The Walton Family Foundation’s investment strategy through 2020 includes $302 million to be spent in Northwest Arkansas as well as the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. The money will go toward economic development and creating more education opportunities.
The Northwest Arkansas strategies include:
• Expand high-achieving Pre-K-12 school options;
• Establish the region as a leader in arts and cultural amenities;
• Strengthen coordinated regional economic development; and
• Promotion of downtown revitalization projects, developing transportation choices and improving water quality.
“Northwest Arkansas is a great place to call home. Our investment strategy through 2020 is sharply focused on initiatives that will continue to make the region an even more desirable place to live and work.” said Rob Brothers, director of the Walton Family Foundation Home Region Focus Area.
The foundation has invested in educational and quality of life products for more than 30 years, a mission that has been the stated focus of the Walton Family.
Two Northwest projects already impacted from the Walton Family Foundation include the Razorback Greenway and the Amazeum.
“The Amazeum will be a wonderful addition to Northwest Arkansas with educationally sound exhibitions and programs where children and families can come together to explore, discover and create. The Walton Family Foundation shared our vision for such a place and it will soon become a reality.” said Sam Dean, executive director of Amazeum
John McLarty of the NWA planning commission said the foundation helped to lead the vision of the Razorback Greenway from its inception. The 36-mile bike and walking trail that connects Bella Vista to Fayetteville is expected to be completed in 2015. Much of the trail in Benton County is already open.
“The foundation remains a valued partner, providing resources and encouragement to make the regional trail system one of the nation’s very best." McLarty said.
Investments in the Arkansas-Mississippi region will include educational support, targeted job creation projects, talent development and improvements in public safety.