Mar 15, 2022 - News

Nonprofit invests in Bentonville trail safety

Illustration of trail sign that says "$$$"
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Bentonville wants to hire more firefighters to help with emergencies on the city's trails, and now it has some seed money to get started.

Why it matters: The increased outdoor recreation and tourism in the area has led to more people on the trails, which means more incidents such as biking accidents, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

  • The city wants safety personnel to patrol the trails as a preventative measure. But without grant money, the city would not be able to hire additional staff until 2025.

What's happening: The Bentonville City Council accepted a $725,943 grant from the Walton Family Foundation that will pay 75% of the wages for six firefighters for two years and 25% for a third year, according to city documents.

  • The city will cover the rest and will be responsible for paying all of the salaries when the grant runs out.

By the numbers: The fire department responded to 198 incidents on trails in 2021, up from 150 in 2020. It expects to see one incident per day on Bentonville's trails by 2025, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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