Thursday, March 31, 2011

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Earth Day Goes Interactive

0 Comments 31 March 2011
Mother Nature to tell stories at World Peace Wetlands

Mother Nature (Donna Stjerna) will tell stories at the Omni Center's "World Peace Wetland Prairie Earthday Celebration" Sunday, April 17 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the World Peace Wetland Prairie at 11th and S. Duncan in Fayetteville.

By Kelly Mulhollan
TFW Contributing Writer

Let’s face it — Earth Day in Fayetteville is not just one day anymore.

It has turned into a full two week celebration with many events planned, starting with the big kickoff sponsored by the city on April 16 all the way to Springfest on April 30, as it should be. What could be more important than a celebration of the earth that sustains our very lives?

Sadly, we are testing the limits of exactly how much abuse this amazing resource can sustain. This event will remind us of how precious our planet is and help to empower us to find ways to be better caretakers of the earth, starting right here in our own community!

That’s why the Omni Center’s annual Earth Day Celebration at Fayetteville’s World Peace Wetland will focus on endangered species of the world with a very special interactive art show. The art exhibit is the work of area artist, Donna Stjerna, better known as half of the folk duo, Still on the Hill.

Donna says “We are going to hang about 40 little shrines to endangered animals that I’ve made from old cigar boxes in an enchanting candlelit tent. There will be mysterious animal sounds, and I will be dressed up as Mother Nature with a fanciful costume that my friend Lyn Ward and I created. I’ll tell an African tale that teaches us to be good stewards of the earth and give each a souvenir to remind them of that goal.”

Kids will also have the opportunity to have their picture taken with Mother Nature.

The art tent will feature lighting and sound effects powered by both solar panels and pedal power and everyone can help pedal!
As a finale, kids are encouraged to dress as their favorite animal and join the Animal Parade at 3 p.m.

Other kids’ activities including storytelling, aboriginal painting and planting “Seeds of Peace.”

As always, you will enjoy an acoustic song circle with many of Fayetteville’s finest musicians as well as scheduled nature walks to appreciate the delicate nature of this precious wetland environment. Local community sustainable agriculture experts will be on hand to enlighten you on new ways to feed your family healthy food this summer.

Everyone is invited to bring some raw finger food for the “raw potluck,” if so inclined. Healthy kids’ drinks will be supplied by co-sponsor Ozark Natural Foods.

Local environmental leaders will give short talks on proactive things we can all do to take better care of our earth.

Load up the whole family for a day of sunshine, birdsong and celebration of our precious earth!

To find the World Peace Wetland Prairie — Fayetteville’s best kept secret — from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, go south on Hill Ave. and then right on 11th. Alternatively, from 15th St., go north on Duncan Avenue, and it will take you right to it.

For more info, call 582-2291.
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Bentonville High School Band Fundraiser
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* "The Dumb Waiter" by Step 1 Theatre tonight in Fayetteville. about 8 hours ago

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© 2011 The Free Weekly. All rights reserved. Powered by Wordpress.

Poster designed by Donna Stjerna and Kelly Mullholan of Still on the Hill and Toucan Jam

Please click on image to ENLARGE view for easier reading of poster information.
2000-2005 archive of stories and photos related to creation of WPWP:
Aubrey's photos at
Flickr collection of sets of photos from World Peace Wetland Prairie
World Peace Wetland Prairie EARTH DAY 2010 VIDEO
World Peace Wetland Prairie blog
World Peace Wetland
Please use link below the map to see larger view of the WPWP area, which also allows a person to travel the world by 'Google AIR' by simply using the cursor to move in any direction or search for other addresses.

