NorthWest Arkansas Community College has received an $8 million grant to establish a program that teaches bicycle trail building and maintenance. Goals of the school include producing a workforce of certified trail technicians, ensuring access to regional bicycle trails and promoting responsible environmental practices. The three-year, $8 million grant comes from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, which also provided money two years ago for the college to set up a bicycle assembly and repair technician program.
The U.S. National Mountain Bike Team will utilize Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas’ network of trails and gravel for endurance fitness camps as well as skills-development camps leading into the World Cup racing season. In addition to National Team camps, USA Cycling will also host mountain bike and road Junior Talent Identification and Skills Camps in Bentonville.
More than 200 people gathered at the Record in Bentonville last Thursday for an Axios event focused on the recreation economy in the Natural State. At the event, Tom Walton, co-founder of holding company Runway Group, alluded to an announcement related to gravel cycling. What’s happening: Runway will on Monday reveal the Arkansas Rural Recreational Roads initiative — Arkansas R3 — that will designate specific routes where cyclists can enjoy low-traffic, dirt- and gravel-road cycling.
Whether you’re an avid hiker, biker, climber or trail enthusiast, museum lover or foodie, there’s something to satisfy you in Northwest Arkansas.
Tom Walton says the organizers thought “landing an event like this would set us up for what we want to become in the future: A place that holds world-class bike races across all disciplines.”
Walton thinks Fayetteville is ready.
“I feel good about the amount of cowbells,” Walton says.
Willowbrook Elementary School won the top prize in a bike contest to promote student health and to better understand school infrastructure needs, according to campaign organizers. Runway Group will donate more than $40,000 to Bentonville schools in response to the students’ cycling efforts, said Krista Cupp, Runway’s communications director. Steuart Walton and Tom Walton, Runway founders, are funding the grants, she said. Tom Walton delivered the prize to Willowbrook on Wednesday by bicycle.