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The Man, The River, The Legacy

Compton celebration honors environmentalist’s work

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When the friends of Compton Gardens and Conference Center in Bentonville host their Dr. Compton Celebration today, they'll be honoring the memory of a man who spent much of his life making sure the natural beauty of the Buffalo River was protected. Neil Compton founded the Ozark Society to Save the Buffalo River (now known as the Ozark Society). Under his leadership, the organization successfully stopped construction of two Army Corps of Engineer dams that were proposed for the river, and Compton was instrumental in the push to have the Buffalo River designated a National River in the National Park System.

"Compton Gardens is Dr. Compton's personal home that he lived in in the 1970s," Jennifer Grimes, event coordinator for the Peel Compton Foundation, says of the six-and-a-half acres that include the house and gardens right off the Bentonville square. "The Ozark Society's efforts went toward preserving the natural landscape, and pretty much all of the landscape around Compton Gardens is native plants. His home has been turned in to an event venue and conference center, used for weddings and corporate rentals."

FAQ

Dr. Compton Celebration

WHEN — 9 a.m.-2 p.m. today, family celebration; 5-8 p.m. today, refreshments and cocktail hour

WHERE — 312 N. Main St. in Bentonville

COST — Free

INFO — 254-3870

Grimes says the Dr. Compton Celebration is held once a year and is well-attended by many people who worked with Compton in his environmental efforts.

"This is really just a celebration and an effort to bring awareness to his efforts of saving the Buffalo River," says Grimes. "We want to celebrate his life and legacy."

Grimes says that this year will mark the first time that the event is being expanded to include the entire family.

"We're expanding it to the day, so that the whole family can be a part of it," she says. Starting at 9 a.m. today, kid-friendly events like rock painting, a story walk and the Amazeum's Bird Beak Buffet are just a few of the fun activities planned. The cocktail reception will begin at 5 p.m. and will feature a presentation by Mike Mills of Buffalo River Outfitters and a musical performance by Still on the Hill.

"We're hoping that by doing these programs, we can bring more awareness and expand more educational youth and environmental programs next year," says Grimes.

NAN What's Up on 08/11/2017

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