Thanks to Kate Ward and the Northwest Arkansas Times for good article on yesterday's gathering. This is an open meeting for public education and public input.
Natural Heritage Association makes plans for a green future
By Kate Ward
Sunday, September 13, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE — Working farms, agricultural land, streams and forests were among the areas outlined by the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association’s Green Infrastructure Plan on Saturday.
Barbara Boland, project coordinator, said the project is being funded through a pilot grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. The regional plan encompasses 172 square miles and will be used by local decision makers to guide conservation and growth in Northwest Arkansas.
“This is a long-term approach to regional planning,” she said. “It will provide a tool for the different municipalities in Washington County. It has what the public deems to be areas of preservation as well as areas deemed appropriate for potential growth.”
Last year, the group hosted its first public forum in partnership with the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s Urban Forestry Program and the Beaver Water District in hopes of gaining community support.
Washington County Judge Marilyn Edwards said she attended the public input forum to learn about the group’s future plans.
“This is a rural state, and we have to preserve our roots,” she said. “We don’t want to lose our identity. I think this is a good group, and that the direction they’re taking is certainly good for the county.”
Members of the design team have been working to identify networks of natural and working land that supports the biological, cultural and economic vitality of the region.
In addition to farms, agricultural land, streams and forests, the group’s preservation areas also include riparian zones, prairie and grassland remnants and parks and trails.
The group will hold a second public input meeting from 2-4 p.m. today at the same place, 16142 Pin Oak Road, off Wedington Drive north of the Wedington Woods area.
Chotkowski Gardens 479-587-8920
16142 Pin Oak Rd , Fayetteville, AR 72704