Eureka Springs, is the "City that Water Built," established for the restorative and healing properties attributed to its dozens of cold water springs. Early accounts detailed the health-giving mineral waters, many with specific cures attributed to them. Sacred to Native American groups, particularly the Osage, they attracted Ozark settlers in the 1870's, and the City of Eureka Springs was founded and name on July 4th, 1879.
In 1980, the Arkansas State Health Department prohibited access to consumption of the springs waters due to pollution. The sources of the pollution were development, faulty sewer lines, old septic systems, and run-off. To solve the predicament, the springs were fenced to prevent access. Water fountains plumbed to city water lines were placed at each spring.
In the early 1980's, a concerted effort by a group, Concerned Citizens, endeavored to educate the citizens of Eureka Springs of the importance for individual stewardship of our local watershed. The Springs Committee has been working diligently to document, research, educate and inform a plan to reconcile our city's most precious resource, in our fragile ecosystem; a honeycomb of Karst geological features. Ultimately whatever goes on the ground leaches its way to the spring water. Hence the spring water in Eureka Springs has probably been contaminated since White settlers first arrived.
In 2005, the Springs Committee of the Parks and Recreation Commission was founded with the purpose of bringing the springs forward. It has been involved in numerous monitoring and educational activities and was presented with a Preservation Award from the Eureka Springs Preservation Society for their successful"Celebrate the Springs" event held over 3 days in June of 2012
The Springs Committee is comprised of volunteer members that meet monthly, including Steven Foster. Jamie Froelich, Jim Helwig, Joe Scott, John Tarasuk, and Parks Director, Justin Huss. Our collective heritage challenges us to keep the springs in the forefront of public awareness. Restoration and preservation of our springs is an opportunity to pass on the quality of life of Eureka Springs to future generations. To highlight the importance of the springs, the Springs Committee was formed in 2005 by the Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission with representatives from the Preservation Society, Planning Commission, and other interested individuals.
The Springs Committee meets every second Wednesday 4:30 at Harmon Park Office
For questions please contact Eureka Parks Office at 479-253-2866