GREENLAND, Ark. (KNWA) — “Gateway to NW Arkansas” is written on Greenland’s logo. The city is located in Washington County in the Boston Mountains, three miles south of Fayetteville, and has a population of about 1,400 as of 2017.
The city has had a population increase year-over-year according to the U.S. Census. Between 2000 and 2010 there was a 39% growth. In 2000 the population was 907 and in 2010 it was 1,259.
What’s driving people to this city that’s nestled in the Ozark Mountains?
No pun intended about driving people to this city, but according to three-term Mayor Bill Groom, it comes down to the quality of life. “We have a great school district … a great nature park coming … and I like small towns.”
In 1882, the completion of a railway through the mountains helped the economy and was part of the reason for Greenland’s incorporation in 1910. The city’s total area is 2.7 square miles according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Now, Groom hopes a 37-acre nature/river park will be the main attraction. The land (47 acres total) was bought from a private property owner for $130,000 a couple of decades ago, it’ll be a few years before useable, but it will take about another 10 years to fully develop.
“Quail and wild turkey habitat, walking and running trails, and it’s one mile from the school,” said Groom. “This means school children will have a chance to learn about outdoor life.” Some of the park funding has come from Arkansas Game and Fish, Arkansas Parks and Tourism and Beaver Water District, to name a few agencies.
“The location used to be an eye-sore, piled with junk trucks,” said Groom, “now it will be a natural surface park where it can be seen from the 71 bridge, and along the banks of West Fork and White River on the southern border.”
Greenland, on Tuesday, January 7, has a special election. The Greenland School District wants to continue collecting its school tax rate of 39.5 mills; 25 mills would go to the statewide uniform rate. The difference, 14.5 would be applied to paying back the district’s outstanding bonds for school facility updates from 2013.
The Greenland School District, K-12, includes Winslow and parts of West Fork and Fayetteville. There are more than 750 students at three schools: Greenland High Scool, Greenland Middle School and Greenland Elementary. The school district’s motto is, “connecting with each child.”
The mayor is aware of a needed infrastructure upgrade and a housing plan that will conform to the population growth. “We are planning. We’ll see what we need to do,” said Groom.
Last year, the city tackled street resurfacing with expenses covered from an ArDOT state aid program and bathroom upgrades were made at the community center, according to the city’s website.
ABOUT BILL GROOM:
- 35 year Greenland resident
- Grew up in Siloam Springs
- Wife is from Booneville
- Son attended school in Greenland
- Served on Greenland school board
- The family relocated from Fayetteville due to high rent
- Reason for moving to Greenland, “I like small towns and there was a great opportunity to serve the community.”