Barling agreed to support a public park for the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education on Tuesday.

The Barling Board of Directors voted to approve a letter of support from the city to ACHE for a public park on the Barling side of the ACHE campus during its regular meeting.

Jackie Krutsch, ACHE executive director of development, said the letter would be for an Arkansas Department of Transportation Recreational Trails Program grant for which the college is going to be applying.

"When we first built the medical school back in 2016, we were required, of course, to have a detention pond to catch the storm water," Krutsch said. "That water was collected in an approximately two-acre lake or pond on the Barling side of Chad Colley Boulevard, really kind of toward the back of our property or the easternmost boundaries of our property. That detention pond, because of the levee that was built and the way it was designed just really screams, 'Walking trail, walking trail, walking trail.'"

Krutsch said ACHE wanted to consider that when it started looking at what to do with that land and terrain. It also wanted to have a place for celebrations of its anatomical donors.

"So there'll be kind of a memorial garden as part of the park, as well as playground equipment and adult exercise equipment," Krutsch said. "But the ... grant that we're proposing at this point is really a phase one of this park development. ... It's approximately a quarter mile around the lake for the walking trail."

Krutsch said although this will be a public park, it will be maintained by ACHE.

In the letter of support, Barling City Administrator Mike Tanner said ACHE, which he described as a growing institution, is an asset to the entire region, and, as such, deserves Barling's support.

"The addition of parks and trails enhances the city and contributes to the health and well being of our citizens and to our economic growth," Tanner said.