Press Release

Foundation Supports Expanded Tree Canopy in Benton County

Will Provide Funding for More than 2,000 Trees

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 5, 2017 – The Walton Family Foundation today announced it will provide grants to six cities in Benton County to help increase and diversify the area’s tree canopy. The funding will allow Bella Vista, Bentonville, Centerton, Gravette, Pea Ridge and Siloam Springs to provide more than 2,000 trees of 50 different species for municipal projects and resident giveaways. 

“Planting trees today is one way to reinforce our family’s long-term commitment to the region,” said Steuart Walton, Walton Family Foundation board member. “My hope is future Northwest Arkansas residents will enjoy a distinctive and mature tree canopy that inspires them to preserve our region’s natural beauty as a point of distinction and pride for generations to come.”

Six grants totaling nearly $787,000 will allow cities to plant large trees near trails, highways, parks, airports, elementary schools, playgrounds, golf courses and other public spaces to improve livability and economic activity. According to the U.S. Forest Service, mature trees help increase foot traffic and retail sales in cities’ commercial districts, as well as drive up property values in residential areas. Trees also help moderate cities’ climates, mitigate storm water runoff and reduce the “heat island” effect, which makes urban areas hotter than surrounding rural communities.  

Cities will host giveaways this fall for residents to receive smaller trees in three- to five-gallon pots. Giveaways will be held in Bentonville on October 14; Pea Ridge and Gravette on October 21; Centerton on October 27 and 28; Bella Vista on October 27; and Siloam Springs on October 28. Each municipality will release full event details in the coming weeks.

About the Walton Family Foundation

For three decades, the Walton Family Foundation has continued the philanthropic vision begun by Sam and Helen Walton. Their legacy is more important than ever as the foundation accelerates efforts to improve K-12 education for all students in America, to protect rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and to give back to the region that first gave Sam and Helen Walton opportunity. In 2016, the Walton Family Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $454 million. Learn more at waltonfamilyfoundation.org.