Woolsey Wet Prairie

Birds of Interest

Woolsey Wet Prairie is an excellent birding site for numerous wetland and open country birds. 

About this Location

Woolsey Wet Prairie Wildlife Sanctuary is a wetland mitigation site adjacent Fayetteville's West Side Wastewater Treatment Facility. It is a former seasonal wetland associated with tallgrass prairie habitat. The 46-acre wetlands project is attractive to birds otherwise hard to find in a rapidly developing urban environment. It is also a biologically-rich landscape. Plant surveys had documented 431 species (up to 2013) including at least 8 plant species tracked as elements of conservation concern (rare species) by Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Most are sedges (family Cyperaceae) and all are characteristic of prairie remnants. UA-Fayetteville researchers have documented numerous rare and unusual snakes, frogs, and salamanders. Osage burrowing crawfish – an endemic species associated with seasonal wetlands here – are common.

Woolsey currently 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. Earthen berms provide a good walking surface throughout the 46 acres. Crews from the West Side plant maintain the walking areas. 

The starting point is the intersection of highway 16W (Wedington Road) and I-49 in Fayetteville. Take Wedington (16W west) approximately 1.7 miles to Broyles Avenue. Turn left (south) onto Broyles. Travel on Broyles to Fayetteville's West Side Wastewater Treatment Facility at 15 S. Broyles Ave, Fayetteville 72704 (1.0-1.1 mile). Turn right into the drive to the facility, then make the first right turn, which is a short dead end (before you reach the main gate). This is on the south end of Woolsey Wet Prairie Wildlife Sanctuary. 


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Northwest Arkanas Audubon Society article