In an effort to save the historic White River bridge at Clarendon, a much larger vision presented itself. The potential to revitalize the Arkansas Delta by embracing a culture and taking advantage of its natural resources emerged. The utilization of five rivers to create a network of five ports, five markets and five routes within the Arkansas Delta has an opportunity to position itself as an adventure tourism and culinary destination for the 21st Century.
The restoration of five historic ports: Newport, Augusta, Des Arc, DeValls Bluff and Clarendon along the White River provide an opportunity for exploration and mobility with a glimpse of a culture frozen in time. The ports provide headquarters for exploration of some of the most diverse ecologies and cultures still in existence.
From the rivers to the ridge, Crowley’s Ridge provides a contrasting ecosystem while becoming the thread intertwining the five markets: Harrisburg, Wynne, Forrest City, Marianna and Helena. The markets provide an opportunity for the rebirth of a sustainable regional food system attracting small specialty farms and becoming a destination for the exploration of sustainable agriculture.
Cycling routes, utilizing existing infrastructure of county and farm roads provide the links to the once thriving downtowns brought back to life with public squares, regional music, café’s serving local cuisine, outfitters for adventure tourism and local guides providing a unique cultural immersion experience.