Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

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

Friday, November 15, 2013

NW Arkansas Razorback Greenway Comes to Life

Years of planning and millions of dollars are bringing the Razorback Greenway close to completion. The result will be 36 interconnected miles of paved trails reaching from south Fayetteville to Bella Vista. Untold miles of side trails will carry users to the Razorback.

Between the two cities mentioned, the trail will run through Johnson, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville.

A $15 million grant from the U.S. Transportation Department’s Investment Generating Economic Recovery Fund was offered if an equal amount in matching funds could be raised. The Walton Family Foundation, a longtime supporter of trails and greenways, pledged $15 million to make the grant possible. Additionally, the Walton Family Foundation gave approximately $8 million to hire a planning and design team early in the formation process to ensure overall guidance. Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and many of the six affected cities also provided funding.

The Razorback Greenway connects the University of Arkansas, several hospitals and schools, NW Arkansas’ big three headquarters (Wal-Mart, Tyson, and J.B. Hunt), parks and playgrounds, art and entertainment venues and much more. People will have increased opportunities to bike to jobs and use the trail for lunchtime exercise.

Some people might question the feasibility of spending so much money on trails. Yes, it’s true highways and secondary roads are needed. It’s also true that not everyone bikes, walks or runs for exercise and enjoyment.

However, the reality is that the Razorback Greenway will be a major economic boon to Northwest Arkansas. In fact, the boon has started. A few cafes and bicycle shops were the first to open businesses along the trail. That’s only natural.

Visitors are already coming to NW Arkansas to take advantage of the trail, the beauty of the Ozarks, and the friendliness of our people. When they come here, they bring money with them to spend for restaurants, lodging, recreation, and shopping. Studies show proximity to trails and open space increases property values and marketability of homes.

Need I even mention the health benefits achieved by local residents using the trail to bike, walk, and jog? Having opportunities to be outside and enjoying nature improves mental health as well. Build an accessible and safe greenway and people will use it.

Some estimates run as high as $100 million in increased revenue for NW Arkansas. I have to question how that can be determined at this early stage. But I am confident economic benefits, including job creation, will increase to a major degree. It has happened in other cities across the nation. It will happen here.

For more information:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

University of Arkansas--Growing and Getting Better All the Time

Fayetteville is on many ‘best places’ lists and part of what contributes to the quality of life here is the presence of the University of Arkansas. Academic accolades, awards, grant money and high rankings in many areas have been pouring in. Turns out Razorback sports are not the only reason the U of A shines. (But let’s face it, Razorback sports are a major force here.)

In terms of enrollment, U of A is the 13th fastest growing public research university in the country. Fall 2013 semester preliminary student count is more than 25,300 students. An earlier goal was to reach 25,000 students by 2021, in time to celebrate its sesquicentennial.

The number of minority students is also increasing. A recent count showed about 4,500 minority students enrolled, an 80% increase since 2008.

Approximately $450 million has been spent since 2011 to renovate, expand and build facilities to keep up with growth. It’s nice to see the impressive results as the scaffolding, fences, and temporary detours come down. No matter where one looks, it seems there’s no end to ‘new’ category: classrooms, enlarged dining facilities, dorms and off-campus housing to name a few.

The best part of all is that quality has not been comprised to accommodate growth. Indeed, the university’s reputation is also growing.

Millions of dollars in grants have been awarded to U of A by Dept. of Defense, National Science Foundation, Dept. of Energy and others.

New tenure track and non-tenure track positions have been added.

As U of A continues to grow, so does NW Arkansas. Adding more jobs, homes, businesses, and schools all contribute to the vibrancy of our communities.

Way to go Hogs!

For more information on some of these achievements:

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Bikes, Blues and BBQ – September 18-21, 2013 -- in Fayetteville

The huge BBBQ motorcycle rally is coming to beautiful Fayetteville, Arkansas, again—and soon. In fact, it is one week earlier than usual this year. Be sure your calendar is marked for September 18-21. BBBQ has become one of the premier rallies in the country. Hundreds of thousands of folks participate and watch whether they have a bike or not.

Music starts at 4 p.m., Wednesday, September 18th and doesn’t stop until midnight Saturday. Even then the festivities continue with the Miss BBB contest.

If you want an earlier start for great music, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackberry Smoke will be performing at a pre-rally on Thursday, September 12th at the AMP (Arkansas Music Pavilion) located at Washington County Fairgrounds.

The Fairgrounds is the official campground for the BBBQ rally. There you will find Beer Gardens, free music, and the barbecue contest on Friday. Free shuttle service is offered to all the Dickson Street action.

