FORT SMITH, Ark. — The Fort Smith Parks and Recreation Commission voted at its January meeting Wednesday (Jan. 12) to send a recommendation to the Fort Smith Board of Directors to name the city’s sports fields along Riverfront Drive that the John Bell Jr. Park.
The naming of the park must now be approved by the Fort Smith Board of Directors.
The park, located at 3700 Riverfront Drive near the Arkansas River and just north of downtown Fort Smith, has 51 acres with soccer fields and options for future expansion. The park also has an inclusive playground under construction. The land for the park was purchased with private donations, a state appropriation, and city funds.
The commission considered the top three naming nominations submitted by each commissioner – John Bell Jr., Robbie Westphal, and Riverview Park – at the December meeting, with John Bell Jr. leading the list. The city accepted feedback regarding the naming of the park through Tuesday (Jan. 11). Chris Raible noted Wednesday they had received 21 comments from the public in favor of the name.
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