Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Thursday, May 27, 2010

NW Arkansas is Getting Greener Every Day and Not Just Because It’s Spring

Mother Nature endowed the Ozarks with mountains, millions of green trees, lakes and rivers everywhere. This beauty and diversity calls people outdoors to enjoy it. It is heartening to know governments, corporations and individuals are working to preserve it all for generations to come.

You can walk, hike, mountain bike, or jog at your own pace on hundreds of miles of trails throughout NW Arkansas, many of which interconnect. Springdale has been a bit slower than other cities in building new trails, but now has plans under consideration to repair an old dam and reopen an existing trail around a lake. Additionally they may convert an empty building in the downtown area into a staging area connecting trails.

Green is more than just a buzzword in these parts. As everyone knows, NW Arkansas is the home of Walmart, one of the leaders in the sustainability movement here and throughout the country. Walmart’s membership-club arm, Sam’s Club, is a great illustration of green possibilities. The Fayetteville store showcases numerous environmentally sustainable features such as wastewater recycling, motion-sensor lighting, harvesting rain water for landscape plants, and more than 200 sky lights.

In 2007, Walmart Foundation gave a $1.5 million grant to fund The Applied Sustainability Center, based at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business. According to the Center’s web site, they have developed a broad-based coalition of partners to advance efforts in building and supporting an economy built around people, planet and profit.

The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce introduced a new program named the GreeNWAy Initiative to certify businesses that are going green. The GreeNWAy committee partnered with the City of Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), and the University of Arkansas Applied Sustainability Center to develop the certification process.

Some time back, many separate organizations joined together to form Green Valley Development in NW Arkansas. The idea is to bring together sustainability innovators, businesses, and technologies to coordinate resources and services for green companies to excel in the world market. Charter members include Walmart, several construction companies, banks, real estate companies, retailers, electric cooperatives and more.

What I’m trying to say is…

The continuing greening of NW Arkansas and adoption of sustainable policies is alive and well. It’s one of those things that make Fayetteville and NW Arkansas regular visitors to national “best places” (to live, retire, raise children, etc.) lists. And the green is one of those things that contribute to our high quality of life here.

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