Scott Family Amazeum, IRWP Collaboration Mitigate Pollutants

July 15, 2016

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (July 14, 2016) — As the Scott Family Amazeum was taking shape a few years ago, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership (IRWP) approached museum planners about rainwater mitigation.

Today, Amazeum and IRWP officials celebrated the work of the one-year old rain gardens and other green infrastructure at the site in contributing to pollution reduction in the Illinois River watershed.

“Being an educational institution in the Natural State, we are dedicated to ensuring that we protect our natural environment and that we share knowledge with our guests,” said Sam Dean, executive director of the Amazeum. “We’re proud to have implemented so much green infrastructure on our grounds and grateful to the IRWP for the funding that made these efforts possible.”

According to IRWP, green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils and natural resources to manage rain water where it falls and reduce non-point source pollution to improve water quality. The rain gardens play a large role in that pollution mitigation along with several other features on the grounds.

Delia Haak, executive director of the IRWP said, “The vision, and now the reality at the Scott Family Amazeum, includes innovative education both inside and outside the museum. Taking the lead to implement such a wide variety of conservation practices on this beautiful site, the Amazeum now inspires and educates visitors at the Museum, on the grounds, and along the trail, how our actions and these Green Infrastructure practices can help preserve, protect and restore our land and water resources. Many thanks to the Scott Family and to the Amazeum staff for your commitment to environmental stewardship in this inspiring place.”

Porous pavers and pathways diminish runoff during rain events, allowing the ground to soak in as much water as possible. Using native plants, which can better tolerate the natural variations of seasons, help provide natural habitat for wildlife and are beautiful. Their root systems also build healthy soils and channel water into the ground.

A riparian buffer, consisting of trees, shrubs and other vegetation, help defend any other pollutants at the stream bank. Riparian buffers can be seen on the J Street rain garden and on the north side of the museum, guarding the dry creek for roof run off.

The projects, completed in Summer 2015, were done so in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Illinois River Watershed Partnership, and the Regional Planning Commission/Razorback Greenway Trail System.

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About the Scott Family Amazeum
The Scott Family Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum for children and families in Northwest Arkansas. Located at the intersection of J Street and Museum Way in Bentonville, the Amazeum experiences include a climbable tree canopy, indoor cave, tinkering hub and nearly one acre of outdoor space. For more information about the museum, visit


Caption for included photo: Board and staff from Illinois River Watershed Partnership and Scott Family Amazeum gather to dedicate the rain garden and other green features at the Amazeum on Thursday, July 14, 2016. From left to right: Director of Education Mindy Porter, Scott Family Amazeum; Amazeum Board President Jill Drewyor, Mitchell Williams Law; Director of Exhibits and Public Programs Erik Smith, Amazeum; Amazeum Board Member Bob Arvin, Walmart; Director of Resource Specialist/Project Manager Becky Roark, IRWP; Executive Director Delia Haak, IRWP, Executive Director Sam Dean, Amazeum; Amazeum Board Member Denise Garner, Feed Communities; Amazeum Board Member Kelly Carlson, Arvest; IRWP Board President Tom Hopper, Crafton Tull: and IRWP Founding Board Member Jimmy Mardis, Tyson Foods.