Spring Creek in northwest Arkansas
Tyson employees volunteered to clean up trash and other debris along Spring Creek.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc. and The Nature Conservancy have launched an initiative that focuses on conserving the waterways of northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri.

Tyson donated $500,000 during a volunteer activity in which Tyson employees and local community leaders picked up trash and debris along Spring Creek in Springdale, Ark. The donation will benefit stream restoration, reforestation, erosion prevention, unpaved road improvements, watershed research and community engagement in conservation projects throughout the area, including the Kings, Elk and Buffalo Rivers, the company said in a July 15 press release.

“Our footprint in this area is significant and along with that comes an important responsibility to conserve our precious natural resources,” said Mike Roetzel, Tyson Foods’ group vice president of operation services. “This is just one way we hope to protect the quality of life we experience in this beautiful part of the country.”

The company has been an active participation in water conservation planning. In 2013, Tyson formed a Water Council with help from the Univ. of Arkansas to learn about water management for global operations and to create water management plans across the company. Through the council, Tyson Foods has developed water usage and management metrics while researching additional tools to conserve water and ensure food safety.

“We are very appreciative that Tyson wants to work with The Nature Conservancy,” Scott Simon, state director for the Arkansas Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. “They have been supporting The Nature Conservancy and the conservation work of other organizations for decades.

“We are particularly excited they have developed this program to fund water quality improvement projects and are looking forward to working together with their employees on some of the most beloved rivers of northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri.”