John Brown University announced this week a plan to build a five-mile mountain bike trail on the university’s Siloam Springs campus. The Walton Family Foundation and Simmons Foods are partnering to fund the trail, expected to cost around $170,000 and to open summer 2016.
“JBU is always looking for ways to improve our campus to better serve both JBU students and the people of Siloam Springs. This professionally-built mountain biking trail will be a fantastic new recreational facility for our community,” said Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president. “We are deeply grateful for the support of the Walton Family Foundation and the people of Simmons Foods for financing this project.”
The five-mile trail will be soft-surface, utilizing terrain along Sager Creek and land with various elevations around JBU’s main campus. It will be a “gateway” trail, designed to be enjoyed by riders of various skill levels.
The trail is one of several initiatives to develop a broader bicycling community in Northwest Arkansas, which includes the recently-opened 36-mile Razorback Regional Greenway. The JBU trail will be one of several mountain-biking trails in the region which offers more than 150 miles of soft surface paths. In addition, the International Mountain Bicycling Association announced in October that it would hold its 2016 World Summit in Northwest Arkansas.
“The people of Simmons Foods take great pleasure in investing back into our communities,” said Todd Simmons, CEO of Simmons Foods. “This new mountain bike trail will be another reason Siloam Springs is a great place to live, work and play.”
“Northwest Arkansas trails are a popular and widely used transportation network,” said Tom Walton, Walton Family Foundation board member. “We have supported trail development in the region for 15 years and are excited to partner with John Brown University to expand an amenity that will promote active lifestyles among the student body.”
About Simmons Foods
Based in Siloam Springs, Ark., Simmons is one of the leading vertically integrated poultry processors and the largest private label wet pet food producer in the United States and Canada. Simmons operates in three primary business segments: (i) poultry, (ii) pet food and (iii) protein, with operations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, New Jersey and Ontario, Canada. Simmons is privately owned and has approximately 5,800 employees.
About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation focuses on addressing social and environmental issues by giving in three distinct areas: K-12 education, freshwater and marine conservation, and quality of life initiatives in the foundation’s home region. In 2014, the Walton Family Foundation invested more than $375 million in domestic and international projects. To learn more, visit www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org, and join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.