Volunteer Appreciation Party  Thursday, May 18 6-8pm

We want to celebrate our volunteers!

As a community nonprofit, we heavily on volunteers to help us save land in Northwest Arkansas. Whether by removing invasive plants, picking up trash, assisting with educational programs or helping around the office, we couldn’t do our work without our dedicated volunteers.

To show our appreciation, we are hosting a pizza party for all of our volunteers, both past and present, on Thursday, May 18 at our headquarters at the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse, featuring Frank Sharp’s famous make-your-own wood fired pizzas. This evening will be a time to celebrate the hard work of our volunteers, and to thank them for their commitment to local land conservation.

If you plan to join us, please RSVP to sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org by May 12.

Wilson Springs Herp Hike with J.D. Willson – Friday, May 12 7-9pm

Explore Wilson Springs Preserve with University of Arkansas Herpetologist Dr. J.D. Willson

See Wilson Springs Preserve in a new light at this year’s night-time Herp Hike! “Herp” is short for Herpetology, which is the study of reptiles and amphibians. Dr. J.D. Willson, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences, will be leading the hike through Wilson Springs to hunt for frogs, salamanders, snakes, and turtles.

Wilson Springs Preserve is an important habitat for frogs like the Cajun chorus frog and snakes like the Graham’s crayfish snake, which is a species of greatest conservation need. This hike is a great opportunity to explore the property in search of these and other fascinating creatures.

Meet at Vold Vision (2783 Shiloh Drive Fayetteville, AR 72701) at 7pm. Headlamp or flashlight is required. Mud boots are highly recommended, as we will be wading through water at times. Space is limited for this program, so please register by contacting sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org by May 11.

NWALT Seeks Intern for Kessler Classroom

Help us expand the reach of the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom through our new internship program!

The land trust is seeking an energetic and knowledgeable education intern to help us expand the Kessler Outdoor Classroom program. The intern will lead field trips for local schools and community groups, develop new exhibits, and perform regular upkeep of the facilities. The position will require 10-15 hours per week, and is offered for the Spring, Summer and Fall field trip seasons. The intern may be invited to remain for multiple semesters. Applicants should have a strong interest in environmental education and an interest in working with kids. Relevant coursework in biology, environmental science or related field is preferred.

Thanks to generous support from the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, we are able to offer a stipend of $650 per semester.

This internship is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience in environmental education in a nonprofit setting. Internship credits may be available for college students. Read the Classroom Internship Advertisement for information about how to apply. Contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org or call 479-966-4666 to ask questions.

Frog Bayou Invasive Plant Removal – Saturday, March 18 9AM-5PM

Visit one of the land trust’s more remote properties while removing invasive plants from Frog Bayou Preserve

The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is seeking volunteers to help remove invasive plant species at the Frog Bayou Preserve. Nestled in the Boston Mountains near Winslow, Arkansas, Frog Bayou Preserve is home to retired English professor and poet John Rule. Mr. Rule has lived there since the 1960’s in an off-the-grid homestead.

Frog Bayou Preserve is a unique property that serves as a sanctuary for wildlife and preserves water quality along Frog Bayou. However, non-native invasive plant species are taking over portions of the property, threatening the native riparian habitat nearby. Volunteers will spend the day pulling and cutting invasive plants. Removing these invasive plants will help to protect the riparian area and give native species the chance to establish again.

We hope that you will join us for this volunteer trip to Frog Bayou Preserve. Meet at the Ozark Smokehouse (1725 Smokehouse Trail Fayetteville, AR 72701) at 9am, where we will carpool to the preserve. Tools, drinks and lunch will be provided. We will be back in Fayetteville by 5pm. Please RSVP by contacting sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org by March 16.

Wilson Springs Litter Pickup Day – Thu, March 9, 3pm – 6pm

Join the effort to improve habitat at Wilson Springs!

Join the effort to improve habitat at Wilson Springs Preserve on Thursday, March 9 from 3-6pm. The land trust is seeking volunteers to pick up litter on the property as part of our stewardship program for the preserve.

