Located at: 17724 Interstate 30 Suite 5A
Benton, Arkansas 72019
Phone: (501) 315-9009
Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary (WWPS) is a wetland mitigation site
adjacent to Fayetteville's West Side Wastewater Treatment Facility.
WWPS is a former seasonal wetland associated with Tallgrass Prairie
habitat. The area is open and attractive to birds otherwise hard to find
in an urban environment. WWPS consists of a series of shallow wet
cells separated by earthen berms. The many ‘islands’ are actually
prairie mounds that are a natural feature of unplowed or moderately
plowed former prairies. Native plant diversity is very high and Osage
burrowing crawfish, an endemic species associated with seasonal
wetlands, are common. The earthen berms provide a good walking
surface throughout the 40-plus acres.
WWPS has become an excellent birding site for numerous wetland and
open country bird species. A growing list of birds recorded here
include, American and Least Bittern, Sora, American-Golden Plover,
Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Short-eared Owl, Sedge and Marsh
Wrens, American Pipit, Common Yellowthroat, Vesper, Le Conte’s, and
Lincoln’s Sparrows. The state's first recorded Brewer's Sparrow was
found here on December 2, 2011.
The walking is easy, but it can be damp or wet in places, so wear boots
or something you don't mind getting wet. There are no bathrooms or
other facilities. Visitors with walking limitations will find the berms easy
On August 8, 2009, Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary was awarded the
Governor’s 2009 Corporate Conservationist of the Year by the
Arkansas Wildlife Federation. This prestigious award is granted for
excellence in protecting and managing the wildlife and natural
resources in Arkansas.
To reach the south end of Woolsey Wet Prairie Sanctuary:
From the intersection of Wedington Drive (Ark. 16W) and I-540 in
Fayetteville. Take Wedington Drive west approximately 1.7 miles to
Broyles Avenue. Turn left (south) onto Broyles Avenue until you reach
Fayetteville's West Side Wastewater Facility (1.0-1.1 mile). Turn right
into the drive to the facility, then take the first right turn, which is a short
dead-end (before you reach the main gate of the facility) park here.