Cargill to fund watershed sanctuary at Cave Springs

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 189 views 

SPRINGDALE  – Cargill is donating $50,000 between now and the end 2013 to the Illinois River Watershed Partnership for development of its 30-acre Watershed Sanctuary at Cave Springs. This will serve as an educational complex in the Northwest Arkansas.

The local Watershed Sanctuary will promote better understanding of water quality issues, demonstrate improvements in water-related practices and improve water quality in the Illinois River watershed.  The Illinois River Watershed Partnership is a collaboration of six stakeholder groups including agriculture, business, conservation, construction, government and technical/research/education.

“Fresh water is one of our most treasured natural resources, used for a multitude of purposes including growing the food we eat, and we understand the importance and need for educating people about the life-giving liquid we often take for granted,” said Shane Acosta, plant general manager for the Cargill turkey processing facility at Springdale.  “We all have a role to play in conserving resources, and Cargill places a great deal of importance on educating people about what it will take to feed the global population increase from 7 billion people now to 9 billion in 2050, including the proper management of our water resources.”

The funds Cargill is providing are part of the nearly $1 million cost of the project developed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.  The Watershed Sanctuary complex includes a fishing boardwalk and pier, walking trails, a fishing bridge, amphitheater, a playground, a watershed learning center, an observation tower, exhibits, a 6-acre lake, a natural cave and cave spring, parking and restrooms.  Half of the $50,000 Cargill contribution comes from its turkey business, with the remaining half coming from Cargill’s corporate global partnership fund.

“Investing in communities where we have operations has been a tradition dating back to Cargill’s founding in 1865, and we’re please to be able to support environmental and educational initiatives,” stated Acosta.