Community Events

2015

September 25-26, 2016, Bison, Birds, Botany & Butterflies (BBBB), Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Oklahoma

Mark your calendars, birding friends, for y’all are hereby invited to an INFORMAL* birding-natural history “conference,” Bison, Birds, Botany & Butterflies (BBBB), centered at The Nature Conservancy’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northeastern Oklahoma, September 25-26, 2015 (maybe even starting September 24). We will informally* — and I do mean informally* — and with little fanfare and no fund raising — observe and enjoy free-ranging bison, typical birds of the Flinthills prairies and associated crosstimbers woodlands, and the remarkably diverse native flora there. We will also check out all the other stuff, like fossils, Eastern Collared Lizards, Ornate Box Turtles, and anything else encountered. This is also peak time for the southward migration of Monarch Butterflies, and if previous years serve as guide, we should see a lot of them, too.

On both Friday and Saturday, meet at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve headquarters area at noon. If you are interested, there are no fees, no registration, nothing whatsoever official about this BBBB. We can meet up over there where the grass is tall, where the lizards are big and colorful, where the bison are crossing the road or head butting out in the fields, or maybe an interesting hawk never seen before in this universe is gliding over the grass, or some rare Flinthills flower like Eryngium has opened just for us.— Joe Neal.

July 11, 2015, Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society Field Trip to Chesney Prairie Natural Area

Join members and friends of Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society on Saturday July 11, 2015, for a field trip to Chesney Prairie Natural Area near Siloam Springs. Meet at the entrance to Chesney at 9 AM (you can arrive earlier or later, too; not hard to see the group in open grasslands). Free and open to the public. This is an opportunity to see native prairie, including birds, bumblebees, flower beetles, thread-waisted wasps. Chesney will feature a good showing of native flowers, especially several sunflower species and dramatic purple gay feathers (Liatris species) and attending butterflies. Good opportunity for photography, for novice and pro alike. Many open country birds like Dickcissels, American Goldfinches, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Loggerhead Shrikes, Bell’s Vireo, Blue Grosbeak, and others are often seen here or nearby. The trip will consist of an easy loop walk of about 1.1 miles on mowed trails. A longer trail is available; you can walk as much or as little as you wish and of course you don’t need to stick with the group unless you want to. Water, sunscreen, and hat are recommended. You do not have to be a member of the NWAAS to participate. All ages and skill levels are welcome. For directions to Chesney, go to the NWAAS web site at http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/index.html and follow the link on the left: Places to bird in northwest Arkansas and follow that to Chesney.   Directions are also available from the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission website page for Chesney Prairie Natural Area.

Note: Joe Woolbright and his staff at Ozark Ecological Restorations Inc mow paths at Chesney to make it easier to get around. Chiggers, ticks, and other irritations are not much of a problem along the paths.

June 14-19 and 21-26, 2015, Arkansas Audubon Society Halberg Ecology Camp

WANTED: 11 and 12-year old boys and girls who love studying hands-on nature at the 36th Annual Arkansas Audubon Society Ecology Camp.

Each session the camp is looking for 50 first-year students who are interested in hands-on natural sciences.  If you know of any 11- or 12-year old youth who are interested in the natural sciences—ornithology, herpetology, mammalogy, aquatic biology, entomology, geology and botany—please make sure they and their families are made aware of this exceptional educational opportunity.

For more information visit the camp’s website.

June 13, 2015, Garrett Hollow Natural Area Cleanup, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) will be hosting a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Garrett Hollow Natural Area. This natural area, located at the northern edge of the Boston Mountains in the Ozark Highlands, is marked by rugged topography and consists of diverse hardwood forests and sandstone glades. It also contains a number of karst features where bedrock allows water to drain into crevices and solution tubes, creating small caves and subterranean streams. Garrett Hollow Natural Area provides critical habitat for the federally endangered Ozark big-eared bat. The goal of this event will be to remove trash within and around the boundaries of the natural area to the benefit of the native plants and animals of the area.

