Preserving and interpreting the role of the hardwood tree in the development of Fort Smith, the region, and the nation.
The Association was chartered by the state as a public benefit corporation on October 7, 2008 and was granted non-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service in 2009. The Association has a Board of Directors and museum goals scheduled in four phases:
Phase One (Ongoing) – Collecting and cataloging exhibit artifacts, documents, and interviews. Some items are already in storage and transcriptions are being made of digitized video interviews of hardwood tree experts and furniture industry leaders.
Phase Two (Completed) – The acquisition of a building site, south of the parking lot at the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, 8300 Wells Lake Road in Fort Smith.
Phase Three – Construction of the Herman J. Udouj Memorial Nature Trail, scheduled to be dedicated October 4, 2014; and the development of educational programs and outdoor activities in cooperation with the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, Forestry, Arbor Day programs, and the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
Phase Four: The design, financing, and construction of the museum facility and then providing for its staffing, maintenance, and day-to-day operations.