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Gary K Vernon - The Walton Foundation / Oz Trails, Arkansas.

Bentonville, Arkansas has gone from a few trails built by volunteers to being a key part of the business, social, and community landscape of not only the town of Bentonville but the wider Ozark region. Gary Vernon has been a driving force behind this and we have asked him to come and share his experience at the Scottish Mountain Bike Conference.

Gary on masterpience

Gary will share Oz Trails journey including the motivations for investors, the trails being a central tenet of the visitor economy of the region, and the impact on the health & well-being of communities linked by the extraordinary trail network of the region.

We have met Gary a few times now and have seen the success of Oz Trails in Bentonville for ourselves. We know that this will be an extremely inspirational addition to the Conference programme.

Chasing grayson

Gary chasing down his son Grayson.

First off, Gary is a lifelong cycling enthusiast. He was born in Joplin Missouri, and started working with Walmart in 1984 in the local store building bicycles for the Christmas season. He stayed with Walmart working his way through college.

In 1993 he went into store management after graduation.

He moved to Bella Vista in 2003 as part of his 30-year career taking on a role in the Walmart Corporate Office.

He was the president of the volunteer group Friends of Arkansas Single Track (FAST) in North West Arkansas for 7 years maintaining mountain bike trails around the region.

At Walmart he was a Director in the Environmental division working on recycling and sustainability programs before moving over to the Walton Family Foundation in 2015 supporting Steuart and Tom Walton leading their work focusing on cycling advocacy, events, mountain bike trail development and other outdoor recreation projects.

Gary is now a Senior Program officer for Steuart and Tom’s personal foundation and is considered one of the leading experts in developing mountain bike trail systems, overseeing design and construction of over 600 miles of world class mountain bike trails and growing.

His work includes the Oz Trails region of Northwest Arkansas as well as the Arkansas State Parks Monument Trail projects. In 2019 he was the recipient of the American Trails Chairman award for advancing trail design and changing the landscape for trail systems.

I am excited to come to Scotland and see the famous trail systems I have heard about for many years and learn from some of the best trail builders in the world.

Gary Vernon

Bella Vista is just one of the destinations supported by Oz Trails across Arkansas and these short films provide a flavour of the superb work going on across the region. Enjoy and if you want to catch Gary at the Conference - book your ticket now!

A little sample of the work going on in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Trail Town USA. The Promo!

Trail Town USA - Episode 1

Trail Town USA - Episode 2

3rd-5th November, 2022 @ P&J LIVE

Scottish Mountain Bike Conference 2022

Book tickets now

3rd-5th November, 2022 @ P&J LIVE

Scottish Mountain Bike Conference 2022

Book tickets now

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3rd-5th November, 2022 @ P&J LIVE

Scottish Mountain Bike Conference 2022

Book tickets now