There are special events for women such as “trying on” a Harley or Yamaha. Other activities you won’t want to miss include a car show featuring customs, street rods, and vintage vehicles. Two Poker Runs will be sponsored by Fayetteville Fire Fighters. The Stokes Air Bike Show will showcase more types of bikes than most of us can imagine.

And the Parade of Power is usually incredible (you might want to bring some ear protection).

Since the first BBQ rally was held in 2000, more than $600,000 has been raised and donated to local charities. This year is no different. All proceeds will be donated to organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, NWA Free Health Clinic, Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club, Horses for Healing and many more.

It’s fair to say there is something for everyone. Music, food, sights to see, and beautiful weather join together to make the rally memorable. BBBQ has always prided itself on being family friendly so bring the kids and enjoy your time together.

For more information:

Events Schedule (be sure to scroll down to see events already scheduled)
Official Blog with information about the Pre-Rally Party

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pig Trail Named #2 on Discovery.com’s List of Top Ten Motorcycle Rides in North America

If you’ve ever been sightseeing in NW Arkansas, chances are you have driven the Pig Trail. It’s a truly scenic section of Hwy. 23, between Brashears on the north end and Ozark on the south end. It can be easily accessed from Hwy. 16 in southeast Fayetteville or from Ozark on I-40. 

Hwy 23 continues north to Missouri and south towards Little Rock but the section known as the Pig Trail is less than 20 miles long. It features curves of all shapes and sizes with inclines and declines to hold your interest. The flowering trees in spring and beautiful fall foliage are awesome. You’ll see the Mulberry River, Boston Mountains and Ozark National Forest.  The trail is paved and virtually devoid of commercial development.
Though the Pig Trail is well known in these parts, it’s interesting to note that The Discovery Channel has recently named the trail #2 on its list of Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in all of North America. That is something to brag about.

I think Bikes, Blues and BBQ Festival held in Fayetteville each September has brought more publicity to the trail. Hundreds of thousands people converge on NWA and surely many of them carried stories back home about our Pig Trail.

I’ll be writing more about Bikes, Blues and BBQ around the end of August or first week in September. Mark your calendar for September 18-21 if you want to reserve the dates. (It's a week earlier this year).

And in the "quality of life" department--check my other blog for more details on new kudos awarded to Fayetteville by Livability.com: #9 college town and #8 barbecue. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Get Ready for Shopping this Weekend: Arkansas State Sales Tax Holiday August 3-4 Only

Heads up everyone. Whether you have a child in school or not, you can purchase a multitude of items without paying sales tax for two days only: Saturday and Sunday, August 3-4, 2013. If you want best selection without a crowd, you can start at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. The 48-hour “Sales Tax Holiday” ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, August 4.

This is the second year Arkansas has declared this sales tax holiday. Last year was highly successful and saved residents a considerable amount of money. I’m happy to tell you a little more here so you do not miss out on this opportunity.

The sales tax holiday is primarily meant for back-to-school supplies and clothing. However, the categories are so broad, people from all walks of life can avail themselves for two days of buying without sales tax added on.

All Arkansas retailers are required by law to observe the sales tax holiday.

Here’s a partial list of eligible purchases:
·         All the usual school supplies, including calculators and art supplies, without limit.
·         All clothing, footwear, underwear, coats and jackets, swimsuits, up to $100 per item.
·         Diapers, disposable and non-disposable.
·         Jewelry, handbags, briefcases, sunglasses, accessories, hair notions, cosmetics, up to $50 per item.
·         Wedding apparel, up to $100 per item.

Get your shopping lists prepared. This bonanza will not be back for a whole year!

Rules, lists of eligible and non-eligible items, and examples are available here:

To access this document, you will need to download Adobe Reader if you do not already have it. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Four NW Arkansas Schools Make List of Top High Schools in Country

There are approximately 20,000 to 25,000 public high schools in America. I have to use the word ‘approximately’ because no matter which source I referenced I found no current, accurate statistics. Oh well, most folks don’t like statistics anyway. The point is, there are a lot of high schools.

Newsweek and The Daily Beast have recently published their annual list of best high schools in the country; that is to say, the best schools in preparing students to enter college. Their goal was to find the top 2,000 schools. To accomplish that, they analyzed data submitted by 2,500 schools. (All public high schools were eligible to submit data.)

The good news is that Arkansas has twelve high schools ranked in the top 2,000. Northwest Arkansas has four schools in the elite group:

#      83 Haas Hall Academy, Fayetteville
#    799 Fayetteville High School
#    915 Bentonville High School
# 1,757 Pea Ridge High School

I feel it is important to note that all four schools are open enrollment, not selective as is the case with some other schools listed in the top 2,000. The highest ranking Arkansas school was the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs, at number 13.

Here is the complete list of top ranking high schools in the US.