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Local notes: OLLI, GiveFest, Writers’ Colony

by Deb Harvell | March 5, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Smith, a native of Fayetteville, serves the U.S. Navy aboard Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 located in San Diego, Calif. Smith joined the Navy 12 years ago. “Initially, I wanted my country to view me in a different light, and ultimately, I wanted my people to view my country in a different light,” said Smith. Growing up in Fayetteville, Smith attended Fayetteville High School and graduated in 2001. Skills and values learned in Fayetteville are similar to those needed to succeed in the military. “I learned the importance of living life to the fullest and to squeeze every drop out of it,” said Smith. "You never know what life will give you, so you have to make the most of it." These lessons have helped Smith while serving in the Navy. VRM aircraft are vertical takeoff and landing tilt-rotor aircraft, which have an increased operational range, faster cargo loading/unloading, increased survivability and enhanced communications compared to the C-2A Greyhound, which they are replacing. Smith is grateful to those who have made a Navy career possible. “My aunt, Virginia Denton, is a pioneer,” added Smith. "She desegregated the high school that I went to. She's one of the strongest people I know, and I'm thankful for everything she's done." (Courtesy Photo)


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arkansas has announced the following classes:

March 6: The Beautiful Curse of Botswana: What I Learned During My 2022 Photo Safari. Botswana is home to one-third of Africa's elephants and the largest diamond mine in the world. Join photographer/adventurer Doug Talbot and learn the curse that such bountiful wealth can bring. OLLI office, 1-3 p.m. $19 members, $34 nonmembers.

March 7: Who Can You Trust With Your Land? This course will discuss how the NWA Land Trust works with land owners to protect critical ecosystems, working lands and scenic views for future generations. Kessler Classroom at Fayettechill, 1-4 p.m. $19 members, $34 nonmembers.

March 8, 15, 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19, 26: Yoga for Healthy Living. Healthy aging requires one to systematically stretch and con edition muscles that protect aging joints. The slow, exact movements of yoga enhance strength, eliminate joint stiffness, restore flexibility, improve agility and balance. Grand Village, 9-10:15 a.m. $59 members, $74 nonmembers.

March 8: From the Ground Up: A Tour of Appleseeds. Visit Appleseeds teaching farm and learn how K-7th graders are inspired to follow health living options. Appleseeds Teaching Farm. 4-5 p.m. Free for members, $15 nonmembers.

March 8: Food Insecurity. Food insecurity is a problem in NWA. Listen to a panel of local professionals discuss the issues and explore how the community can get more involved and be part of the solution. Pryor Center, 10 a.m.-noon. Free for members / $15 nonmembers.

Information: (479) 575-4545 or


Hobbs State Park Conservation Area will host the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series: "Tick Smart: Staying Safe in Tick Country" from 2 to 3 p.m. March 5 at the visitor center. Dr. Sonya Graves-Zawada, professor of biology at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, will help visitors separate tick fact from fiction and learn best practices to safely enjoy the outdoors.

Warming weather and sunshine makes March a perfect time to get outside in The Natural State. It is also the perfect time for ticks to be active. Although many tickborne illnesses are endemic to Arkansas, that doesn't have to spoil time spent outdoors. Graves-Zawada will help visitors better understand ticks and thus, better prepare for outdoor recreation in tick country.

Visitors will learn about the time of day that ticks are most active, what smell they strongly dislike and clothing colors that are less attractive to them. Other fun facts involve whether ticks fly, if they rely on sight to find prey and if they will survive a trip through the laundry.

The program is free to the public. It is recommended for ages 12 and above.

Information: (479) 789-5000.


Tyson Foods has opened applications for participation in its third annual GiveFest, a nonprofit fair that benefits Northwest Arkansas organizations and communities. The event is open to Tyson Foods team members, helping nonprofit organizations raise funds and creating opportunities for team members to volunteer. GiveFest is scheduled for May 23.

The nonprofit fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tyson Foods World Headquarters, featuring live music and entertainment, a food truck lunch, and prizes for team members.

Nonprofits are encouraged to submit their applications. The deadline to apply is midnight March 24. Selected participants will be notified by close of business on April 7.


Writers' Colony

The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow has announced several updates to its Board of Directors. After accepting the resignation of Allyn Lord, with gratitude for her six years of service, Joe Coykandall has stepped up as president of the Board with Laura Matson Hahn serving as vice president. Four new board members have been added: Janet Allured, Jude Gaillot, Brooks Garner and Dann Richardson.

Information: (479) 253-7444 or

Green Roofs

The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is inviting local environmentalists to an interactive workshop where they will learn how to design and build a green roof from 2 to 3:30 p.m. March 12 at the garden, 4703 N. Crossover Road in Fayetteville.

Lee Porter, owner of Ozark Green Roofs, will walk through the basics of designing, installing, and maintaining a green roof. Lee is a local Landscape Architect, ISA Certified Arborist (trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture), LEED AP BD+C (expertise in the design and construction phases of green buildings), and SITES AP (expertise of sustainable land development). Ozark Green Roofs has completed projects at various local spots, like the Fayetteville Public Library Expansion, First National Bank of NWA, Uptown Apartments, Eco Modern Flats, and more.

Tickets to the "How to Design a Green Roof" workshop are available on the website. Tickets are $25 with a $10 discount for BGO members.


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