Center/Jones Trust leadership.

Following an extensive Public Engagement Phase that began in November of 2020, the new Jones Campus Vision Master Plan calls for the introduction of new native gardens/open green spaces, fitness activities, a plaza lawn for community gatherings and art markets, public art installations, a network of hard- and soft-surface trails, and an expanded adventure bike park ­– all tying the campus to the downtown Springdale revitalization efforts and the spine of the Razorback Regional Greenway trail system.

For more information, visit jonescampusvision.com.