Smart Growth for Source Water Protection

What is Smart Growth & Why Do We Need It In NWA?

Northwest Arkansas is preparing for 1 million people by 2045, or sooner. Land conversion is occurring at an unprecedented rate and weather patterns are changing significantly. 

Smart Growth covers a range of development and conservation strategies that help protect our health and natural environment and make our communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse (US EPA). Smart Growth concepts can help bring a suite of tools and practices for any community to adopt voluntarily. Northwest Arkansas is home to Beaver Lake, the drinking water source for 1 in 5 Arkansans. Using Smart Growth practices will ensure that NWA maintains high-quality drinking water resources and resiliency in watershed function.

Tools for Smart Growth

Fact Sheets and Brochures

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Urban Riparian Fact Sheet

Ozark Native Plants Fact Sheet

What is Smart Growth

Rain Garden Fact Sheet

Riparian Planting Guide of the Ozarks

Local LID Projects

Projects like these are greatly important to the Northwest Arkansas region as case study for cities, developers, and landowners to learn best management practices for urban, suburban, and even rural properties. If you are interested in implementing a project like one of these, please reach out and we would be happy to assist you!

Lake Atalanta

Kessler Mountain Regional Park

Mitchusson Park

West Fork Library

Hickory Creek

Policy – Model Codes and Ordinances

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  • City of Fayetteville Streamside Protection Ordinance
    • The City of Fayetteville’s 168.12 Streamside Protection Zones Ordinance outlines streamside protection zone requirements, as well as regulated uses, structures, and activities within streamside protection zones.
  • City of Fayetteville LID Code
    • The City of Fayetteville’s Title XV Unified Development Code, Chapter 179- Low Impact Development. This chapter provides a regulatory basis for site design and development that incorporates LID strategies into land development.
  • Rogers, AR Code of Ordinances – Cave Springs Karst
    • The City of Rogers’ Sec. 14-2. Cave Springs area karst resource conservation regulations. While the Cave Springs area is located in the Illinois River Watershed, these regulations apply to the direct recharge areas of the City of Rogers, City of Springdale, City of Lowell, and the City of Cave Springs and aim to protect the water quality of the Cave Springs recharge area to protect the aquatic habitat.
  • Other notable local ordinances:
    • The City of Roger’s Drainage Criteria Manual summarizes submittal requirements for plans and drainage reports to the city, stormwater planning, and various drainage project design guidelines.
    • The City of Goshen’s Ordinance No. 157: Regulate Landscaping in Commercial Districts within the City and for Other Purposes. This ordinance establishes regulations concerning landscaping with the aim of preserving trees, increasing tree canopy, creating healthier environments by decreasing chemicals and sediments entering water supplies, and reducing nonnative plants, among others.

Beaver Watershed Alliance Smart Growth Forums – A Report

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EPA Resources for Smart Growth

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  • Smart Growth for Clean Water:  Offers ideas for using smart growth to advance clean water goals based on the experiences of communities across the nation.




Thank you to the AR Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Division and US EPA for funding project 22-500, “Smart Growth for Source Water Protection In the Beaver Lake Watershed,” to support the development of these Smart Growth resources.