News Releases

Mississippi River State Park Closer to Becoming a Reality

February 24, 2004

Mississippi River State Park Closer to Becoming a Realty
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Senator Stephen Higginbothom and Representative John Eason, both of Marianna, and Representative Barbara King of Helena announced today the Arkansas Legislative Council has approved "the establishment, development and operation of the Mississippi River State Park." The park will be located in the St. Francis National Forest between Marianna and Helena/West Helena in partnership with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. The project has already been approved by Governor Mike Huckabee and Department of Finance and Administration Director Richard Weiss. With approval of the legislative council, the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism can now enter into a Special Use Permit Agreement with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service.

Development of the park will be phased in, beginning with the preparation of plans and specifications by Cromwell Architects Engineers Inc. of Little Rock. Phase One will include a visitors center, campground and day-use area renovations, construction of a bathhouse, a concession area, a river observation area, trails, picnic pavilions, an amphitheatre and a playground. Plans also call for the renovation of the group camp area, renovation and expansion of the maintenance area, construction of employee residences, plus utility and road development. Park officials estimate the design process will take 12 to 18 months, with the construction and renovations taking another 12 to 18 months. Phase One development costs are estimated at $7 million dollars and are funded by the 1994 and 1996 1/8-cent Conservation Tax Plan.

For additional information, contact State Parks Director Greg Butts at (501) 682-7743 (, Planning and Development Manager Stan Graves at (501) 682-1633 ( or Chief Parks Planner Rex Friedman at (501) 682-6939 (


Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201, (501) 682-7606

May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
"Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism"