Be in the know, you know

Environment

Get Outside and Give Back: Land Conservation, Farming, and Food Recovery

Internships at the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, unique volunteer opportunities with Seeds That Feed, board vacancies at Tri Cycle Farms, and a job opening at Cobblestone Farms.

Cover photo by Mallory Lane Photography

We recently came across several opportunities to get involved with some our favorite local nonprofits, and you'll recognize a common thread—all are about spending some quality time outdoors.

Three Internship Positions at the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

Do you know of or are you a college student working in education, environmental studies, communications, or nonprofit management? The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is looking for 3 individuals to join their team as an Environmental Education Intern, Land Stewardship Intern, and Communications & Development Intern.

From giving field trips at the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center to helping monitor over 3,500 acres of conservation lands to helping spread the word about this work—the Fall internships run from August 26th to November 29th.

Now in its 16th year, NWALT is the region's only local and accredited land trust, dedicated to enhancing quality of life through the permanent protection of land. By holding and managing donated land and providing conservation easement services, the land trust protects water quality, local farms, wildlife habitat, and places for outdoor recreation while enhancing quality of life for today and future generations. The service area of the land trust includes 13 counties in Northwest Arkansas, with a core focus on Benton and Washington counties.

Learn more about the internships HERE.

CareCropping with Seeds That Feed

At the end of the farmers' market in both Fayetteville and Bentonville, local farmers donate their extra veggies to Seeds That Feed to be distributed to those in need throughout Northwest Arkansas. The team weighs, logs, and categorizes all of the donations on the square. Several organizations then meet them on the square to pick up veggies for their pantries and community meals and the rest of the produce is then delivered out to lower income communities and other pantries around Benton County and Washington County.

As part of the WalmartGivesNWA campaign, if you choose to do some "carecropping" (volunteering) with Seeds That Feed at either farmers' market the organization will earn $10 for each hour of service. To get involved in Bentonville visit HERE. To get involved in Fayetteville visit HERE.

Seeds That Feed's mission is to help grow healthier communities by providing access to healthier foods. Through the collection and distribution of surplus fresh produce ─ from area farmers directly to local hunger relief efforts ─ they are able to both increase access to under resourced populations, as well as help to eliminate waste.

Board of Directors at Tri Cycle Farms

Are you passionate about food waste and food security? Have you wanted to get involved with an urban farm or food recovery but not known how? Tri Cycle Farms is actively seeking a community member to become their board treasurer. If you or someone you know is interested, shoot an email to volunteer@tricyclefarms.org. General board members are needed as well, so spread the word!

If you are interested in learning more about what they do and how to get involved, they are hosting a Summer Open House on Saturday, July 20th! This open house is FREE and open to the public. Food and snacks will be available as you stroll through the gardens, lounge in the shade and enjoy the delights of their farm-park atmosphere! Their staff and board members will be available to answer questions.

Tri Cycle Farms is a community urban farm working to address food insecurity by growing food and teaching others to grow food. They have a beautiful, productive garden on 2 acres of land in the heart of Fayetteville.

Hiring: Farm Specialist at Cobblestone Farms

Did you know Cobblestone Farms, located in Fayetteville, donates 50% of fresh grown produce on their farm to hunger relief efforts in Northwest Arkansas? Their mission is to grow fresh food locally so they can support and teach the community the role fresh food has on health, wellness and a sustainable future.

They are currently seeking a Farm Specialist to assist in all farm production goals. This position requires knowledge in farming, high tunnel production, pest management, orchard management, plant production, fertilization management and vegetable production practices. Daily tasks include harvesting, pruning, cleaning tools, recording data, planting, seeding, fertilizing, weeding, mulching and composting. To learn more and apply visit HERE.

Stories

Beyond the Board: An Interview with the NW Arkansas Skateboarding Foundation

The Northwest Arkansas Skateboarding Foundation mission is to grow and support the regional skateboarding community.

The Northwest Arkansas Skateboarding Foundation was founded in late 2018 by skateboarders for skateboarders. The founding team includes Roy Rodezno, Wesley McDonald (owner of Stash Skate Supply), Brandon Herbert (co-founder of Gnarkansas.com), and Jonathan Camacho. We recently sat down with Roy to learn more about the organization. Check out the interview below.

Founder Roy Rodezno, President/Design & Marketing

Q: Ok Roy, let's take it from the top, why did you create the organization and what is the mission?

I've been skateboarding for 17 years. Brandon, Jonathan, and I grew up skateboarding in Northwest Arkansas; Jonathan and I used to skateboard on the same block in Rogers. We were primarily street skating because during those days the closest skatepark was in Bentonville and we didn't have a car.

Brandon Herbert, Audio Visual Director/Events Coordinator

Later on, a skate shop came to Rogers, and that is where all of the local skateboarders would go hang out. I remember when we started attending city meetings when they were considering adding the Rogers skatepark and saying, 'We want this park; we need it.' And it worked, we got it.

We had a lot of skaters back in the day. You'd go to the skatepark, and it would be crowded. Now, not so much. Compared to my generation, it seems like the number of skaters has diminished quite a bit.

Local Competition in 2012

Recently, I've been seeing and hearing from other skaters that there isn't support for skateboarding; it's all going toward biking. But that's because people are pushing for that. For years now, I've been hearing things like 'Man, I wish we had a new park' from people in Fayetteville. If you go there, there are cracks. In Bentonville, skateboarders are expressing the same frustrations. If we had an organized voice for skateboarding, we could probably achieve the same thing as the cycling community.

All that together kinda just brewed in my head and popped up as: 'We need an organization that can represent skateboarders as a whole.' We want to represent current and future skaters.

The mission is to grow and support skateboarding in Northwest Arkansas. To organize and to show people that we're serious. This is who we are, and we are here for the long run.

Q: In the short-term, what are your plans?

One of the first things we wanted to do is launch a skateboarding competition. Every now and then there are competitions, but once they are over, everyone is left wondering what's next. We thought: 'What if, instead, we did multiple stops and a final for the crown?' That's when we landed on the idea for the Arkansas Crown, Arkansas' first skateboarding championship competition. There were a lot of skaters I talked to who believed that that would be cool, that they would be interested in it.

Anthony Dezaldivar Longest Ollie at Bentonville Crown Stop

So, we planned six stops: five competitions and then the final. Four of the stops are located within the region, one in Fort Smith and one in Little Rock. We had the first one on May 25th, 2019 at the Bentonville Skatepark. It was an excellent turnout, a lot of people came out. The next stop in Northwest Arkansas will be on August 11th in Fayetteville, you all should come check it out.

NWASF Arkansas Crown Skateboarding Championship // Stop 1: Bentonville // Highlights

There was this guy that competed in Bentonville, 19 years old named Niccy. I believe he just started skating last year. It was his first competition ever, and he got first place in the beginner's competition. He was like: 'Man, this was the first one; I've never done this before.' That's skateboarding: it makes you try things you have never tried before. It pushes you to go outside your limits. And if you fail, you fail. But then you get back up and try it again⁠—the same goes in life. This is what it is all about.

Niccy's boardslide at Bentonville Crown Stop

Q: Skateboarding for life?

Yes. Look, we all have things going on in our lives. Whether it's family problems, addiction issues, or things like that. A lot of us skateboard to vent that—redirect and channel that energy. I know I did. I made skateboarding my life, and during any negative times I would tell myself: "Skate for life," and that would help me refocus and overcome.

Q: Can you share more about that personal experience?

When I was younger, I got in trouble. Just dumb stuff. I fell into depression, and it took me a while to figure out what the problem was. In truth, it was a lot of things. Around that same time, my parents got divorced. It was tough, and I had a lot of anger built up, but skateboarding was always there. I would go skate, and I would feel better. Ultimately, the skateboarding mentality just kicked in, and I said: 'OK, what's the problem?' That's what you do in skateboarding. You're not accomplishing a particular thing; it's not going right over and over. So you think to yourself, what are you doing that's wrong? Why isn't my board doing what I want it to do? It may take a few times to figure it out, but eventually, you figure it out. And that's how I started getting back on track. It's because of skateboarding. That problem-solving, motivation, self-discipline, and persistence that skateboarding requires helped me get back on the right path.

Yes, we are grinding, jumping off stairs and stuff, but we are focused. Once a skateboarder sets their mind on a trick, they'll try anything to pull it off. And that keeps their mind off of other things, other patterns that may get them in trouble. That is the underlying thing about skateboarding not many people consider, the impact it has on a person. It really makes you self-disciplined and self-motivated, goal-oriented and a creative problem-solver 'cause you're fighting against physics: 'Maybe I can pull my foot back; less pressure this way.'

Wesley McDonald, Events Director/Content Curator

We know there are kids out there going through some of the same things we, as an older generation, have been through. So, definitely mentoring is part of what we'd like to do. As an organization, we want to be there to tell them: 'Keep skating, dude. I've been there. It gets better. Just keep your mind positive'. Programs like that are gonna help us all stay connected.

Q: Other than events and mentorship, are there other ways you want to get people engaged?

Yes. This was just our way to get our foot in the door and show who we are. Our most ambitious goal is our campaign to raise $500,000 for a new, state-of-the-art skatepark, located near the Razorback Greenway, with unique modern obstacle levels of street/transition to not only challenge skaters but also upgrade from our older existing parks that are falling apart. It would be cool, you know, you walk on the trail and see this natural skate garden. Right now, our parks are outdated in terms of the obstacles. But imagine if you had more creative obstacles—if you had something that challenged skaters more. Skateboarding is now included in the Olympics, Tokyo 2020. We believe with the proper facility, we could have one of Northwest Arkansas' own compete in the Olympics.

Ultimately, we would also like to have back-to-school and Christmas drives to collect donations of gear and shoes for youth. With skateboarding, you go through your shoes, clothes, and boards a lot. We don't just want to inspire kids, we want to keep them skating.

