Pools Open Friday, May 26

Thu, May 18, 2017 | Recreation

We’ve been working diligently to prepare the Bella Vista outdoor pools for the season. The Kingsdale family pool was recently re-plastered.  Staff have been busy painting, cleaning and sprucing up pool decks, locker rooms, and grounds and filling our outdoor pools to be ready for opening day, Friday, May 26. Pools will be open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Preserving The Future Of Our Parks and Infrastructure

Thu, May 11, 2017 | POA News

On May 18th the POA Board of Directors will take a vote on the proposed purchase of 14 parcels of land from Cooper Communities, Inc.  Here are some of the critical parks and infrastructure covered in this proposed purchase:

  • Tanyard Creek Park
  • Granton Park
  • Loch Lomond Park
  • The dock and boat parking at Lake Windsor
  • Three quarters of the large parking lot at Kingsdale
  • Portions of Scotsdale and Metfield Golf Courses
  • The golf course maintenance buildings at the Country Club and Golf Central

The POA hired an independent appraiser to determine the market value of the 14 parcels.  The purchase price, which is based upon the appraisal, is $2,646,500.  The POA will fund the entire purchase through reserves.

All 14 parcels are currently leased by the POA from Cooper Communities, Inc.  All but one of these leases expires at the end of this year.  While the POA has leased these parcels from Cooper Communities, Inc. for years, this is no guarantee for the future of these critical parks and infrastructure.  While Cooper Communities, Inc. has always been cooperative with the POA each time these leases expire, this does not ensure that a future owner of these parcels will be as cooperative.  In order to preserve the future of these parks and critical infrastructure, the POA took the forward-thinking approach of purchasing these parcels.

In an effort to be completely transparent regarding this transaction, a map and the corresponding appraisal for each parcel can be found by going to:



Extensive Damage to Berksdale Golf Course

Thu, May 11, 2017 | POA News

The recent flooding has once again caused a considerable amount of damage to Berksdale Golf Course.  At this time, we estimate it will cost more than $500,000 to get Berksdale operational.  Unfortunately, none of these repairs will provide a long-term solution to the damage caused by flooding.  With so much development upstream, it is anticipated that each time we experience a flood, the POA will need to spend a significant amount of money to get Berksdale operational each time.  Even if we were to start immediately to get Berksdale open, it would take at least six months to complete the work, which means we would still lose the most important months of the golfing season.  Fortunately, the courses further downstream, Kingswood and the Country Club, received much less severe damage.

The POA Board of Directors has decided to maintain Berksdale Golf Course at a limited level and preserve the beauty of the area, while a hydrological study is conducted on Berksdale and the other course located in the flood plain (Kingswood and the Country Club).  Additionally, the Board will develop feasibility studies to investigate and consider alternative uses for the land.  In the coming months, we plan to hold town hall style meetings so that we can receive input from the community.  We ask for your patience as we work quickly to get all the information necessary to make an informed and long-term decision for Berksdale and the other courses in the flood plain.

Volunteers Needed: Clean Up After The Flood Damage

Mon, May 1, 2017 | POA News


With the flooding over the weekend, we are in need of volunteers to help clean up several areas. If you are willing and able, please show up at the following locations:

Veterans Wall of Honor
Scotsdale Golf Course
Highlands Golf Course

Tuesday, May 2
Meet at 8:00 a.m. (parking lots of locations)
Please bring your own gloves, rakes and other tools necessary for cleanup efforts.

At this time we are still determining the extent of the damage, safety hazards and accessibility for Berksdale, Kingswood and the Country Club. We will send a follow-up notice once we have scheduled the cleanup efforts for these courses.

Granton Landing Small Boat Rack

Thu, April 27, 2017 | Lakes and Parks

The new small boat rack is nearly complete and will be available for use beginning on Monday, May 1. The upper rack and the lower right quadrant will be used for kayaks, canoes, and other narrow boats, while the lower left quadrant will be used for paddle boats and jon boats. Boat owners are required to provide their own means of attachment for security. Yearly fees are $67.00 and can be paid through membership services. Racks are also available near the Avalon Park, Ann Park, London Landing, and Pontoon Park. Future upgrades will be based on the success of this project.