View World Peace Wetland Prairie in a larger map

Tax help from AARP volunteers at Yvonne Richardson Center on Friday and next week Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday only

Please click on image to ENLARGE for easier reading.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Council of Neighborhoods meeting at 6 p.m. in room 326 of city hall: Please attend to meet the representative of your neighborhood or to BECOME the representative of your neighborhood

Calendar of Events

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods *
City Clerk
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Room 326

Kane Webb replaces Meredith Oakley as Voices Editor of the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette
See Arkansas Business Web site for more of the story.
Kane went to work for the Arkansas Democrat as a writer of sporting news in the 1980s. As outdoor editor and frequently a volunteer sports copy editor and proof reader at that time I recognized his potential and can honestly say that he is an excellent editor to replace Meredith after her decades of wonderful work at the Democrat and later at the Demozette. Congratulations to both. I hope Meredith with be sharing her thoughts as a blogger. She always thinks independently and her now totally independent thoughts would be interesting. I look forward to reading

Also, I hope Roy Reed or another of the great interviewers for the UA oral history site will interview her from the perspective of someone who worked on the inside when John Robert Starr was managing editor of the Democrat and overwhelmed the Gazette owners and even the mighty Gannett with perseverance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flying Possum leather sale on April 30, 2011

Flying Possum Leather Sale

Saturday, April 30 · 9:00am - 10:00pm

Flying Possum Leather
526 W Dickson St
Fayetteville, AR

Created By

More Info
In 1976 Bruce Walker opened Flying Possum Leather, he shared his passion with everyone he met. On March 7, 2011 Bruce lost his life in the store that he loved so much. A tragic fire took our neighbor, our friend, a business owner, a son and a brother from us.
Bruce has two brothers who have been here tying up loose ends and working diligently, night and day, with the help of volunteers, to clean up Flying Possum. Much of the in..

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mayor's town hall meeting draws full house at Fayetteville Senior Center

Please click on individual views of two of the five city council members who attended the mayor's town hall and the mayor discussing the needs of the Fayetteville senior center with senior center users.

Sarah Lewis of Ward 4 and Adella Gray of Ward 1

TONIGHT: Mayor's Town Hall meeting at the Fayetteville Senior Center on South College Avenue

Fayetteville Senior Center

to Host Mayor's Town Hall

Meeting on Monday, March 28


The Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center at 945 South College will host the Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting the evening of Monday, March 28, 2011, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. 

These Town Hall Meetings are wonderful opportunities for direct contact and conversation with Mayor Lioneld Jordan and City Department Directors. 

This is an opportunity to ask any question of your city government in a relaxing forum, as well as learn about city projects, budget information, policies, events, and other information of interest.  This is also a marvelous opportunity to see the facilities of the Fayetteville Senior Activity and Wellness Center.  The Center’s Director, Sherri Napier, will provide a welcome and remarks about the Center.

Short presentations will be made by Mayor Jordan and a few city staff members at the beginning of the Town Hall.  Most of the Town Hall Meeting will be dedicated to answering audience inquiries. Come and ask your questions directly to Mayor Lioneld Jordan and City department heads.  We are interested in hearing from you! 

Refreshments will be provided.  A painting by Fayetteville Artist Karolyn Farrell will be displayed at the Town Hall Meeting, and a free drawing will be held for an opportunity for an attendee to win the painting.

See Senior Center blog online to share comments about the center.

Earth Day Passport site and handout will guide all to wonderful events from April 16 through April 24, 2011, in Northwest Arkansas: Thanks to Mikel Lolley

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of last year's Eco-Passport and visit site to share more information about events for 2011.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hank Kaminsky's studio open this afternoon for tours with 10 percent off on art of every kind

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Village Scultor studio and workshop on South Government Avenue near the Fayetteville National Cemetery.

Something everyone in Northwest Arkansas ought to visit today: Hank Kaminsky's sculpture and handmade jewelry sale at his Government Avenue Shop

Hank Kaminsky's art sale at his Village Sculptor studio workshop on Government Avenue between MLK and the Fayetteville National Cemetery late morning and most of the afternoon today. Bargains on extraordinary pieces of local sculpture and jewelry.
Free coffee and a free tour of the workshop where some of Fayetteville's finest public art has been created.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Something Arkansas does NOT need now: Disastrous House Bill 1895 could be voted on by Arkansas Senate tomorrow

In the News...
Get the most up-to-date, national news from Sierra Club at the Sierra Club Press Room.
Get local news about Arkansas legislative issues at the Arkansas Citizens First Congress site.

