A $3 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation will be used to establish the Amelia Faulk Labyrinth and Nature Trail at Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale.
Amelia Faulk, a friend of the Walton family, was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder resulting in fragile bones that break easily and has received care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital since birth, according to a news release from the hospital on Friday.
“Arkansas Children’s Hospital has been with me every step of my journey,” Faulk, who is 26, said in the release. “The love and support the staff has shown me over the years has been incredible. The physicians and nurses have been a part of our family my whole life. I hope this gift from the Walton family makes it easier for sick children in Northwest Arkansas to experience the same caring commitment.”
Studies have shown that after a stressful event, a natural, outdoor setting can aid in the healing process. When patient families are absorbed by nature, they are distracted from their pain and anxiety is reduced. Access to nature and positive distractions can serve as a mental, emotional lift for patients, families and employees, the release shows.
Spending time in an outdoor labyrinth has been shown to quiet the mind and restore the individual. Modeled after traditional outdoor walking labyrinths, the Amelia Faulk Labyrinth will consist of a single, circular path. However, unlike typical labyrinths, the path will be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
“Thanks to the Walton Family Foundation, patients, families and staff at Arkansas Children’s Northwest will have a safe and serene outdoor space where they can relax and recharge,” Fred Scarborough, president of Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, said in the release. “We’re so pleased the family has chosen to honor Amelia in this heart-felt manner. Their gift in her honor helps create a therapeutic environment for children while providing care close to home for more than 200,000 children in this region.”
The gift is part of the $53 million that has been raised for the 233,613-SF hospital set to open in January 2018. The total raised was announced August 5 at the Color of Hope Gala in Rogers.
The $427.7 million pediatric hospital is being built west of Interstate 49, between Don Tyson Parkway and U.S. Highway 412. It’s expected to create 250 new jobs.