Wetlands like Wilson Springs provide a necessary function to the environment and people: they slow runoff and filter pollutants while providing important habitat for a variety of plants and animals. However, trash from surrounding areas tends to accumulate, causing damage to the ecosystem.

Meet us at 3pm at the Vold Vision parking lot (2783 N Shiloh Drive Fayetteville, AR 72701). Snacks, refreshments, gloves and tools will be provided. Please wear rubber boots, as it can be wet and muddy in places.

Please contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org to RSVP.

 

Public Access Planning Underway for Wilson Springs Preserve

Wilson Springs Preserve to Provide Outdoor Enrichment Through Sustainable Access Planning

We have begun the planning process for providing public access to our Wilson Springs Preserve, a 121-acre wet-prairie remnant located behind Sam’s Club in Fayetteville.

Guy Hedland, Landscape Architect for the National Park Service RTCA Program and advisory board member for the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust speaks to Landscape Architecture students at Wilson Springs Preserve.

Wilson Springs will be an excellent “ambassador site” for the land trust to provide site interpretation, conservation education and recreational access for all members of the community. In collaboration with the University of Arkansas’ Department of Landscape Architecture, Department of Biological Engineering, the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, & Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program and others, we are studying the issues and opportunities presented by such a concept and ultimately hope to develop a public access plan that will be considerate of neighbors, safe for users, and sustainable within the unique habitats that are found on the property.

We thank our collaborators for providing their expertise as we embark on this exciting process!

Students from the University of Arkansas’ Department of Landscape Architecture shared their artistic interpretations of the site through temporary on-site installations as part of the public access planning process.

We are hosting a stakeholder input session on Monday, February 13 from 6:30-8:00pm at Holcomb Elementary (2900 N Salem Drive Fayetteville, AR 72704). Please join us to hear more about the site and the project and share your thoughts with us so that we may consider them moving forward.

For more information, please contact us at 479-966-4666. For more information on the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, please visit www.nps.gov/rtca

Town Branch Preserve Cleanup – Wednesday, Feb.22 1-3PM

Help improve habitat and improve water quality at one of our newest preserves

Join us on Wednesday, February 22 from 1-3pm to help clean up litter at the Town Branch Preserve. This is a great opportunity to explore our newest “pocket preserve” while improving habitat and water quality on the property.

Town Branch Preserve is located along the Town Branch multi-use trail in Fayetteville. This small 0.7-acre property protects riparian habitat along Town Branch Creek, which flows into the West Fork of the white River, a major tributary of Beaver Lake, the primary source of drinking water in Northwest Arkansas. It also provides habitat for local wildlife and offers a scenic backdrop for trail users.

Beaver Watershed Alliance will be assisting with the cleanup. Snacks, refreshments and equipment will be provided. Meet at the west side parking lot of Spectrum Apartments (1741 Crowne Drive, Fayetteville, AR 72701) Contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org to RSVP.

FrogWatch Volunteer Training Workshop – Saturday, Feb. 25 1-6pm

Join in the regional effort to protect frogs and toads through this citizen-science program

Join the land trust this February 25 from 1pm-6pm for the first FrogWatch training workshop of the year. The workshop will be held at our headquarters in the Historic Ozark Mountain Smokehouse (1725 Smokehouse Trail Fayetteville, AR 72701).

Through this volunteer certification training, you will learn the unique calls of 23 species of frogs that can be found in Arkansas. We will also discuss the importance of frogs and toads in our environment, and why they need our help. By completing the training, you will join the nationwide team of FrogWatch volunteers that contribute important population and activity data to the scientific community.

Citizen-science programs are an excellent way to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors in a new and interesting way. It is also a helpful resource for nonprofits like the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust to efficiently collect important data about the environment and enhance local conservation efforts for healthy wildlife habitat.  It’s also a great opportunity for current volunteers to explore new areas and support local conservation efforts.