Important Legislative Update:
The Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWECPO) has drafted HB 1895 which would make it much easier for utilities to get power plants approved under the radar, hurt ratepayers and cut the public out of the commenting process. The bill can be found at
This bill is bad on several levels:
1) HB 1895, written by the utility Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), would change the utility law that is the subject of pending litigation in suits where SWEPCO is a party. Changing the law right before a judge makes a ruling is not a tactic of which I want my legislature to be a part.
2) This bill would create a “declaration of need” proceeding to determine whether there should be more electricity production in Arkansas, but not create public notice requirements for the proceeding. If a government agency is conducting a decision making process that could later on affect my utility rates, I want to make sure that I’m given the opportunity to be a part of that discussion. And I won’t know how to attend if the law doesn’t require me to be notified.
3) HB 1895 would tip the scales to the utilities so that they can pressure government to raise electric rates even more. The bill would create a separate “declaration of need” proceeding where a determination for the need of increased electric capacity would provide the basis for utilities to recover new costs through increased rates. We, the ratepayers, would be stuck with higher bills. Unfortunately, it has already passed the Arkansas House. It is possible that this bill will wind up on the Senate floor, and we need concerned citizens to call their senators now and urge them to vote NO on HB 1895. In order to find your own senator, visit:
For more information about the bill, please contact: Lev Guter Associate Field Organizer Sierra Club - Arkansas (941) 779-3337

What Arkansas needs NOW! A local pipeline safety policy

Local Pipeline Safety Policy

Model Setback Ordinance for Transmission Pipelines

Myths and Misleading Statements About Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines 

If it smells like Roundup, it may be Roundup

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of sprayed sidewalk adjacent to storm drain. According to the guy driving the spraying machine, the purpose is to suppress everything but fescue and bermuda grass. Video soon will be uploaded on You Tube.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Please clink on individual images to ENLARGE view of flowers at World Peace Wetland Prairie on March 23, 2011.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring beauty (Claytonia) and a bucket of bluets (Hedyotis caerulea) beautiful early blooming native wildflowers in Northwest Arkansas

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of two early blooming native wildflowers.

Why we needed Fayetteville's newly approved streamside ordinance many years ago: A few photos of stream abuse witnessed on March 21, 2011

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE views of pollution headed directly to Spout Spring Branch without the polluted water being allowed to soak in and be cleansed before heading to Beaver Lake.
Unpleasant looking runoff from storm drain on north edge of Fifteenth Street. Is it caused by naturally occurring algae or by whatever a homeowner on South College Avenue dumped from a bucket shown in photo below?

Drain entrance still wet two hours after I watched a guy dump a bucket there. Material appeared to be white paint chips and thick plastic-like goo that could be material from a paint can.

Flow from storm drain above enters Spout Spring Branch on north side of 15th Street.

The gel-like material at first glance looked like icicles but the the temperature hadn't been below freezing for more than a week.

Seeds from pod of vine milkweed knocked down by Arkansas Highway Department machines dredging ditch the routes water from a storm drain on the south side of 15th Street directly into Spout Spring Branch. Milkweed plants of all varieties provide foliage to the caterpillars of monarchs and a few other species of butterfly and logically would be protected by a state highway department whose Web site touts its wildflower program.

Back on the northside of 15th Street, which is a state highway at that point, the water polluted by something but at least there is a remnant of vegetation including the same milkvine and a few other native species.

The highway workers dredged out part of the business owner's landscaping and widened and deepened the ditch. And hauled away the good soil to its dump in south Washington County.

