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City of North Little Rock History

Burns Park Covered Bridge

Known only as "opposite Little Rock" until the Civil War, North Little Rock grew as a crossroads that linked river and overland traffic. In 1866, surveyed and platted, an unincorporated town of mills, factories, hotels and saloons became known as the town of Argenta. In 1890, the community of Argenta filed papers to incorporate as a city. However, Argenta's southern neighbor, across the Arkansas River, quickly passed legislation to annex the little town and make it the eighth ward of that city. Years later a group of north side businessmen led by William C. Faucette (who was elected to the Arkansas state legislature) introduced a bill to allow a new city to be created by annexing the eighth ward of Little Rock. In 1903 North Little Rock and Argenta town residents voted to merge. Little Rock mounted a court challenge, but on February 6, 1904, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the 1903 merger of North Little Rock and Argenta (named for silver mines), with more than 8,000 residents. In January of 1906 North Little Rock changes its name to Argenta, but in October 1917 renamed itself back to North Little Rock. Visit the History and Historic Commission's page for information on historic buildings, landmarks and sites, learn more about the colorful stories of the people and places that shaped the North Little Rock of today.

Currently, North Little Rock has a population of 62,304+, with approximately 54.6 square miles of diverse, charming and affordable neighborhoods, beautiful lakes, outstanding parks and recreational facilities, walking and bicycling trails on the picturesque riverfront along the Arkansas River, linked by the Big Dam Bridge to trails in Little Rock, minor league baseball at its finest in the Dickey-Stephens ballpark which opened on April 12, 2007, the historic USS Razorback Submarine which is open for tours, a rapidly growing downtown business and historic residential district, many churches and faith based organizations, and substantial business, industry, entertainment facilities and restaurants which flourish throughout the city.

Residents enjoy a wholesome quality of life, safe neighborhoods with organized neighborhood associations, outstanding services and facilities for our youth and seniors, downtown revitalization, booming economic development activities, exciting riverfront development, and a terrific sense of community pride evidenced by our city's recognition as a Volunteer Community of the Year.

A progressive political climate under the leadership of the Mayor exists today, creating a high level of public confidence in the responsiveness of our Mayor and elected officials. Close working relationships among city, school district, and business partners (including the Chamber of Commerce) continues to earn respect and success for our Mayor/City Council form of government.

North Little Rock Today

The city utilizes a land use master plan, zoning ordinances, promotes responsible fiscal management, aggressively pursues new economic development opportunities, maintains a professional, community-oriented police and fire departments and emergency services agency, supports community development projects, encourages public involvement in government issues, promotes responsible curbside and hazardous waste recycling, and maintains an active code enforcement, all key ingredients to keeping the city running smoothly. To view the North Little Rock Ward Boundaries click here.

Economic Development

North Little Rock is in the center of central Arkansas economic activity. With the 8th best manufacturing climate in the nation, and given the fact that North Little Rock has the state's largest indoor mall and is strategically located within a day's drive of nearly 2/3 of the entire U.S., population, business is good! North Little Rock enjoys a diverse business and industry base which creates a steady-growing local economy. Arkansas ranks among the five lowest states in the nation in overall per capita tax burden.

A large part of North Little Rock is in the federally designated Pulaski County Empowerment. One of only thirty urban areas nationwide to receive an Empowerment Zone designation from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This designation brings with it significant federal tax incentives to promote economic development and create jobs. The Pulaski County Empowerment Zone is designed to support growth and revitalization opportunities for distressed areas of communities, and is part of a business tax incentive package.

Economic and business development organizations such as the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce , the North Little Rock Economic Development Agency, Main Street Argenta, and the Argenta CDC Downtown are helping boost our economy to new levels.

  • The Chamber of Commerce made a strong commitment to downtown development when it located offices in the remodeled building at 100 Main Street. The Chamber building at "Commerce Corner", which also houses the North Little Rock Economic Development Corporation, is an attraction in its own right as it welcomes people entering North Little Rock over the Main Street Bridge.
  • River Rail Trolley Service between North Little Rock and Little Rock links the two downtown historic areas. The Vintage Replica Steetcars are the perfect way to go between the many downtown attractions such as those on the North Side: the Arkansas Art Gallery, The Baker House Bed and Breakfast as well as many on the Little Rock side including: The Museum of Discovery, The Clinton Presidential Center, Heifer International Headquarters, and many more.

Recreation and Entertainment

Burns Soccer

Located in the center of Arkansas' business and cultural center, North Little Rock offers the most diverse recreation and entertainment venues in the state. Thanks to mild seasonal temperatures, you'll enjoy year-round outdoor activities at places like Burns Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the nation, with 1,700 acres of lighted ball fields, hiking trails, fishing, a 36-hole championship golf course, a 29 court tennis facility, and an amusement park, (Funland). Recreational Opportunities abound at North Little Rock as well as Sports Activities along with a unique Urban Equestrian Trail, Scenic River Trail, Emerald Park Mountain Bike, and Multi Use Trails as listed in our Brochure. (PDF)
For more information on attractions
Explore North Little Rock, contact our North Little Rock Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 5511, North Little Rock, AR 72119
or by calling 1-800-643-4690, or visit the website at www.northlittlerock.travel.

  • The new 17-field soccer complex located between White Oak Bayou and the Arkansas River has irrigated fields, concession facilities, restrooms, parking for each field, four lighted fields, nine pavilions, and preserved wetlands.
  • North Shore Riverwalk offers a wide variety of adaptable uses. The Riverwalk offers a picturesque promenade and the beginning of a seven mile pedestrian/bicycle trail featuring the Arkansas River as a backdrop. The site offers event planners a built-in speaker system, amphitheatre pad, utilities and permanent restroom facilities.
  • The Arkansas River Trail unites Little Rock and North Little Rock. Completed in 2006, The Big Dam Bridge, a bike and pedestrian bridge crosses over the Murray Lock and Dam. The trail is a 15 mile loop completed in 2011. This trail offers Little Rock and North Little Rock citizens and visitors a wonderful recreational opportunity.
  • The North River Landing, a 60-foot wide boat launching ramp and fishing pier, is located beside the Interstate 30 bridge over the river. This was a result of a joint project with the City of North Little Rock and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Safety

With safety a top priority, the city is proud of its well-trained community-oriented police and fire departments as well as the Office of Emergency Services and Dispatchers.

Over 200 full-time North Little Rock Police officers patrol and protect the public safety, utilizing state-of-the-art on board computers, teaching critical public education programs, and exhibiting a high level of professionalism.

North Little Rock Fire Departments employs 148 firefighters who staff 10 neighborhood fire stations, maintaining a Class 2 ISO rating with specialized teams trained in hazardous materials (haz mat), high angle, and confined space rescue, and 2 Advanced Life Support (ALS) trucks manned by (2) of the 12 paramedic personnel. The department has two boats that respond to emergencies on the Arkansas River and surrounding lakes. The department is actively involved in teaching fire prevention and education to all age groups, with special emphasis on grade school children. This is accomplished with a mobile house that teaches evacuation and escape from residential fires, as well as severe weather awareness.

Office of Emergency Services Emergency Management and 9-1-1 Communications Center uses state-of-the-art equipment for efficient handling of all emergency calls for Fire, Police and Medical. A 9-1-1 comprehensive system for emergency telephone requests and coordination for emergency management during disaster exists in the same facility. Public Safety Dispatchers are responsible for answering 911 calls, rendering assistance to citizens and ensuring the safety of emergency responders.


City of North Little Rock
City Services

120 Main Street
P.O. BOX 936
North Little Rock, AR 72115
Phone: (501) 975-8888
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