We’re told the future is heading our way. We’d like to say, it’s already here! The burgeoning growth of NW Arkansas is teetering on spilling over into Missouri along highway 71 any year now—or maybe that’s any decade now! Nevertheless, we who are working with Jane’s government see the need to get things in order and develop a vision of what we hope to see happen in Jane over the next 20 to 50 years. Now that the Bella Vista Bypass is scheduled for completion by early 2022, the next five years could result in major changes in the area.
We approved a plan on May 28, 2018, to help bring the Razorback Regional Greenway through Jane, with a currently planned terminus in Pineville. Mayor Christie of Bella Vista tells us that the main bike path is not due to reach the state line for another five to ten years, but that has not stopped the scores of bicyclists using this route already. Our road through Jane lacks shoulders and is but two lanes; for safety’s sake we need to provide an alternative; plus we need paved walkways for our own pedestrians so people can exercise, walk to school, and visit. When you get this far, you say walk to where? Yes, we need a park with picnic shelters, play areas, magnificent trees, ponds, ball fields, sculptures, flower beds, and something extra special. Then what about meetings; we need a community center to help bring the people together. That structure could even house a village hall with offices for our politicians, a visiting judge, a police officer, and a public works department. We need a modern fire station for our volunteer firefighters as well. It would be a fine addition to have maybe a dozen new businesses interspersed with parks in the old downtown area; things artsy, whimsical, and practical in a quaint way. Our wish list is, of course, longer than this document.
There is quite a lot of land available for commercial and residential development, and a number of recreational opportunities available locally; going East we have Mustang Alley, a dance hall and Rush Springs Ranch a four-wheel recreational facility and campground, and Flagg Springs Conservation Area; going North we have Big and Little Sugar Creeks and Elk River which are famous throughout the area for canoeing, kayaking and tubing, the Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area with its hiking and horse riding trails, the Big Sugar Creek State Park East of Pineville with its hiking trails; to the West, we have Noel with its magnificent impoundment and summer activities; and to the South Bella Vista, Bentonville, and on to Rogers—closer and quicker to reach than Neosho in Missouri with its plethora of businesses, fine dining, and other activities.
Jane has that elusive quality called ‘country charm’. Many among our residents fear losing this to development, but change is coming; the question is whether to direct and harness that change or to allow unregulated growth to bury our community in crime and poverty. We will not give up on what could be the best place to live in this area. We welcome anyone with the drive and purpose to help us in this endeavor; just come and say howdy!