NOV. 22, 2011 | “A tire in the woods,” wetland scientist Kevin Mullenax joked last month, “is an indicator of a wetland.”
Mullenax led a tour of the White Oak Bayou management area in Maumelle, Arkansas, for members of the Arkansas Native Plant Society and other local groups October 15.
He briefed the visitors on how three local governments – Maumelle, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County – are collaborating on a plan to manage the wetland to protect habitat and water quality while allowing sustainable development and providing opportunities for informal education and recreation. Members of the Central Arkansas Master Naturalists and Maumelle Citizens Association also took Mullenax’s tour.
Mullenax pointed out common buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and species of hibiscus (Hibiscus), smartweed (Persicaria), barnyard grass (Echinochloa), and camphor weed (Pluchea). He mentioned that the bayou is habitat for the endangered wood stork (Mycteria americana) and warned the visitors to carefully avoid the thorns of hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata), a non-native shrub or small tree that has escaped cultivation across the South.
The Arkansas Native Plant Society often participates in field trips like this tour of White Oak Bayou. For information about upcoming activities, become a friend of the society on Facebook.
A discarded tire in the White Oak Bayou wetland in Maumelle, Arkansas (Photo by Martha Bowden)
The City of Maumelle is collaborating with other local governments to manage the White Oak Bayou. (Photo by Martha Bowden)
Hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata) (Photo by Martha Bowden)
A cypress (Taxodium distichum var. distichum) in the White Oak Bayou wetland in Maumelle, Arkansas. (Photo by Martha Bowden)