The University of Arkansas, businesses, homes and parks are tied together in Fayetteville with a 28-mile system of trails.
“Sometimes as many as 1,000 people a day use the trails,” says Dave Bowman, a member of the volunteer Trail Trekkers that serve as ‘eyes and ears’ for the city.
“It’s the best thing since peanut butter,” Dave laughs. He credits trees, which were planted deliberately to enhance the recreational experience, for making the trail special.
“I’ve seen trails that just go through grass, and that’s no way to do it,” he says, whereas trees provide shade, a windbreak and a feeling of being in the country. “They offer a chance for people to get back to nature, and provide habitat for wildlife.” One youngster counted 300 bird species in one year.
As the caregiver for two family members, Dave is especially grateful for the several days each week he spends on the trails. “You see a lot of smiling faces,” he says.
Check out our other Faces of Urban Forestry.