Summertime for my family is about spending time together and making memories to last a lifetime. This summer, the staff at AY Magazine encourages you to do the same.

Our July issue is chock-full of “unexpected” things to go see, where to eat and fun getaways for all ages. Enjoy a steam in a cave in Hot Springs, take the family fishing on the beautiful White River, go see the newest addition to the Little Rock Zoo family or go enjoy a spicy new drink and tequila cocktail at Heights Taco and Tamale Co. Whatever your adventure, our beautiful state has something in store for you.

I’m especially proud to see my daughter, Savvy, on the pages of this issue. We write a lot about food and Savvy is an aspiring chef. This summer she is attending the Clinton Foundation Culinary Camp. Cooking camps for kids are quickly becoming a sought-after summer activity. Not only do they teach our children practical skills, but they also enforce eating well and choosing local and nutritious ingredients. Our writer explores each camp and talks to kids about their passion for cooking. I’m proud of Savvy for choosing this path and I’m grateful to all members of the food industry and education communities in Arkansas for changing how we view food and how we teach our children about food.

Choosing a healthy lifestyle isn’t only about what we eat (although we do have a great list of farmers markets around the state for you). This month we tackle “lifestyle diseases” – conditions that can be reduced or stopped by everyday choices we make regarding things like nutrition and exercise. Learn about the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 program, which helps individuals focus on preventing and managing chronic diseases like hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

On page 56, discover the work Scott Simon and the Nature Conservancy are doing to protect the wild spaces in Arkansas. The massive reforestation effort and fight to save the Cache River are awe-inspiring. We applaud them for protecting our natural resources so they will be here for my family, and yours, to enjoy for a long, long time.

Happy July!

Heather Baker

Photography by Ashley Murphy Images and Jamison Mosley


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