Participants should wear sturdy boots and clothing they don’t mind getting dirty. Work equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a sack lunch and a beverage container (water will be provided).

For more information and to sign up for this event, please contact Toby Von Rembow, Land Management Specialist, at (501) 683-4084 or toby@arkansasheritage.org. Please also visit the Volunteer Information page on the ANHC website for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities with ANHC.

May 17, 2015, Discover the Grounds >> Woodland Wonders by Botanist Barry Glick, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville will be hosting a Nature Walk and Talk on the Museum grounds.

Sunshine Gardens’ botanist Barry Glick shares an entertaining and educational look at some of the wildflowers and other plants that we overlook on our woodland hikes and in our own backyards through a fascinating photographic presentation.  After his 45-minute lecture, he’ll take the group for “wild” walk on Crystal Bridges’ grounds.

Barry Glick is a founding member of the North American Plant Preservation Council. At his West Virginia mountaintop farm, Sunshine Farm and Gardens, he grows tens of thousands of plants for retail and wholesale, and for seed production. In his tissue-culture lab, he experiments genetically to produce new and better plants. When he is not on the farm working with plant propagation, Barry is lecturing and writing articles about native plants, propagation techniques, and hellebores.  He has a vast collection of more than 10,000 taxa and exchanges seeds, plants, and horticultural information with organizations throughout the world.

Free with online registration

May 16, 2015, Discover the Grounds >> The Art of Plant Propagation, 10 a.m – 4 p.m.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville welcomes renowned organic farmer Barry Glick of Sunshine Farms and Garden to guide us through the hands-on practice of plant mating. Glick will take participants through a step-by-step process on virtually every method of plant propagation, from seed collecting and sowing to tissue culture. Cost: $20, $16 for Museum Members. For more information click here or call 479-657-2335.

April 11, 2015, Discover the Grounds >> Woodland Wildflowers for the Home Garden, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Cody George, Horticulturist for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, will give a lecture and tour of the Museum grounds on how to integrate woodland wildflowers into your garden.

Free with online registration or by calling 479-657-2335

April 11, 2015, Dardanelle Rock Natural Area Cleanup, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) will be hosting a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, April 11, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Dardanelle Rock Natural Area. This natural area, a natural and historic landmark, occurs along the Arkansas River on the east end of Dardanelle Mountain, a ridge of Hartshorne sandstone formed in conjunction with the creation of the Ouachita Mountains. The goal of this event will be to remove trash within and around the boundaries of the natural area. Participants will also likely have the opportunity to hike to the top to take in seeping views of the Arkansas Valley.

Participants should wear sturdy boots and clothing they don’t mind getting dirty. Work equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a sack lunch and a beverage container (water will be provided).

For more information and to sign up for this event, please contact Toby Von Rembow, Land Management Specialist, at (501) 683-4084 or toby@arkansasheritage.org. Please also visit the Volunteer Information page on the ANHC website for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities with ANHC.

March 21, 2015, Devil’s Eyebrow Natural Area Reforestation and Erosion Control, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) will be hosting a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, March 21, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Devil’s Eyebrow Natural Area. This over 1,700-acre, rugged natural area, located on the north side of Beaver Lake in Benton County in the Ozark Highlands, contains a rich diversity of habitats and supports one of the highest concentrations of rare plant species in Arkansas. The goal of this event will be to plant native hardwood tree saplings along several sections of old, abandoned roads within the area to reduce sediment runoff into Beaver Lake.

Participants should wear sturdy boots and clothing they don’t mind getting dirty. Work equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a sack lunch and a beverage container (water will be provided).

For more information and to sign up for this event, please contact Toby Von Rembow, Land Management Specialist, at (501) 683-4084 or toby@arkansasheritage.org. Please also visit the Volunteer Information page on the ANHC website for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities with ANHC.