After the training, we will lead a special trip to our Wilson Springs Preserve to practice the skills you learned. We may even hear crawfish frogs making their characteristic “snoring” sound! Please bring rubber boots for this optional field trip.

Space is limited! Contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org or call 479.966.4666 to register for the training.

Pam Nelson Joins NWALT Staff

Northwest Arkansas Land Trust Welcomes New Program Assistant

We’re excited to welcome Pam Nelson as our newest staff member! Pam started working with the land trust as a weekly volunteer, and was recently hired as staff to offer assistance with some of our LandWise program efforts.

Pam has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of North Texas and a Master’s in Applied Geography with a focus on Environmental Studies from Texas University. For her master’s research, she completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for Texas State University and analyzed strategies to reduce emissions at the University. Pam has been an invaluable resource for us as a volunteer and is already demonstrating passion and work ethic in this new position.

 

Learn more about Pam and the rest of our staff by visiting our Staff Page.

Historic Johnson Farm Property Protected Forever

Conservation Easement Forever Protects Historic Family Property at the Base of Kessler Mountain

The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is proud to announce the permanent protection the “Historic Johnson Farm”, a 168-acre property at the base of Kessler Mountain near Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The landowner, Ms. Anne Prichard, sought to ensure that the property which has been in her family for three generations would remain intact for generations to come.  Through a permanent conservation easement with the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, her wishes have been met and this historic land is protected forever.

There are many reasons why the protection of this landmark property is an important conservation success for our region.  It is highly ranked in the Open Space Plan for Benton and Washington Counties due to its cultural, historic, wildlife, scenic and water quality values.  The property was acquired by the Johnson family in the early 1900’s.  The striking white barn is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the subject of a painting by acclaimed watercolor artist, George Dombek.  The barn and Ms. Prichard have been featured on local PBS station AETN’s “Back Road Barns” program.  The historic and cultural significance of the property is further advanced by the presence of the family’s original home, rebuilt by Ms. Prichard’s father in the 1920’s, and the old pear and apple orchards which are reminders of Northwest Arkansas’ once thriving fruit production.

The property is also important for wildlife.  With three undeveloped, forested tracts, including Round Top Mountain, a prominent landmark in the scenic viewshed of Fayetteville, the property provides important habitat for native plants and animals.  It is also a link between other conserved lands, including the city of Fayetteville’s 384-acre Kessler Mountain Reserve, which is also forever protected by a conservation easement held by the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust. Connectivity of protected land helps prevent habitat fragmentation and provides the space and safe passage between habitat areas that wildlife need to survive.

Water quality preservation is another important benefit of the protection of this property.  Partially located in both the Illinois River and White River Watersheds, a spring-fed pond on the property serves as the headwaters of Cato Springs Branch, a tributary of the West Fork of the White River which feeds into Beaver Lake.  Land trust partner, Beaver Water District, contributed stewardship funding in support of the project, helping to enable the conservation of this land for the protection of water quality in Beaver Lake, the drinking-water source for more than 450,000 residents in Northwest Arkansas.

The protection of a “Greater Kessler Mountain Corridor” is a top priority for the land trust and this historic property is the newest contribution towards that vision to protect a connected landscape from Washington, Kessler, Miller and Stevenson Mountains.  This “green corridor” will protect wildlife, scenic values, and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation to our community.  Connectivity of green space is also an important component of our effort to increase “climate resiliency” in the region, enabling local ecosystems to persist in the face of climatic change.

We thank Ms. Anne Prichard and her son Mr. Timothy Dallett for their commitment to conservation and for the important legacy they are leaving our community.   And we thank the Walton Family Foundation for their generous support of our LandWise Initiative, through which we continue working to increase the pace of conservation of special places like this one in our growing region. We look forward to working with other landowners that seek to protect their land in the Greater Kessler Mountain Corridor and throughout Northwest Arkansas.

If you are a landowner that would like to discuss your options for conserving your land, please contact us by phone: 479-966-4666 or email: info@nwalandtrust.org.