Category Archives: Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

3rd Annual Conservation Win Win Workshop – June 28, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

In the face of rapid growth and development, the Northwest Arkansas Community has a unique opportunity to direct the future of open space in the region. This workshop is designed for regional decision-makers, including city planners, civil engineers, landscape architects, elected officials, developers, conservation professionals, and business and community leaders that have an interest in preserving quality of life as Northwest Arkansas grows. Participants will learn from regional professionals with practical examples and resources for planning and designing projects that preserve our natural environment and support the long-term vitality of our region.

Topics will include: designing for sense of place, planning for water and wildlife, economic benefits of open space preservation, partnerships for landscape-scale conservation – and more.

CEU’s Available: Each speaker session approved for 1 AIA LU SD/HSW and qualifies for 1 hour USGBC/GBCI (non LEED specific) for a total of up to five credit hours.

Onsite networking reception to follow the workshop.

$35/participant; includes buffet lunch and reception, CEU’s and materials.

Space is limited! Register online today

Special thanks to Walton Family Foundation and Beaver Water District for their ongoing support of land conservation.

 

CEU support generously provided by education provider US Green Building Council-Arkansas and American Society of Landscape Architects.

 

Cover image by Carl Smith Design

Kessler Mountain Invasive Plant Removal – May 9, 5:00 p.m.

Help us improve habitat on Kessler Mountain!

Invasive bush honeysuckle has taken over in some areas of the mountain, especially at the base of the bluffs along the newly-developed trail. Clearing the bush honeysuckle will give native plants a chance to re-establish while also enhancing the scenic views along the trail. This community event benefits wildlife and recreation on Fayetteville’s largest public natural area! Tools and training will be provided. Please wear long pants and sturdy shoes.

Contact Sim Barrow to register.

When: Wednesday, May 9, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Where: Meet at the Kessler Mountain Regional Park, 2600 W. Judge Cummings Road, Fayetteville, AR

Wilson Springs Herp Hike – May 4, 6:30 p.m.

Join us as we explore Wilson Springs Preserve and its cold-blooded inhabitants at this year’s Herp Hike! “Herp” is short for Herpetology, which is the study of reptiles and amphibians. Dr. J.D. Willson, Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences, will be leading this hike through Wilson Springs to hunt for frogs, salamanders, snakes, and turtles.

Wilson Springs Preserve is Fayetteville’s largest wet-prairie remnant, and provides important habitat for frogs like the cajun chorus frog and snakes like the Graham’s crayfish snake, which is a species of greatest conservation need. This family-friendly hike is a great opportunity to explore the property in search of these and other fascinating creatures.

This program is suitable for all ages. Registration is required. Register Here

Meet at Vold Vision (2783 Shiloh Drive Fayetteville, AR 72701) at 6:30 p.m. Headlamp or flashlight is required. Mud boots are highly recommended, as we will be wading through water at times.

3 Years – 5,000 Acres Campaign

We’re taking a bold step to protect land in Northwest Arkansas. Join us as we embark on this new challenge, together.

Northwest Arkansas Land Trust’s 5,000 Acre Campaign – by 2021:

  • Save 5,000 acres of important natural areas
  • Raise $2.8 million dollars in community support
  • Contribute over 1,600 volunteer hours to care for the land
  • Open at least 6 new properties to the public

“The goal of the campaign is to proactively protect and steward those landscapes which provide the greatest public benefit to our region”, says Terri Lane, executive director.

How will land be protected?

First, we rely heavily on conservation-minded landowners, just as we have for the past 15 years. The vast majority of high-value conservation land is privately held.  The land trust works with willing landowners to find a conservation path that works best for them. This includes land donations, conservation easements and other arrangements.

In some cases, however, the only way to save key properties is to buy them. Through this campaign, the land trust will establish a land acquisition fund to quickly act on the purchase of vulnerable lands.

Land owned by the land trust is permanently protected as preserves. The land trust also sometimes facilitates the purchase of properties to be owned by a city and permanently protected by a conservation easement and stewardship collaboration with the land trust.

Where will protected lands be?

The majority of land will be in Benton and Washington counties, the two most rapidly urbanizing counties in Northwest Arkansas. The land trust will continue to work with landowners in all counties throughout our service region.

