Get Social

Walton Family Foundation Program Opens New Application Cycle for Design Professionals

February 6, 2019
Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program Supports Public Spaces that Put People First

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 6, 2019 – The Walton Family Foundation is opening a new application cycle for its Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program. Now through March 15, design professionals, particularly those with experience in landscape architecture and urban design in small communities, are encouraged to submit their work for review at

Media Contact
Luis Gonzalez

The program is designed to accommodate design firms of all sizes, including nationally recognized, multi-disciplinary firms; smaller specialty firms; and young designers who may not yet be discovered. A selection committee of industry experts and foundation representatives are responsible for choosing which professionals will be added to the program. If accepted, designers are able to participate for up to five years, or until they are chosen for a project. To date, more than 50 architecture and landscape architecture firms representing 15 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Denmark have been admitted.

Since its launch, the Design Excellence Program has supported 11 design projects across the region’s five largest downtowns, including:

  • City of Bentonville: “Quilt of Parks” and full redesign of Dave Peel Park near the City Square
  • City of Fayetteville: Cultural Arts Corridor by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia
  • City of Rogers: Design and rebrand of Frisco Park and its surrounding open space by Ross Barney Architects of Chicago
  • City of Siloam Springs: 5-acre Memorial Park, including a splash pad, amphitheater, landscaped green spaces and permanent farmers market venue by CARBO Landscape Architecture of Baton Rouge
  • City of Springdale: Municipal campus, including a new criminal justice facility and renovated administration building, by Duvall Decker of Jackson, Mississippi
  • Community Development Corporation of Bentonville/Bella Vista: Schematic designs for four accessory dwelling units by Robert Sharp Architects of Fayetteville and Massengale Architecture PLLC of New York City
  • Downtown Springdale Alliance: Expansion and renovation of Luther George Park by Spackman Mossop Michaels of New Orleans
  • Helen Walton Children’s Enrichment Center: 44,000-square-foot new early childhood education center including classrooms, landscaped playgrounds, a “teaching garden,” libraries and ancillary spaces in Bentonville by LTL Architects of New York City
  • Rogers Historical Museum: 28,000-square-foot adaptive reuse facility by de Leon & Primmer Architecture of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Thaden School: 30-acre campus master plan, school buildings and landscape by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple of New Orleans and Marlon Blackwell Architects of Fayetteville
  • TheatreSquared: 51,000-square-foot performance arts space in Fayetteville by Marvel Architects of New York City

A full review of current projects and detailed information about the application process are available at

About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. The children and grandchildren of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2017, the foundation awarded more than $535 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.