March 14, 2015, Terre Noire Natural Area Cleanup and Invasive Species Removal, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.                                                                                       [cancelled due to weather]

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC), in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup, will be hosting a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, March 14, 2015, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Terre Noire Natural Area. This natural area, located just southwest of Arkadelphia in Clark County in the West Gulf Coastal Plain, contains one of the highest-quality blackland prairie and woodland complexes remaining in the state. The goals of this event will be a general clean up of the natural area and removal of invasive plant species (eastern red-cedar, saltbush, and Chinese privet).

Participants should wear sturdy boots and clothing they don’t mind getting dirty. Work equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a sack lunch and a beverage container (water will be provided).

For more information and to sign up for this event, please contact Toby Von Rembow, Land Management Specialist, at (501) 683-4084 or toby@arkansasheritage.org. Please also visit the Volunteer Information page on the ANHC website for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities with ANHC.

March 7, 2015, Slippery Hollow Natural Area Cleanup, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. [cancelled] 

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) will be hosting a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, March 7, 2015, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Slippery Hollow Natural Area. This natural area, located northwest of Yellville in Marion County in the Springfield and Salem Plateaus of the Ozark Mountains, consists of a rich mosaic of habitats ranging from dry upland woodlands, to calcareous glades, moist slope forests, and rich riparian forests along spring-fed streams. The goal of this event will be a general clean up of the natural area, focusing especially on removing trash from two dump sites.

Participants should wear sturdy boots and clothing they don’t mind getting dirty. Work equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a sack lunch and a beverage container (water will be provided).

For more information and to sign up for this event, please contact Toby Von Rembow, Land Management Specialist, at (501) 683-4084 or toby@arkansasheritage.org. Please also visit the Volunteer Information page on the ANHC website for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities with ANHC.

February 7, 2015, Cove Creek Natural Area Invasive Species Removal and Trail Maintenance, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) will be hosting a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, February 7, 2015, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Cove Creek Natural Area. This natural area, located in the Arkansas Valley north of Conway along Cove Creek, a tributary of Cadron Creek, is a 228-acre tract consisting of extensive sandstone glades and woodlands, rich forested stream terraces, and spectacular sandstone bluffs. The ANHC has been working to restore the glades and woodlands which had become dominated by invasive species such as Chinese privet and eastern red cedar.  One goal of this event will be to continue to remove Chinese privet from the area.  Another goal will be to help maintain the scenic 1.5-mile loop trail through the natural area.

Participants should wear sturdy boots and clothing they don’t mind getting dirty. Work equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a sack lunch and a beverage container (water will be provided).

For more information and to sign up for this event, please contact Toby Von Rembow, Land Management Specialist, at (501) 683-4084 or toby@arkansasheritage.org. Please also visit the Volunteer Information page on the ANHC website for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities with ANHC.

January 31, 2015, Cherokee Prairie Natural Area Cleanup, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) will be hosting a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Cherokee Prairie Natural Area, one of the largest tracts (at nearly 600 acres) of tallgrass prairie remaining in the Arkansas Valley, located just north of Charleston. The goal of this event will be to reduce the amount of litter within and along the boundaries of the natural area.

Participants should wear sturdy boots and clothing they don’t mind getting dirty. Work equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a sack lunch and a beverage container (water will be provided).

For more information and to sign up for this event, please contact Toby Von Rembow, Land Management Specialist, at (501) 683-4084 or toby@arkansasheritage.org. Please also visit the Volunteer Information page on the ANHC website for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities with ANHC.

January 17, 2015, Dardanelle Rock Natural Area Cleanup, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) will be hosting a volunteer opportunity on Saturday, January 17, 2015, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Dardanelle Rock Natural Area, a prominent geological feature and historic site along the Arkansas River in Dardanelle. The goal of this event will be to reduce the amount of litter within and along the boundaries of the natural area and will include a hike up the trail to the overlook.

Participants should wear sturdy boots and clothing they don’t mind getting dirty. Work equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a sack lunch and beverage container (water will be provided).

For more information and to sign up for this event, please contact Toby Von Rembow, Land Management Specialist, at (501) 683-4084 or toby@arkansasheritage.org. Please also visit the Volunteer Information page on the ANHC website for more information about volunteer needs and opportunities with ANHC.