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  • Ryder Snell

Meet NWALT Board Member Don Walker

Our board members are critical to the success of the Land Trust and we are thankful for their expertise and leadership! This series is all about introducing these difference -makers who are helping ensure NWA will always be defined by clean water, fresh air, native habit, a growing supply of locally grown fruits and vegetables, and access to outdoor recreation, all while expanding economic opportunities.

Get to know Don...

Recently retired as EVP, Regional Executive for Arvest Bank, Don was responsible for oversight of all Arkansas markets as well as Government Relations for Arvest Bank. Don is a 1974 graduate of the University of Arkansas, and began his career with Arvest as a Loan Officer in February of 1978.



How did you get involved with NWALT? I was contacted by a friend and leader in conservation, Frank Sharp. He asked if I would consider serving on the Board. Frank was friends with my late parents and knew that I had an appreciation for farming and the open landscape of Northwest Arkansas.

Who are your environmental heroes? Obviously Frank Sharp. Jim and Lynne Walton who have always focused on our open space and water resources in NWA. Also Nancy Leake who was a charter member of the NWALT and led the charge to create NWALT, and Terri Lane who led our NWALT for the 1st 10 years.

How do you want to impact Northwest Arkansas Land Trust? I would like to help the NWALT connect with landowners who have not recognized the value of conservation easements on portions of their property to maintain our beautiful open spaces and tree canopies that make us unique. I also hope to help connect NWALT with the business community for financial support to make the land trust financially sustainable through a permanent endowment.

I-49 from Rotten Bluff Hollow

What may younger generations not understand about your generation’s concerns about the environment? My generation has watched the significant growth in NWA and while it has been economically beneficial to many it has also caused the loss of farmland and our tree canopy. The growth has benefitted us all and has created jobs for future generations who weren’t privileged to see the beauty of open spaces between our cities. The urban sprawl and housing needs must be well planned to create large open spaces within the regional planning areas and between our cities while retaining our agriculture opportunities for our farmers.

What generational perspectives are missing in today’s conservation movement? I believe the youth of NWA and America are very concerned about the environment, much more than us baby boomers who didn’t recognize the cost of ignoring the climate response to commercialization. I believe the current generations are willing to sacrifice many conveniences for repairing the environment. They are witnessing the cost of 100 years of commercialization around the world and will find ways to reduce our carbon footprint. I am thankful for their focus on outdoor recreation because that is where they will commit to saving our natural resources.


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