Q: Anything else you want to say about skateboarding or skateboarders in the region?

Jonathan Camacho (Construction Director/Content Editor) and son

Beyond the board, I would point out two things. One, there is a strong case to be made that skate parks are a good economic development tool for cities. Skateboarders are travelers at heart. Nice skate parks would bring in folks from beyond the region. Many of us from Northwest Arkansas head to neighboring states like Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas to skate their parks and now, when I go there, I take my twins and wife, so we usually shop, buy food and gas, and get a hotel. And two, skaters tend to have an entrepreneurial/self-starter mindset, which also has an economic impact on the community with many of us having started or starting local businesses.

Bentonville Crown Winners

There are so many different types of skateboarders out there. Overall, it's a socially diverse and accepting group of people. Whenever I first brought my wife to skating, one of the first things she said she noticed is that we're all supportive of each other. You may not know me, and I may not know you, but if you're trying a tough trick or any trick and you're struggling to do it and need that motivation, it's just like automatic—you just cheer them on. All skaters seem to have similar traits: they have an open mind, they are self-motivated and goal-oriented. So you'll see people of different races, backgrounds, ages because it really doesn't matter. Once you're there at the skatepark with your board, eventually you just become like family.

Learn more at nwaskateboarding.org

Arts & Culture

Three Nonprofits Enlivening the 'Arts' in NW Arkansas

From the Indian arts to the media arts and fashion design—check out these pretty unique NW Arkansas nonprofits.

Cover photo by Emily McArthur Photography

When it comes to the arts in Northwest Arkansas, it's hard to see beyond the incredible programming of those such as Crystal Bridges, Walton Arts Center, and TheatreSquared. However, if you take a moment and look closer, you'll quickly discover a rich tapestry of smaller nonprofits contributing to the broader regional arts and culture ecosystem. Below, we'll introduce you to a few you may not have been aware of.

Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation

Photo credit: Emily McArthur Photography

The Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation was established in April 2018 by a group of performing arts enthusiasts. Their mission is to bring Indian Performing Arts, with an emphasis on the classical genre, to the forefront in Northwest Arkansas. To do this, they envision a threefold approach to increasing the exposure and opportunities for performing artists in the community – education, inspiration and sustenance of Indian Performing Arts.

The year-round programming includes two sets of 'community showcases' a year featuring local dancers and musicians and a 'master series' of concerts featuring established artists from India.

Read more about RVCF HERE.

Connect with Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation HERE.

PIXEL™: A School for Media Arts

PIXEL™ is teaching children and adults how to become successful digital artists one pixel at a time. Their programs are designed to help people of all ages identify their passion, develop their skills, and set them on a path to having a successful career in the creative arts. From summer camps to high school digital art classes to post-secondary programming and training for design careers—PIXEL™ is a hub for innovators and creatives of all ages.

PIXEL's instructors, advisors, directors, and leadership come from a wide variety of creative fields such as filmmaking, web and graphic design, jewelry design, programming, and animation. Combined, they have over 200 years of experience working for internationally-known companies and organizations including HBO, Walt Disney, and Sony. There is even an Academy Award winner among them.

Learn more HERE.

Connect with PIXEL HERE.

The Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum

The Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum was founded in 2017 to help creative producers in Arkansas find professional development resources, creative inspiration, and a community of support.

The mission of the Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum is to provide educational opportunities and professional support for aspiring avant-garde fashion designers, artists, and other creative professionals. They specifically seek to serve those who are committed to building a vibrant and inspired creative fashion community in Arkansas.

To date, educational workshops provided by The Forum have touched on everything from runway modeling to makeup artistry to beginners sewing to product development and more. Many of these have taken place throughout Northwest Arkansas, engaging groups like the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese and Stitches (a Latinx youth artist collective) in Springdale. In addition to workshops, the Forum has hosted multiple student designer showcases during Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week and several panel discussions to deepen regional understanding of the art of fashion.

Read more about The Forum HERE.

RSVP to their upcoming Pop-Up Shop and Designer Panel HERE.

Connect with AAFF HERE.

Know of other nonprofits we could feature? Feel free to reach out and let us know at alicia@findingnwa.com.

Stories

Pause and Applause: Shining a Spotlight on the Quiet Heroes

Students at Elm Tree Elementary collected new socks for children and homeless adults in October.

Ms. Chris Mains' class at Elm Tree Elementary in Bentonvillle donated the 1,600 pairs of socks they collected in the month of October to The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter. The lesson? Empathy for those who struggle.

Sweet Faces of Socktober Success


Clothed with Compassion

Nearby and in the same week, Ms. Peggy and Clothed with Compassion, whose mission is provide tangible basic needs to students in Northwest Arkansas, sent out a delivery of 23 bags of clothing.


CWC has purchased $35,000 in new clothing and shoes since August 13th 2018 - providing new clothes for 210 individuals in Northwest Arkansas. Since CWC began in 2011, they have donated $153,000 in new clothing & shoes for individuals in need throughout the region.



CONNECT WITH CWC

© IMPACT NWAR. All Rights Reserved