The land trust focuses on “landscape scale” conservation, an approach that maximizes public benefit by protecting whole landscapes. Our priority landscapes protect drinking water, wildlife habitat, local food and farms, outdoor recreation and scenic resources.

Our goals are also strategically aligned with the Northwest Arkansas Open Space Plan. The Plan identifies areas throughout Benton and Washington counties that are most important for conservation. The land trust is one of the leading partners in developing and implementing the Plan which serves as a valuable tool for smart growth in our region.

How will people be involved on the land?

Connecting people to the land is a critical part of our mission. The land trust regularly schedules volunteer efforts, citizen science opportunities, programs through the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom, and other “on-the-land” events.

“Through this campaign, we are excited to develop trails and public access on several land trust preserves, and to further ramp up our outreach and volunteer efforts”, says Sim Barrow, communications and outreach manager for the land trust.

The land trust takes a holistic approach to land conservation. “We believe that good land stewardship starts with knowing what is there”, says Alan Edmondson, land stewardship specialist for the land trust. By documenting the condition of the land – including plants, animals and any sensitive habitats – we can protect, honor and highlight those features for the future. Volunteers, interns and land trust members are key to these efforts.

How can I support the campaign?

This is a bold campaign that will require the participation and support of the community – individuals, corporations, and community partners.

A generous grant through the Walton Family Foundation allowed the land trust to increase its staff capacity to pursue the campaign, but community match must be raised for operational support, and the grant does not directly fund the purchase of land. Help us raise $2.8 million!

Support the 5,000 Acre Campaign. Donate Today!

 

 

 

Kessler Mountain Invasive Plant Removal – April 24, 10:00 a.m.

Help us improve habitat on Kessler Mountain!

Invasive bush honeysuckle has taken over in some areas of the mountain, especially at the base of the bluffs along the newly-developed Terrapin Station trail. Clearing the bush honeysuckle will give native plants a chance to reestablish while also enhancing the scenic views along the trail. This workday is a great opportunity to help steward Fayetteville’s largest public natural area! Tools and training will be provided. Please wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Contact Sim Barrow to register.

When: Tuesday, April 24 10:00 am -1:00 pm

Where: Meet at the Kessler Mountain Regional Park, 2600 W. Judge Cummings Road, Fayetteville, AR

Thanks to Fayetteville Parks and Recreation for partnering with us to steward habitat and trails on Kessler Mountain!

Now Hiring – Campaign Manager Application Deadline Extended

As our region continues to grow, so too must the land trust. The need is greater than ever to save and steward land in Northwest Arkansas. The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust offers competitive wages, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We believe in providing professional development opportunities that strengthen the organization from within. We strive to hire and retain people who are passionate about our work, who seek excellence in their personal and professional development, and who fit the collaborative culture of our workplace.

NOW HIRING: CAMPAIGN MANAGER – Application Deadline May 18, 2018

The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust seeks highly qualified applicants for the development position of Campaign Manager (CM). The CM is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all of NWALT’s fundraising efforts including the major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, special events, capital campaigns and grants.  The CM works closely with the Executive Director, Communications & Outreach Manager, and Board of Directors in all development and fundraising endeavors.  The position requires quick development of a comprehensive knowledge of the land trust’s policies, procedures, operations, programs, partnerships, and core values.

The following personal and professional attributes are essential for this position:

  • Passionate and authentic interest in land conservation and embrace the mission of the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust.
  • Excellent team player with strong work ethic, flexible attitude and ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Have the desire to get out of the office and build external relationships throughout the region.
  • Be a “self-starter”, organized and goal driven to initiate donor visits and fundraising calls.
  • Possess the skills and ability to work with and motivate staff, board members and other volunteers.

RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE

The CM is an experienced development professional responsible for providing the vision, leadership and successful implementation of NWALT’s fundraising program, including but not limited to the following functions:

  • Meet with, and/or arrange meetings of the Executive Director with prospective donors and supporters on a continual basis to establish and maintain effective relationships
  • Grow a major gifts program including identification, cultivation and solicitation of major donors
  • Oversee grant administration including research, proposal writing, and reporting requirements
  • Build the planned giving program with a focus on deferred gifts such as bequest expectancies
  • Direct the annual fund program, including mailings and annual fundraising drives
  • Direct capital campaigns
  • Coordinate fundraising special events as decided
  • Coordinate with Communications & Outreach Manager regularly to establish fundraising messaging strategies, timelines and online giving campaigns
  • Make public appearances to share information about the land trust as needed
  • Engage Board Communications and Development Committee in ongoing fundraising efforts
  • Oversee fundraising database and donor tracking systems
  • Oversee creation of publications to support fundraising activities
  • Maintain donor appreciation, gift recognition and gift acknowledgement program
  • Perform other related duties as requested

The CM reports to the Executive Director, and works closely with her, the Board of Directors, and with the Communications & Outreach Manager toward meeting NWALT’s annual fundraising objectives.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • 5+ years of professional fundraising experience in the nonprofit sector
  • Knowledge and experience to envision, grow and manage a comprehensive development program
  • Successful grant writing experience
  • Ability to authentically communicate the value of land conservation
  • Experience managing efficient fund development systems in a growing nonprofit, and developing effective processes
  • Experience coordinating social network messages (including Twitter and Facebook) and creating effective external communications materials that support the organizations fundraising appeals
  • Excellent verbal and exceptional writing and proofreading skills
  • Technical proficiency with a wide range of business software including such programs as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, QuickBooks, donor tracking software, and desktop publishing
  • Strong attention to detail and organizational skills
  • Ability to drive multiple projects to completion independently and as part of a team
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, partners and other supporters
  • Supervisory experience with demonstrated ability to lead and motivate others
  • Willingness to work occasional irregular hours, including weekends, evenings and/or holidays

Applicants who do not demonstrate the above required qualifications will not be considered.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Knowledge of leading trends and best practices in non-profit fundraising
  • Familiarity with charitable tax law
  • Experience working with donors and foundations in Northwest Arkansas

PAY AND BENEFITS:

  • Salary commensurate with experience and demonstrated skills (up to $52,000)
  • Paid holidays, vacation, sick and personal leave
  • Health and retirement benefits to be decided
  • Professional memberships and training encouraged and paid for by the Land Trust

 HOW TO APPLY

 All applications must be received by 5pm Central Time, May18, 2018. The successful applicant must meet or exceed the minimum qualifications outlined above.

 Email Terri Lane, Executive Director, tlane@nwalandtrust.org:

  • Indicate your interest in the Campaign Manager position in the subject line
  • Provide resume and detailed cover letter highlighting your interest and relevant experience
  • Provide three references who can speak to your fundraising experience

Applicants selected for interview will be asked to supply additional materials, including but not limited to a donor solicitation letter and grant application or final report they have personally produced.

The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

Town Branch Volunteer Workday – April 17, 10 a.m.

Help us keep our urban waterways clean!

Join us on Tuesday, April 17 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., for a litter removal workday at Town Branch Preserve, located along Town Branch Trail in Fayetteville. Removing trash from the property is a great way to improve habitat and benefit water quality. Supplies and snacks will be provided. Bring a sack lunch. Click here or contact Sim Barrow to register. We will meet at Cascade Drive in Spectrum Apartments. Please park in visitor spaces only!

Town Branch Preserve protects a stretch of urban creek that provides a scenic backdrop for the paved multi-use trail while offering habitat for wildlife in an urban setting. As part of the Beaver Lake Watershed, it also protects water quality for the drinking water source for our region.

Thanks to Fayetteville Parks & Rec and Beaver Watershed Alliance for partnering on this workday!

Save Land this #GivingTuesday!

Support Local Land Conservation this #GivingTuesday!

Held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday is a social media-driven celebration of giving that has raised millions of dollars for nonprofits around the world.

As Northwest Arkansas continues to grow, it is increasingly important to act quickly and proactively to protect the natural landscapes that matter most to people and wildlife in the region. As your local land trust, we are dedicated to preserving the unique beauty and natural heritage of Northwest Arkansas forever. But we need your support to help us save land for wildlife, clean water, outdoor recreation and quality of life right here in our community. We hope you’ll join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for this year’s #GivingTuesday and make your donation count for local land conservation.

Last year’s Giving Tuesday was a huge success, and we want this year to be even better! This year, we want to increase our membership by 30 individuals. As a member of the land trust, and you will be making a sound investment in local land conservation. Plus, you’ll also receive special invitations to exclusive events and programs!

