About the city of Fayetteville Arkansas
Fayetteville is the county seat of Washington County, and the third largest city in Arkansas. The city is centrally located within the county and is home to the University of Arkansas. Fayetteville is also on the outskirts the Boston Mountains, deep within the The Ozarks. Known as Washington until 1829, the city was named after General Lafayette, a French general who helped the states gain freedom in the American Revolutionary War. It was first incorporated on November 3, 1836 and was rechartered in 1867. The four-county Northwest Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 109th in terms of population in the United States with 463,204 in 2010 according to the United States Census Bureau. The city itself had a population of 73,580 at the 2010 Census.
Fayetteville is deeply tied to the University of Arkansas, which is the flagship university in the state. Fall and spring bring thousands of students to campus which dramatically change the complexion of Fayetteville. As a Southeastern Conference institution, thousands of Arkansas Razorbacks fans descend upon Fayetteville for home football, basketball and baseball games. The city also contains the University of Arkansas’ track and field program which has won 42 national championships to date. Fayetteville was ranked as the 7th best college sports town and 8th for Business and Careers by Forbes. Kiplinger’s 2008 “Best Cities to Work, Live and Play” list featured Fayetteville as #7. U.S. News ranked Fayetteville one of the best places to retire. Although based in nearby Bentonville, Walmart’s impact on Fayetteville cannot be understated. The city hosts the Wal-Mart Shareholders Meetings each year at Bud Walton Arena and is home to several of Walmart’s corporate partners.
Forbes Magazine also named the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers area as the second-best area in the United States for recovery from the current United States recession. Reasons cited were the presence of #1 Fortune 500 corporation Walmart being based in the area in addition to low unemployment (5.0%) compared to national averages.
Washington County was created in 1828 and the county seat was located where Fayetteville is now. The Washington Courthouse was built soon after, this is also where the post office was located. In 1829 Postmaster Larkin Newton changed the name to the Fayetteville Courthouse, to avoid confusing with Washington, Hempstead County. Two councilmen elected to name the city were from Fayetteville, Tennessee, itself a city named after General Lafayette, a French general who helped the states gain freedom in the American Revolutionary War.
Fayetteville is located in the Boston Mountains, a subset of The Ozarks which run through northwest Arkansas, southern Missouri, and Eastern Oklahoma. The Boston Mountains were formed when sediments were deposited on top of the Springfield Plateau during the Triassic period. In the Fayetteville area, the sediment was eroded to expose the old Springfield formation, while south of Fayetteville little erosion took place, forming the steep Boston Mountains. Fayetteville is also the namesake of the Fayetteville shale, a geological formation which has recently become an epicenter for natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing.
Although much of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area has grown with Walmart’s ascent to the #1 corporation listed by the Fortune 500, Fayetteville has often made it clear that the city prefers to associate itself with the University of Arkansas rather than the worldwide retailer. Walmart is based in nearby Bentonville, Arkansas and is one of four Fortune 500 corporations based in the state (the others being Dillard’s, Murphy Oil, and Tyson Foods). Tyson Foods in based in Springdale, Arkansas, which is adjacent to the north of Fayetteville. Despite not being based in Fayetteville, these corporations have a big impact through the University. The Sam M. Walton College of Business (named for Sam Walton) at the University of Arkansas has received numerous donations from the Walton family. Tyson also has a presence on campus at the Tyson Center for Excellence in Poultry Science which holds classes for the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. The poultry science program at Arkansas is one of the top three in the United States. Transportation company J. B. Hunt is based in Lowell, Arkansas and has donated millions of dollars to the logistics program at the university, including $10 million funding the J.B. Hunt Center for Academic Excellence that completed in 2010.
The University of Arkansas has also been changing into a research-centered university since the late-20th century. The university’s stated goals now include becoming the economic engine for the region, the state of Arkansas, and beyond. This focus on innovation has helped draw students interested in research to Fayetteville. The university took a big step towards its new focus in 2010 when it was designated as a “very high activity research university” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
In 2010, Forbes magazine ranked the City of Fayetteville #8 on its list of “Best Places For Business And Careers,” using criteria such as the cost of doing business, cost of living, educational achievement, and crime rate. It was also named #3 by Inc. Magazine on a list of “best mid-size cities for doing business”.
Fayetteville is home to the Walton Arts Center, which is Arkansas’ premier center for arts and entertainment. The center is the result of a joint effort between the City of Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas to bring arts to the city. The center is located on Dickson Street halfway between the University and the town square has inadvertently revitalized the area, resulting in gains for both parties. It currently features a full Broadway theatre season, arts camps, continuing education opportunities for teachers of the arts, University-sponsored performances in addition to serving as a host for community events. A considerable donation from the namesake Walton family assisted greatly in the construction of the building.
Parks and Trail System
The Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department maintains 70 parks whose total land area makes up 3,129 acres (1,266 ha). The National Wildlife Federation has listed many parks and trails in Fayetteville as Certified Wildlife Habitats, which provide food, water, shelter, and a nurturing environment for young wildlife. A favorite park in Fayetteville is Wilson Park, which anchors the Wilson Park Historic District.The park was the city’s first, and today contains a swimming pool, two playgrounds, a baseball field, picnic areas, and a 1981 castle in addition to courts for volleyball, basketball and tennis. The National Register of Historic Places-listed historic district encompasses 47 homes constructed in the late 19th and early 20th century along the southern edge of the park.
A new addition to the Fayetteville parks scene is the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. First envisioned in 1993, the Botanical Garden Society of the Ozarks raised funds for the facility until beginning construction in 2003. Planned to be built in three stages, the first stage will be completed near the end of 2011. The initial stages call for a visitor center, cafe, and garden gateway. Stage one also includes ⅓ of the total planned gardens and ½ the maintenance facilities.
Information from Wikipedia