Both the dumping of ANYTHING into a storm drain and the dredging of the ditch and allowing erosion violate best-management practices for watershed management and were already illegal before Fayetteville's new streamside ordinance was passed. If the ADEQ and the AHTD and the US Corps of Engineeers won't protect our water supply, maybe this new ordinance will embolden city officials to see that such things don't happen so often in the future.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bruce Shackleford shares well-researched history of Woolsey Wet Prairie area and the prairies of Northwest Arkansas

HISTORY LESSON FROM AN ECOLOGIST  (Yes, this is outside my area of competency, but it's free!  OK?)
In 1831-1838, the Government Land Office sent surveyors to mark the corners of the townships in Northwest Arkansas.  As a reminder to those of you who are non-surveyor folks, a township is composed of 36, one-square mile sections.  It is my understanding that the corners of the square mile sections were marked soon thereafter.  The township of the Fayetteville area was named "Prairie Township".  Go figure!
Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view.

I cannot imagine what it must have been like to face the hardships of walking into the American wilds during that era to identify specific points on the planet that could be seen by others. The identifiers may have been a pile of rocks or a blaze on a tree, if one could be found nearby.  It must have taken a hardy soul with a special wanderlust character to enter the world of surveying at that time, doing the work with not much more than a compass and two sticks with a chain in the middle.  

In the 1970's, a fellow named H.M. Miller did a Masters Thesis at the U of A that showed the plant communities from sketches, maps, and notes of the 1830's GLO surveyors.  By looking at section lines and landmarks, I superimposed modern structures such as the Westside Wastewater Plant, various streets, and of course Woolsey Wet Prairie, onto Mr. Miller's drawing to get an idea of yesteryear's plant community of the area with regard to familiar landmarks (see attachment).  Much of it was savanna, or "oak barrens" as they called it back then, and there were also areas of prairies and forests, both upland and lowland.  The savannas had low density stands of large hardwoods, maybe 10 or 20 per acre.  There was little brushy understory, and the ground cover was primarily herbaceous prairie plants, due to centuries of burning by Native Americans.

Some ten to twelve years before the surveyors adventures, in 1818-1819, the explorer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft described the praires of the region, sharing with us: "The prairies, which commence at the distance of a
mile west of this river, are the most extensive, rich, and beautiful, of any which I have ever seen west of the Mississippi river. They are covered by a coarse wild grass, which attains so great a height that it completely hides a man on horseback in riding through it. The deer and elk abound in this quarter, and the buffaloe is occasionally seen in droves upon the prairies, and in the open high-land woods."

Fast-forwarding to more modern times, I have tagged the two aerial photographs in the attached file to illustrate the vast changes that have occurred at the City-owned property on South Broyles Road, from the 1941 aerial photo to the 2010 aerial photo.  Fruit orchards were at one time a common sight in Northwest Arkansas.  In fact, the northern half of Woolsey Wet Prairie was once a fruit orchard, as was the dirt farm across the street on Broyles Road in 1941.  Before the wetland cells were constructed and when the site was a hay field, you could see the remnants of where the rows of trees existed.  Small earthen rows were present, and were interestingly built up and down over the prairie mounds and wetland depressions without plowing the mounds down.  I wonder if the fruit trees did better on the mounds or the adjacent depressions?  I suppose it was a function of whether it was a dry year or a wet year.  Most of the prairie mounds of the area are in danger of extinction, and untold thousands have already departed, never to return.

Today, an apple tree and a pear tree near the north gate at Woolsey Wet Prairie appear to be the lone survivors of the pre-World War II orchards.  Though severely damaged by age and elements, they still bear fruit.  The pear tree in particular has especially sweet fruit, as I have heartedly raccoon-sampled them myself, picking up a spent limb from the ground under the old tree, to play piƱata in seek of the succulent treasure.  I believe they were there in the 1941 aerial photo, which means they are at least 70 years old.  Hope I live that long, but then again maybe more, since that age is only 11 years away for me.  Regardless, I do hope the fruit trees outlive me.

Likewise, the old barn standing today was there long ago, as shown in the 1941 aerial, along with several homes.  A fellow named John Brumley once lived in the rock house that is now a mass of overgrown rock ruins, near the only remaining barn on the property.  Brumley probably never realized, or even cared, that the catalpa tree in his front yard would become famous as the place where the second known siting of the Northern Shrike in the whole State of Arkansas would take place, earlier this month.... and he would certainly be aghast to look out his window to see a huge state-of-the-art wastewater facility that puts his outhouse to shame, and be told he would be required by law to tie into the sewer line that goes to it.  That would have been so unimaginable to him that he would have probably thought that the Martians had landed in the South Forty when he saw the top of the big equalization basin!

