Trails at J.B. Hunt Park in Springdale, Arkansas.
As a result of strong historical and Walton family ties, northwest Arkansas is of particular importance to us. The goal is to enhance the quality of life for residents of northwest Arkansas, primarily in Washington and Benton counties, by supporting community, economic and educational initiatives that will have a direct impact on the regional industries’ ability to attract and retain a quality workforce.
The Walton Family Foundation focuses its investments on five primary quality-of-life drivers in the region, including:
- Efforts to improve education by investing in independent public charter schools, state and geographically targeted advocacy organizations, traditional school districts and preschool programs;
- Economic development and infrastructure;
- Fine arts, culture and natural amenities;
- Diversity outreach; and
- Environmental programs.
Northwest Arkansas grantees include:
- Illinois River Watershed Partnership;
- Catholic Social Services, Diocese of Little Rock;
- Jones Center for Families, Inc.;
- Walton Arts Center;
- Razorback Regional Greenway; and
- Bentonville/Bella Vista Trailblazers Association, Inc.
A full list of our northwest Arkansas grantees can be found here: 2012 Walton Family Foundation Home Region Grants
Much work has already been accomplished, and work continues through the efforts of these and many other grantees, which are focused on improving the quality of life in northwest Arkansas. As their work continues, impact will be evaluated based on indicators including:
- Academic gains among public charter and district students measured by quantifiable means such as proficiency on state tests, graduation rates and ACT scores;
- Increase in the number of quality-rated child care centers and reductions in the waiting lists for these centers;
- Number of new programs to develop expanding infrastructure and regional transportation needs and regional economic development initiatives;
- Increases in attendance and programming at fine arts and cultural amenities;
- Growth of trail system throughout northwest Arkansas communities;
- Availability of immigration counseling, financial training, health care and educational services for the region’s multicultural population; and
- Growing participation in conservation programs and improved water quality.