Rather than describing us as “the next Austin,” the Walton brothers painted a picture of a place that’s to middle America what Colorado is to the American West–a less crowded state that offers abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, an emphasis on the arts and fine, reasonably priced cuisine. Such a lifestyle not only attracts visitors, it also attracts smart, talented new residents.
Ambitious young college graduates are looking for an affordable home base where they can build their families and careers. Here’s a place that may not (yet) be on their list: Arkansas. For the past decade, coastal metros like New York and San Francisco dominated the landscape for the upwardly mobile, but the main story became how to cope with the high cost of living in those cities. One solution was to move into lower-cost neighborhoods, further pushing up rents and home prices. Others moved to lower-cost metros that shared some of the characteristics of those high-cost places; Austin, Texas, was one of the biggest beneficiaries of that trend.
Bentonville is probably most famous for being the birthplace of Walmart, but the growing Arkansas city offers more than just big-box history. Museum fans can check out the Museum of Native American History, as well as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and its satellite, the Momentary. There are also a number of trails and lakes in the area to get your nature fix.
The Walton Family Foundation is providing more than $1.3 million to plant 1,239 new trees in Northwest Arkansas and give away 5,375 trees to local residents.
The move is an effort to “increase and diversify the region’s tree canopy” and comes at the recommendation of Steuart Walton, according to a release from the Walton Family Foundation on Thursday.
Walmart heir and philanthropist Alice Walton and her foundation will partner with the Cleveland Clinic to improve specialty care access in Northwest Arkansas. The Alice L Walton Foundation announced on Monday (Aug. 16) that the two organizations will assess specialty care needs in the region and develop recommendations for healthcare solutions to improve them.
Northwest Arkansas has ranked as one of the top four places to live in the United States according to U.S. News and World Report. The region tallied a 7.3 overall score placing fourth in the country just ahead of Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colo.