Landscape Architects, Architects, Exhibit Design, Master Planning  

The Gates Rogers Property is a 64 +/- acre tract located on a peninsula on Greer’s Ferry Lake in Van Buren County, Arkansas. As part of the Foundation’s effort to preserve and protect ecologically sensitive areas, the Visitor Center incorporates a number of environmentally friendly or “green” building concepts. To minimize site disturbance including site clearing and grading, the visitor center structure is integrated into the existing hillside with the building walls retaining approximately 5 feet of earth. This places the visitor center on the site with a minimum amount of disturbance and preserves the desirable views to the west.

The core area also includes an outdoor plaza and patio located outside the west doors of the visitor center. This patio provides a native landscaped area which serves as a starting point for the trails that wind through the site. Also located in the plaza is a memorial dedicated to Foundation benefactors Victor Gates and Verne Rogers. To provide an outdoor congregating area for small groups, an amphitheater located to the south and west of the visitor center provides an opportunity for outdoor lectures and demonstrations. A covered pavilion just above the amphitheater area serves as a shelter for outdoor gathering in the event of inclement weather.

The parking area provides vehicular requirements stated in the program utilizing most compact area possible. Locating the parking area on a relatively gently sloped area minimizes the need for large cut and fills and screens the parking lot from the trails and interpretive areas to the north and east. Permeable and light colored paving will minimize the heat gain effects from the parking area and prevent storm water from entering the ecologically sensitive area below the visitor center.