Though I figured most, or all, of the Woolsey proximity was all a working farm back in the day, I spoke with Mrs. Jordan several years ago before the history she holds perishes forever, to find otherwise.  As I recall, she said she had lived on Broyles Road since 1957.   When asked about the historical land uses at our beloved mitigation site, she said that all of the Woolsey Wet Prairie area was once part of a Soil Bank and laid fallow for 10 to 15 years.  The Federal Soil Bank Program of the late 1950s and early 1960s paid farmers to retire land from production for 10 years, and was basically the predecessor to today’s Conservation Reserve Program.  Maybe that is why Woolsey's ancient seed bed of native plants was there to gladly reawaken when called upon, saving the City lots of money many years later.  I wonder if they had to pull up all the fruit trees to be eligible to enter the Soil Bank program?

Another local elder, Richard Swafford, told me that corn, wheat, and beans had once been propagated on the City property in the 1930's, where the wastewater plant now churns, washing the water from dirty to clean, as told to him by previous generations.  He still cuts hay from portions of the city property today, and has encountered a few drainage tiles with his tractor over the years, that were apparently installed to keep the wet prairie from being too wet for crops.

Though the mention of Woolsey Wet Prairie evokes few to think, or even know, about the tired and retired fruit trees; the rock house ruins where a family once slept, ate their meals, and raised there children; or the old barn where a calf or two had been born, they are very much elements of Fayetteville's heritage.  The area has taken on a new persona from the 1830's to 1941 to 2010, yet still holds on to a very small morsel of what was commonplace in the past. 

Perhaps the most important history and ecology lesson to be learned from seeing how our Woolsey Wet Prairie site has responded to a little nudging, is that much has been destroyed, but it's ALL restorable.  Whether or not that is a fact or a myth may be a matter of perspective, but should, nonetheless, become a mindset before we run out of the ground and the other life that depends upon it who have lived here long before we did.

Nature has a unique way of repairing itself with a little help!

Hope you enjoy the history!

Bruce Shackleford
Bruce Shackleford, M.S., REM, REPA, CPESC
President, Environmental Consulting Operations, Inc.
17724 I-30, Suite 5A
Benton, Arkansas 72019
"Integrating ECOnomy and ECOlogy, since 1990"
office: 501-315-9009
mobile: 501-765-9009

Daffodils varied and plentiful at World Peace Wetland Prairie this week

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fayetteville square's farmer's market in past years

Sample of my photos from farmer's market on the fayetteville square and a few other events near the square from reason years.

Watch slide show of sample of photos from the square and nearby downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas, activities.

Friday, March 18, 2011

March 14, 2011, video recorded at Community Access Television with Aubrey Shepherd's photos from Bruce Walker Memorial at George's on March 13, 2011: To run next week on Cox 218 on your big-screen TV

Community Access Television (now called Fayetteville Public Access Television) operated by Your Media under a contract with Fayetteville's city government.
Whatever is showing at a given moment on CAT is also simulcast at the CAT Web site.
Appearing at Channel 218 on Cox Cable for people with a digital receiver box from Cox. Also one of the Channel 99 extensions on AT&T U-verse in Northwest Arkansas and showing its programs at the CAT watch now link.
It is a free-speech public-access channel that trains people to produce their own shows and airs shows submitted and requested by residents.

Controlled burn at Woolsey Wet Prairie helps reduce invasive, nonnative grass such as fescue and prepares land for growing season of native grass such as big bluestem

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of Woolsey Wet Prairie. For more photos from Friday at Woolsey Wet Prairie, click live link.
For information about the American Indian company that did the work,  please see Choeleta
Bruce Shackleford and Frou Gallagher. Gallagher is a Fayetteville Government Channel staff videographer and a volunteer producer of many shows for Community Access Television in her spare time.