New kayak and small boat rack at Granton Landing Loch Lomond

Species Profile – Gizzard Shad

Wed, April 26, 2017 | Lakes and Parks

Scientific Name:               Dorosoma cepedianum

Common Name(s):         Gizzard Shad, Shad



The gizzard shad, Dorosoma cepedianum, is commonly mistaken for the similar threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense.  They can be easily distinguished by the overhanging upper jaw in the gizzard shad, and by the absence of yellow coloration in the gizzard shad’s fins.  Adult gizzard shad in Arkansas usually range from 12-16 inches and weigh less than one pound.  Maximum size is around 20 inches and 3.5 lbs., with the current state record at 2 lbs. 14 oz. from the White River.  The gizzard shad has a thin, compressed, oblong body with a silvery-green coloration on the back, fading to plain silver on the belly.  The fin on the back of the fish has a long, thin filament sticking out past the rest of the fin.  The tail fin is deeply forked.  It has a large dark spot on the shoulder and the fins are grayish in color.





The gizzard shad is native to most of the Mississippi River drainage and the eastern United States.  They occur in many different habitats including lakes, rivers, streams, and clear or turbid waters.  Gizzard shad can be found in strong currents, but they favor calm deeper water.


The Gizzard Shad is one of Arkansas’ most adaptable species, occurring in a diversity of habitats; however, they do not cope well with sudden temperature changes or low oxygen levels.  Young shad are excellent food for predatory fish, but adults are often too big to be utilized as food.

In Arkansas, spawning occurs in April through May.  Most spawning occurs at night near the surface, usually in shallower water.  Females and males swim together in a school and release eggs and sperm.  They have adhesive eggs that sink to the bottom and become attached to whatever substrate they touch.  Adults do not take care of the eggs or young.  Eggs tend to hatch faster in warmer water.

The gizzard shad is a forager, consuming plankton and particulate matter they filter from the water by their gills. They can also graze over the bottom consuming aquatic insects and detritus.

Gizzard shad have negative impacts on ecosystems where they compete for food with different species.  They also have been known to increase phytoplankton levels, consequently increasing turbidity and impacting visual predators.  Since gizzard shad are quick to overpopulate and can grow rapidly, some management techniques have been used to help control populations like the stocking of larger predatory species such as striped bass.  Late winter shad kills are common due to low temperatures and starvation.


Special Notes:

Here in Bella Vista, gizzard shad have not been stocked in any of the lakes.  Their presence is the result of well intentioned, but uninformed anglers.  Deleterious effects far outweigh any of the benefits they bring.  “Because of its direct use of phytoplankton and high reproductive capacity, the gizzard shad has been a prime candidate for introduction to waters which lack a major forage base for gamefishes.  However, due to their rapid growth, gizzard shad are available to most predators for only a short time, thus they are less esteemed as forage than are threadfin shad” (Jenkins and Burkhead1993).  We have an abundance of large individuals that actively filter off plankton making it unusable to young gamefish that require it.  In addition competition for resources has left these large adults in poor condition and as a result nonreproductive.  Result: many large adults and few consumable young.  Threadfin shad only survive about 50% of our winters, so long term establishment is impossible.  Better species are the bluegill which spawn up to 5 times per year and the brook silversides which are numerous in Bella Vista Lakes.  Our stepped up fertilization regime will help stimulate the shad to spawn, but it would be better if they weren’t present.  They are found in all lakes and their populations are maintained naturally.  As bait, they are mainly used dead, because they often die quickly after being handled. They like deep, open water so they can easily be caught with gill nets. Many fisherman use them as bait for trotlines.


Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead.  1993.  Freshwater fishes of Virginia.  American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.

Water Exercise Classes

Wed, April 19, 2017 | Recreation

At Kingsdale Outdoor Pool this Summer
Looking for a fun workout without putting a lot of stress on your joints? Several water fitness classes will be held this summer at Kingsdale Outdoor Pool, 1 Riordan Dr., in Bella Vista.  These water fitness classes are for adults of all skill levels. Participants are lead through a series of cardio, strength and flexibility exercises in fairly shallow water; no need to know how to swim to attend. Participants will modify to their own fitness level. Exercising in water provides 15 times the resistance of exercising out of the pool; it can also prevent overheating through continuous cooling of the body. Participants should bring a water bottle, water shoes, a hat and sun block and their 2017 outdoor pool pass.
T & Th 9 to 9:45 a.m. Aqua Aerobics with Sara Macik starting May 30
M-W-F 10 to 10:45 a.m. AM Water Fitness Class with Rose Scott starting June 5
T & Th 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. PM Water Fitness Class with Donna Mayberry starting May 30
 The above classes will be held through the month of August. Class punch cards are required for outdoor pool classes and are available for purchase at Riordan Hall.  Each class requires a specific, 10-class punch card and are available for $50.  A 2017 Outdoor Pool pass is also required to participate in these 45 minute classes.
For additional information on these and all fitness classes contact the Recreation office at (479) 855-5073.

