In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Investigate’ report, KNWA’s Katelynn Zoellner looked into when the north entrance to Lake Atalanta Park in Rogers could reopen.
City leaders said the north entrance to Lake Atalanta Park has been fenced off for years due to an increase in illegal activity.
“Before Lake Atalanta was renovated, you know it had been here for several decades in Rogers,” said Ben Cline, spokesperson for City of Rogers. “And, as it became older and some of the businesses left and there were some vacant areas down here, Lake Atalanta became a hot bed for illegal activity, especially on the north side of the dam.”
The $17.5 million project in 2015 did not include renovating the northern part of the park.
“We want people to be able to walk around the lake and not have worry or fear and we can not guarantee that with that north entrance open,” Cline said. “So for the meantime, we have that gate in there and it’s accessible to staff and emergency personnel for maintenance or should there be an emergency at the lake.”
Cline said there are plans to open the entrance in the future.
“There is talk for long term plans to develop that northern section of the park and add parking facilities and add lighting facilities,” he said. “That is a long range goal at this time, but if we open that entrance, we want to do it right. We want to be able to make safety a priority, be able to light that property properly and be able to monitor it properly too.”
In the meantime, there are three ways you can access the north side of the park. You can enter at the Pleasant Ridge Trailhead, Railyard Bike Park or the main entrance on Walnut Street.
“While they may need to travel a little further to get there, the result at the end of the day is a safer park and a park we can all enjoy,” Cline said. “It’s a good place to come out and be in nature for sure.”
If there’s something you want to know about in your community, we want to investigate it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@knwa.com.