The Fourche Creek Watershed, “arguably the most important urban watershed in the state of Arkansas,” is in trouble (Audubon Arkansas, 2015a). For decades the watershed has been plagued by pollution, and the water quality will not improve without intervention. Audubon Arkansas, a state office of the National Audubon Society, is working to restore and protect the watershed, as well as develop recreational opportunities on Fourche Creek. To assist with this process, Audubon Arkansas has partnered with the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to conduct research on local residents’ views of Fourche Creek, and the types of recreational opportunities they would like to have available within the watershed.
The project was developed in collaboration with the Clinton School of Public Service, and Brett Kincaid and Dan Scheiman of Audubon Arkansas, and received research design assistance from Cindy Bennett and Dr. Michael Craw of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Dr. Warigia Bowman supervised students from Class 11 of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, who conducted interviews, focus groups, and administered surveys to local residents living in neighborhoods adjacent to the Fourche Creek Bottoms. The purpose of this data collection was to gather information regarding residents’ perception and use of parks and creeks in their area, and the types of outdoor activities and amenities they would like to have available for use. This report provides an analysis of the data obtained from three key informant interviews, 10 focus groups, and 416 surveys with community members.