Bruce Shackleford is a Fayetteville contractor who oversees environmental matters for the Water and Sewer departments and ensures that the city complies with all state and federal watershed issues, including the creation and management of Woolsey Wet Prairie.
Joe Woolbright manages Chesney Prairie, a state nature preserve

Joe Woolbright observing burn at Woolsey Wet Prairie

Greg Howe is Fayetteville's urban forester

Mudwompers no longer is available at its original address, but I believe it exists someplace online and will endeavor to find it to share again soon.
Here is my May 2003 on the issue of mishandling of our watershed and particularly the mishandlng of the once city-owned Wilson Spring property.

I was working at a newspaper in central Arkansas the first day the Northwest Arkansas Times put advertising on its front page

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Working journalists considered the move a desperate lapse from tradition and a major mistake. But it brought revenue and has continued. Today, I looked down at the yellow bag in my driveway and began laughing. A cursory search of my newspaper brought me to the back page of the sport section (yes, the 's' ought not to be on the word because 'nouns used as adjectives in general do not need to be plural'), but the mindless, needless pluralization of nouns as adjectives is now an established tradition in 'sport' writing that no literate person has ever justified. That is a different topic. If the editors and writers do it, teachers and professors must be allowing it. That is frightening to some of us.

My laughter returned when I skimmed over the full-page advertisement for a truck with a 390-horsepower engine.

I suppose a dealer truly needs a sticker over the masthead and folio information on the front page in order to draw even a single buyer for a vehicle with a payload likely to be less than a ton but with an engine capable of moving a much heavier load.

Such a potential fuel-guzzling machine being manufactured for sale to people who don't need it is the American way, I suppose, and legal. But with a major crisis raising the price of everything, it should not be driven, just bought and parked where passers-by can admire it.

As a person who made a tiny wage for years designing and building newspaper pages, I not only could never have bought such a vehicle new but also hate to have to pull that sticker off my paper for fear of damaging that front page. I value the look and factual accuracy and correctness of word choice and the quality of photographs on the front page I now pay to see. And my concerns about fossil-fuel production and the need for use of renewable energy make the sticker on the front more than a bad joke to me.

I doubt that such advertisement is running in a Japanese paper today, where the reality of the absurdity is more than television or Internet fodder at this moment.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why we don't count on public education to save our world or even our neighborhood

Meredith Oakley has resigned her position as editor of the Voices page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after 30 years' service to the Democrat, including time before the Democrat's Republican owner, Walter Hussman, bought the Gazette, reports Arkansas Business' online service PRINT | CLOSE WINDOW
Meredith Oakley Leaves Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
By Joanna Kauffmann - 3/10/2011 11:11:40 AM
Meredith Oakley, the associate editor in charge of the Voices page at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has left the position.
Oakley said that she had resigned on Tuesday and given her two weeks notice, and was busy now fulfilling that obligation. 
She had been employed by the newspaper for well over 30 years.
Paul Greenberg, the Democrat-Gazette's editorial page editor, could not be reached for comment. 

Copyright © 2011, Arkansas Business Limited Partnership. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, screening of CARBON NATION at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at UA continuing ed center, now known as UA Global Campus, just so you'll have to google it and hope to learn its address

Peter Byck, director and producer, is coming to Fayetteville to screen his latest documentary, Carbon Nation, on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 7:00 pm at the University of Arkansas’ Global Campus on the square in Fayetteville.  A second screening has been scheduled for 2:00 pm, same location. Fayetteville will be among the first cities in the nation to screen this film featuring climate change solutions.  This event is FREE and open to the public.
Click here to see a trailer of the film:     Click here to reserve your ticket:
Brought to you by the UA Applied Sustainability Center, UA Global Campus, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the Arkansas Chapter of the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters of Washington County, and Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light.
Managing Director
Applied Sustainability Center
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR  72701
479.575.3044 (O)   479.200.8262 (C)
Make your personal sustainability pledge:
Set up your personal dashboard:

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