It Takes a Village

Message from the CEO

Credited originally as an African proverb, the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” referred to the idea that it takes the interaction and care of many to provide for a child’s growth. The phrase has been often recited in American culture for many purposes, most of which generally mean “it takes teamwork”. I’ve been known to use a shortened version “It takes a village” to point out that it takes a lot of effort to keep me on track. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully skilled (and patient) “village” to keep me in line!

While reflecting on the recent completion of another very successful Citizens Water Academy, I was reminded of the proverb again and how any successful endeavor truly requires a village of guidance and support. The origin of the Citizens Water Academy program was the recognition that to effectively promote the protection and sustainability of Beaver Lake and the surrounding watershed, as the region’s drinking water source, the District would need advocacy and support. The goal of the academy was to educate Northwest Arkansas community leaders about the District, our treatment processes and techniques, and the importance of drinking water to our area and its economy. Ideally, upon completion of the academy, the participants would be prepared to serve as ambassadors for Beaver Water District and advocates of our mission and vision.

Started in 2018, the intensive 5-week program brings together expertise from all District departments including finance, regulatory and compliance, engineering, operations, and environmental quality. These individuals spend countless hours creating content for the participants of the annual academy program, and after each academy the content is reviewed and updated based on input from the participants. Our goal, of course, is to provide the most relevant and up-to-date content to each class in recognition of the valuable time commitment that each class member has made. In addition to the District staff, we are thankful for the engagement of our partner organizations. Beaver Watershed Alliance, Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, and H2Ozarks all provided content and presentations for the participants.

For generations, Northwest Arkansas has been blessed with leaders willing and able to cooperate and collaborate for the good of the entire area. It’s one of the unique characteristics that has truly defined the success of the region, and occasionally leaves other areas of the country scratching their heads in wonder. Today, as we plan for continued development of world-class facilities and amenities to accommodate a projected population of more than one million people, we must be mindful to maintain that characteristic of cooperation, of mutual support for one another. The 1940s and 50s brought us visionary business leaders who decided that it would take a village to successfully advocate for the creation of the Beaver reservoir. Luckily for us, the generations that followed have built on that legacy, and we must be mindful to do the same.

I am personally thankful for the “villages” that I am a part of, and I am grateful for the village of support for the mission and vision of Beaver Water District.

Join our mailing list to receive Beaver Water District's quarterly publication, The Source.