IMPACT Independence County is a grassroots community development plan focusing on healthy living and well-being, educational excellence, placemaking, and economic prosperity. It is rooted in the core belief that every resident has the right to strive to create the environment they desire. Collaboration drives the plan and implementation of its objectives.

Healthy Living


Becoming the Healthiest County in Arkansas

With active engagement from physicians, runners, cyclists, yogis, restaurant and market owners, dentists, nurses, our parks director, and many other interested citizens, the Healthy-Living and Wellbeing hub imagined being the healthiest county in Arkansas, committed to keeping our residents physically and emotionally well.


  • Become the healthiest county in Arkansas, committed to keeping residents active and physically and emotionally well.
  • Provide a variety of opportunities to get all residents outdoors and physically active.
  • Reimagine opportunities for providing socially active lifestyles for residents at every stage of life.
  • Increase knowledge of and access to health and wellness opportunities and social events.
  • Create educational and other opportunities that inspire residents to make healthier choices.
  • Increase the number of children that enter kindergarten socially on-track and ready to learn by prioritizing social-emotional needs and learning (SEL) curriculum and intentional teaching of prosocial and helping behaviors.
  • Increase the number of children that enter kindergarten physically on track and ready to learn by expanding access to screenings and providing more opportunities for families to build gross and fine motor skills.
  • Increase the proportion of low-income children who receive preventive dental services by expanding oral health knowledge among early educators and families, connecting families to local dentists, and easing barriers to accessing dental care.
  • Increase the number of community programs and projects that focus on substance use research, prevention, and treatment.
  • Increase support for the expanded development of the greenway trail system and proactively support the development of public transportation to increase community access.
  • Improve the appearance and image of Independence County.
  • Support the growth of regional healthcare organizations.

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Cultivating Talent and Skills

The Educational Excellence hub's vision was developed by the Independence County Public Education Foundation, Educators, Employers, Parents, and more. The hub's vision is to cultivate talent and skills for students in Independence County.


  • Deliver quality education that results in the cultivation of talent and skills.
  • Strengthen and address broadband connectivity for all students, teachers, and families.
  • Deliver innovative education and retain qualified educators resulting in growth for every student.
  • Guide Pre-K - 16 career discovery and create value-added educational programs that attract and retain post-secondary students, preparing all students for careers.
  • Develop education initiatives that create a viable workforce.
  • Prioritize social-emotional learning (SEL) and intentional teaching of prosocial and helping behaviors.
  • Increase quality and availability of childcare.
  • Utilize Public Education Foundation to focus on high-impact initiatives that support a multitude of students.
  • Implement diversity, equity, and inclusion programming and practices to better serve and orient minority families.
  • Build a culture of reading.

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Increasing Quality of Life in Independence County

Placemaking, by definition, inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of their community. We focus on the physical, cultural, and social identity of our places and spaces and the opportunities before us to develop and connect them, creating exciting epicenters of activity and events.


  • Support the development and promotion of community events, resulting in improved quality of life for residents.
  • Develop the Batesville area into a regional sports hub.
  • Improve access to waterways and support rentals/outfitters.
  • Improve outdoor recreation and leisure space, resulting in improved quality of life for residents.
  • Create a community of local adventure guide services.
  • Continue the development of historic downtown Batesville.

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Intentionally Growing Our Community

We like to think of Economic Prosperity as the ultimate pursuit for our residents and our community. We are not just hoping for better times. We are creating them every day. Our goal is to intentionally grow our community—maintaining our small-town feel and expanding amenities. Residents involved in the Economic Prosperity hub come from various industries such as education, government, manufacturing, construction, small businesses, real estate, healthcare, and more.


  • Develop a unified strategy and secure a sustainable funding source to incentivize new business and business expansions in sectors that have the greatest potential to create new jobs, raise incomes and elevate standards of living.
  • Enhance support and deploy resources to grow small businesses, including outreach to underserved populations (minority, women-owned, etc.)
  • Enhance the quality of life in the region by addressing community assessed needs and policies that impact them: housing, entertainment, restaurants, centralized community development/information hub, outdoor recreation access, and indoor recreation.
  • Expand services that support workforce retention and economic well-being.
  • Develop education and employment initiatives that create, sustain, and retain a viable workforce.
  • Further develop tourist attractions and support events that result in overnight stays to maximize the economic benefits of tourism.

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