Toddler and Me Swim Lessons 

Tue, April 18, 2017 | Recreation

Lessons will be offered to children age 9 months to 3 years by Donna Mayberry, a water safety-certified swim instructor, who will facilitate the learning process in a fun, relaxed environment and will help new swimmers become comfortable and safe in and around water. Songs and games introduce beginner swim skills, such as kicking, splashing and blowing bubbles, which creates a fun, positive experience for young children in the pool. These lessons emphasize positive reinforcement and progress at a comfortable pace for the child. An adult is required to be in the water with each child, at all times and swim diapers are required for all children who are not toilet trained.

Toddler and Me lessons are $60 for Members of Bella Vista POA and $65 for Non-Members. Class space is limited to 10 adult/child teams. Session lessons have been scheduled Monday through Thursday mornings at 10:15 a.m. the week of July 3 at Metfield Outdoor Pool, 1 Hilltop Drive. An evening session will be offered on two consecutive Tuesday and Thursday evenings, July 11, 13, 18 and 20 beginning at 6:25 p.m. at Kingsdale Pool, 1 Riordan Drive.

To register for any of these swim lessons, please visit Riordan Hall, 3 Riordan Drive in Bella Vista on or after Saturday, April 22. Waiver of liability must be signed and all class fees must be paid at the time of registration. Lesson times cannot be held due to the high demand of service. Registration must be cancelled more than seven days prior to the start of the class in order to receive a refund. A 25% processing fee will be charged in the case of any refund. Those wishing to enroll in a class that has already been filled will be wait listed.

Youth Swim Lessons at Outdoor Pools

Tue, April 18, 2017 | Recreation

Available at Kingsdale and Metfield Outdoor Pools
Looking for swim lessons for your child or grandchild this summer? Morning swim lessons for children ages 3 to 12 are available at Metfield Outdoor Pool, 1 Hilltop Drive, and early evening lessons are available at Kingsdale Outdoor Pool, 1 Riordan Drive. Registration opens on Saturday, April 22 at 9 a.m. at the Kids Summer Activity Sign-Up Day at Riordan Hall, 3 Riordan Dr. in Bella Vista. Registration will continue after April 22 until spots are filled. Each session is $60 for Members of Bella Vista POA and $65 for Non-Members. Waiver of liability must be signed and all class fees must be paid at the time of registration. Lesson times cannot be held due to the high demand of service. Registration must be cancelled more than seven days prior to the start of the class in order to receive a refund. A 25% processing fee will be charged in the case of any refund. Those wishing to enroll in a class that has already been filled will be wait listed.

Tent Camping and RV Park at Blowing Springs Park

Mon, April 17, 2017 | Recreation

Check out the NEW Tent Camping at Blowing Springs Park

Want a fun, economical way to entertain the family this spring and summer?  Bring the kids and your tent and try a night or two camping the old fashioned way.  We have 12 sites available at Blowing Springs Park — each grassy area spot comes with a picnic table, camp fire pit and parking spot. No water or electric is available immediate to these primitive spots but access is available within the park. You will also have access to the restrooms/showers. Cost is $11 per tent, per night for POA Members or $15 per tent, per night for Non-Members. Reservations are available by calling 479-855-8075.

Reservations now available at Blowing Springs Campground

RV park & tent camping  

Blowing Springs Park is one of the outdoor jewels of Bella Vista and its popularity continues to grow. We’re excited to announce we are now accepting reservations for both our RV spots and our new primitive tent camping spots which have just launched in the park.

Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 479-855-8075 for reservations during the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Reservations require a 1 night’s stay deposit. Cancellations must be received by 3 p.m. – 2 days (48 hours) prior to the date of the arrival to receive a refund. No refunds will be given for reservations on peak holiday weekends such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and the weeks of Craft Fair in May and October.