Tag Archives: growing cities

DP: Bryant, Arkansas


Today’s Daily Prompt is: We Built This City. What do you love most about the city / town / place that you live in? What do you like the least about it? If you were mayor, what would be the most important problem you’d tackle? How would you tackle it?

The city that I live in, Bryant, is a fast growing city. It covers nine square miles and has every fast food chain you can think of. It also has a Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Kirkland’s, two Starbucks, Lowe’s, and numerous other small and big businesses. I loved how people in our community was once generous, friendly, and hospitable. Now, you can look forward to sitting in a turn lane forever as no one is considerate to not block driveways to businesses. Or you’ll sit at a stop sign, forever waiting on someone to let you into the flow of traffic.

The problem with this city is that all the businesses are in one area, clustered, making traffic a nightmare to endure in the mornings and when school has let out for the day. Instead of clustering all businesses into one big area, why not spread them out? It makes it very difficult to get in and out of those businesses, as everyone is rushing to get some where and would not think twice to let you cut in front of them.

When I first left for the Navy in 2000, Bryant only had a Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and a small grocery store, as well as three gas stations. The population was a little over 9,000. Bryant was better known as the ‘bedroom community’ due to it mostly being houses and not the huge booming town it is today. After I got out of the Navy, Pizza Hut was demolished and a gas station was put in it’s place. We still have Wendy’s and McDonald’s, but the grocery store went out of business due to Walmart moving in just down the street. The current population is over 16,000. Almost doubled from when I first left in 2000 for boot camp.

There’s construction going on presently, albeit they’re building another fast food restaurant…that we don’t need. There was a town meeting the other day for a millage tax, requesting money to build another middle school and elementary school, to upgrade the middle school’s cafeteria, to build more things that our ever growing town needs for its community, yet the millage tax didn’t pass. Guess the towns people don’t see the things we need here or they believe the new High School that was finished last summer was enough as far as educational buildings go.

This city literally has grown immensely within the last fifteen years, that someone like me would have a hard time recognizing it. When I had gotten out of the service, I moved to Colorado to attend college for aviation. I stayed there for almost 4 years, then moved to Oklahoma for a few years, then moved back here in late 2009. I had been gone for 9 years and was astonished as to how much my hometown had changed. The service roads weren’t even two way anymore. They had changed to one way service lanes…good thing my grandmother warned me about that or I may have made a huge error by going the wrong way.

With the current mayor we have, our city has built on a new Recreational Center with an indoor pool and more fast food buildings. What our city needs is less fast food and more buildings for the community. The new rec center was nice, though the indoor swimming pool is mostly for swim teams. I had taken my daughter swimming to the new indoor pool and there were five other parents, gathered in a five by ten area that was sectioned off for ‘free swimming’. Ten of us collided into one another in the tiny space, just to allow our kiddos some time to cool off from the hot summer heat.

The other swimming pool that we have here, is a tiny pool, yet it is overly crowded every summer. We do need a bigger pool that is open to the public and not used for swim teams. Yes, we have a splash pad, to which you have to pay for, but my daughter is terrified of it, due to her autism.

There aren’t enough things here for special needs children. Or I should say, there isn’t anything for special needs children at all, other than a couple of daycare centers. We could use more parks with playgrounds; we only have one playground. There is a park currently being built that is accessible for disabled children. It isn’t here in Bryant, but it’s a twenty minute drive, without traffic. It’s actually a first of its kind park, which is sad as we need more parks that are accessible for all walks of life, disabled or not. (Click here and here for details on that park)

I would love to see a park with outdoor exercise equipment. Gyms may have dropped their prices so that us poor people can go workout, but what about daycare services? There’s only one gym here with a small childcare service while mom works out, yet it’s pricey. Some parents may only have a few minutes to workout after work, yet that’s when they have their kiddos with them. So, why not have an ‘Adult Fitness Playground’ along with our kids playgrounds? Family’s would be more active, would they not? It’s free and open to the public, so there would be more people out there working out, getting healthy.

As a mayor, the community and environment should be the most important things to think about and not what goes in and out of our pockets.

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A late night…calling?


I live in Bryant, Arkansas, a city that’s always growing. As we speak there’s construction going on in several places. A Dunkin Donuts is adding it’s finishing touches before it’s grand opening sometime this month. A small Chinese restaurant is adding an expansion to their place. Those are just to name a few that I can remember seeing on my daily commute.

Our city’s population is almost 17,000. Our school district has a population of over 9,000 kids and growing each year. This year they built a new High School and a new Elementary School.

When my grandparents moved into this house in the sixty’s it was, what they called, a bedroom community; there was nothing but houses here. There was also a lot of woodland areas. Several years had gone by and a few few fast food chains had moved into the city. Within the last fifteen years a Wal-Mart was built, followed by a Target with a Starbucks, another Starbucks in the same parking lot as the Target with a Starbucks, Best Buy, a Kohl’s, Old Navy, then any fast food place you can think of…seriously! Not to mention the many housing division that was built during this time also.

The sad thing about expansion is cutting down the trees and clearing out the woodland areas that houses the animals. There’s still a small acreage of wooded area behind my grandparents house where small animals live. I’ve come to recognize these animals that live there myself in the short time that I lived here with my grandma. Occasionally I will hear, see, or smell these animals. Yes, smell, there’s skunks living in there. I’ve heard an owl a few times late at night. I’ve heard woodpeckers many times during the day. I’ve seen tarpins (a type of turtle), rabbits, even a panther once (though I’m sure she lives elsewhere). I’ve even seen a pair of young bucks walking around my back yard; I’m sure they were passing through. There’s also a family a red foxes that lives in the woods in the backyard.

Every once and a while I will see that family of red foxes. Last night however, I heard one as it was crying or calling, whichever it’s called. It woke me up. One thing I’ve noticed as I became a mother is that I’m a light sleeper, so just about anything wakes me up. So when I heard the fox calling out last night my first reaction was that it was my daughter. It took me a few seconds to realize what it really was. I laid there listening to it crying out.

I spent part of my youth living on a farm. I miss the country, the outdoors, the fresh air, the wide open space, the animals, the trees. Just hearing that fox made me feel like I am living in the country, even though I’m not. I’ll give it another fifteen years before all the surrounded woodland areas are gone, exchanged for more houses, stores, and fast food chains.