How can you help? Make a donation, invite your friends, share our #GivingTuesday posts, and tell us what you #SaveLandFor by using the hashtag to let us know why local land conservation is important to you!

Climate Resiliency In Northwest Arkansas

Protecting the Place We Call Home

Protecting land throughout Northwest Arkansas increases the climate resiliency of our region.

Climate resiliency is the ability of ecosystems to withstand the stress of changing climate conditions, such as increased temperature, extended periods of drought, and heavy precipitation events. The plants and animals found in our region are influenced by natural processes in the ecosystem – interactions between plants, animals and the environment, including pollination, seed dispersal, erosion and photosynthesis. When we experience extreme weather events, such as flooding or prolonged drought, these natural processes are disturbed. An ecosystem’s ability to bounce back from the stress caused by the disturbance determines its level of climate resiliency.

For example, heavy rainfall washes away soil and often causes trees to uproot. Or, certain animals may lose their breeding sites or food sources. Prolonged drought coupled with higher temperatures can cause plants to shrivel and die, which may lead to an inadequate food supply for wildlife. These changes stress our local habitats because plants and animals are adapted to a specific range of temperature and moisture conditions, and if habitat conditions change beyond their range, they either adapt, move to a new location, or their population decreases. If this happens, we risk losing the biodiversity that makes our region unique. Approximately 160 species found in the Ozarks occur nowhere else in the world.

Many landscape features in Northwest Arkansas display the climate resilient characteristics identified by researchers. Our limestone bedrock creates a calcium-rich soil that supports diverse plant species. Rock overhangs, bluffs, caves and north-facing slopes create habitats with lower temperatures than the surrounding area. These areas are abundant in our region and, if protected, could provide refuge for plants and animals seeking cooler temperatures.

Many of the landscape features that are important for climate resiliency throughout our region are also beloved by our families and friends. Tall bluffs create a sense of grandeur as we enjoy swimming, fishing and paddling on our rivers. Old-growth forests offer a place to sit quietly and reflect or watch the birds. Freshwater springs attract wildlife providing hunting opportunities, which in turn boosts the local economy. Saving our region’s climate resilient landscapes not only helps ensure a place for plants and animals to thrive in our region, but also preserves the majestic beauty of the place we call home.

Land Conservation and Inclusiveness – Working Together to Preserve Quality of Life

Ed Clifford, NWALT founding board member, discusses the importance of community conservation for quality of life in Northwest Arkansas.

Chances are, even if you have been in Northwest Arkansas a short time, you’ve heard the name Ed Clifford, and benefited from his community service spanning over three decades.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and recruited to Walmart Stores Inc. in 1984 as a buyer, he sees similarities in the roles he has played and initiatives he leads today. “The key to success in any endeavor is building relationships and demonstrating trustworthiness,” says Ed. “As others develop confidence in you, you are given an even greater opportunity to serve. It all works together.”

As Ed artfully blended his 17-year Walmart career with community service for dozens of organizations including the Bentonville Rotary Club, the first rendition of Downtown Bentonville Inc. and later as CEO of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber and now over the Jones Center – he pioneered or championed what’s become a national and important local conversation about quality of life.

While Ed appreciates preserving nature for nature’s and wildlife’s sake alone, he sees exponential value in how land conservation contributes to quality of life. “Quality of life is all the things that make a community a great place to live, start a business, raise a family or retire. We have some great anchor employers in our area and new enterprises cropping up that will need a talented workforce. We need next generation leaders committed to creating a future equal to if not better than the one we envision today as well as vibrant main street small businesses, which also contribute to exciting community centers. The NWA Land Trust is playing a key role in both our area’s economic development as well as our culture and preservation strategies.”

The NWA Land Trust has grown and benefited from Ed’s vision and collaborative approach. “It’s exciting and rewarding to see the progress we’ve made over the past 14 years for the NWALT in securing support through land donations, staff and board recruitment as well as complementary program development including the NWA Open Space Plan.”  We need to continue to educate current and future generations about the value we can create for the community as well remain open to diverse perspectives and cultures to ensure our work is relevant and inclusive, reflecting the broader NWA community. It all works together.”

For more information about becoming a Member of the NWA Land Trust, property donations, planned gifts or other contributions, stewardship and volunteering, please contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org.