Plans for Multi-Million Botanical Gardens Attraction Revived 50 Years Later

HEBER SPRINGS, AR - "Once I looked at it it was so intriguing that I couldn't stop."

Spouting fountains and glimmering pools these paintings from the 1960's depict the vision of a botanical gardens in Heber Springs.

"Coming down to the valley down to a magnificent stadium basically."

When President John F. Kennedy visited Heber Springs on October 3rd 1963, Arkansas officials pitched the idea.

Cleburn County Judge Jerry Holmes says the president gave the green light in mid November the Army Corps of Engineers produced plans.

Sadly one week later the president was assassinated and history took a different turn.

The project lay dormant for decades until a local business man brought it to the attention of Judge Holmes.

"I just went to work to make this a reality finally."

He's been at it for more than a year, enlisting support from state universities, both US senators and the governor.

This is where President Kennedy stood during the dedication of the Greers Ferry Dam.

The location of the proposed project is just south of here on 170 acres of land now owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.

"This is not a little on the side of the road get that's cool kind of thing. This is a we're going to that area because of this kind of project," says Billy Lindsey, Owner of Lindsey Resort.

The local business community is on board.

"We're gonna be building more name brand hotels and were gonna have big name restaurants that want to come in here," says Dave Hill.

Recently, supporters received a $100,000 grant to put new plans on paper. A half century later Judge Holmes says they're closer than ever to making it happen.

"We've brought it back to life," says Holmes.

More Stories

Don't Miss

Latest News

  • KNWA - Northwest Arkansas News

  • Fox 24 News

  • NWA Weather Authority

  • Razorback Nation

  • KNWA News

  • Fox24 News

  • Razorback Nation

  • KNWA Northwest Arkansas News Mobile App

  • NWA Weather Authority Mobile App

  • Hogville for Sports Mobile App