Monthly Archives: January 2015

Eagle Watch with Audubon – February 7, 2015

Our friends at Audubon announce their annual trek to Eagle Watch Trail near Gentry, Arkansas.

Members, friends, and curious are invited to join the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society field trip bald eagle2_web phototo Eagle Watch Nature Trail on SWEPCO Lake just west of Gentry Saturday, February 7, 2015. Meet up time is 9 AM in the parking lot right on highway 12. The event is free and open to the public. Anyone with an interest is welcome.

Trip co-leader Terry Stanfill. Terry is an active photographer so this has usually been a good trip for photography. There is a one-forth mile long easily-walked trail to a viewing platform where we often see numerous Bald Eagles, plus many other species of birds. Terry usually keeps a sharp eye out for spots near Gentry where we can expect to see more birds. Last year we saw 54 eagles in one place just a few miles away.

Directions: Notice Highway 59 on your Arkansas highway map. Gentry is at the intersection of 59 and Highway 12. From this intersection, travel WEST on 12 for approx. two miles. Eagle Watch is approx. 1 mile WEST of the city limits on the SOUTH side of the highway. Look for the parking lot on the SOUTH side, immediately EAST of the highway bridge spanning Little Flint Creek. There is a map and information sign in the parking area.

In case you can’t make it February 1, or just want more details, check EWNT on the NWAAS web site here: http://www.nwarkaudubon.org/id17.html. You can also explore the place on facebook: Eagle Watch Nature Trail at SWEPCo Lake.

Provided by NWALT Elder, Joe Neal, president of the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society.

Become an Arkansas Master Naturalist – Training Begins February 21, 2015

Arkansas Master Naturalist Training, Enrollment Now Open

WHO:  Arkansas Master Naturalists are citizens like you who support conservation efforts, want to learn more about the natural ecology of their communities and enjoy sharing that knowledge with others.  Must be over 18 years of age and attend a minimum of 40 hours of the training provided.

WHEN:  Enroll NOW for the Spring 2015 class.  Training begins February 21 and concludes May 16, 2015.  Most trainings are held on Saturdays and some evenings.

WHERE:  Classes are held at various locations around Northwest Arkansas, including the Northwest Arkansas Community College, Hobb’s State Park, Ozark Natural Science Center and others.

WHAT:  Master Naturalists support conservation efforts around their communities by volunteering to maintain trails, care for natural areas, lead hikes, give talks, build and monitor nest boxes and more.

HOW:  Go to www.arkansasmasternaturalist.org or contact Ken Leonard at kenleonard57@gmail.com.

Public Input Sessions for Open Space Planning – January 20 & 21, 2015

Tell us what you value most in Northwest Arkansas

WHO:  Residents of Northwest Arkansas are encouraged to attend and provide their input regarding the regional Open Space (green space) Plan, led by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission.

WHAT:  The “Open Space” Master Plan is a coordinated, voluntary program to identify, protect andOpen Space Plan promote the regions most valued natural landscapes, such as forests, farms and historic sites.  The current plan is focused on Benton and Washington Counties.

WHEN:  Tuesday, January 20, 4-7pm at the Fayetteville Public Library, or Wednesday, January 21, 4-7pm at the Bentonville Public Library.  Both sessions are drop-in events.

WHY:  Project partners, including the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, need to hear from the public about what they value most in terms of natural areas in our region.  We want to hear about your favorite places to hike, hunt, fish, farm, picnic, watch wildlife and find solitude.

OTHER WAYS TO PROVIDE INPUT and LEARN MORE: 

  1. The NWA Open Space Project Website,  http://www.nwaopenspace.com/
  2. The NWA Interactive Map, http://wikimapping.com/wikimap/nwa-openspace.html
  3. The on-line survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/nwaopenspace
  4. Contact Elizabeth Bowen, Open Space Project Director with Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission at ebowen@nwarpc.org or 479-751-7125.
  5. Contact Terri Lane, Executive Director of Northwest Arkansas Land Trust at tlane@nwalandtrust.org or 479-966-4666.

 

Thank you!! 2015 Appeal, Help Us Save Land

 

Your gift, of any amount, makes a difference in our efforts to increase the pace of  permanent land protection in Northwest Arkansas.  Give today and help us achieve our 2015 fundraising goals so that we can continue saving special places in our region.

If someone asked what you love about Northwest Arkansas, what would you say?

Would you talk about the abundance of natural beauty, clean air and clean water? Would you mention the outdoor recreational opportunities, the fishing, hiking and boating?

Prairie June grass and tickseed at WS_B.Hinterthuer_2013Yet our region is seeing unprecedented growth.

Growth can be a good thing, but we have to make sure streams and ponds, hills and farms, are conserved into the future as part of this process.  We have to make sure that people from all walks of life can experience firsthand the beauty and joy of spending time in nature.

Places like Wilson Springs, shown here in the photo.  Wilson Springs is a special place—for wildlife and for water quality.  And it’s protected…forever, thanks to people like you. But there are more places like it which need to be conserved before it’s too late.  And there are more landowners who wish to see their land permanently protected for future generations to enjoy.  You can make that possible. Your tax deductible gift will help us accept and steward additional properties like this for the benefit of wildlife and our community.

Click the donate button on our website and give today!  Together we can protect the natural places we all love in Northwest Arkansas.  THANK YOU!

For more information on how you can support the work of the land trust, call us 479-966-4666.

Photo by botanist and NWALT Elder, Burnetta Hinterthuer.

Regional “Open Space” Plan Now Underway – Learn More

 

 

What is the “Open Space Plan” and how can you participate?

The term “open space” is another term for green space, referring to the important natural landscapes of our region, such as forests, parks, streams, rivers, wetlands, farms and historic sites.  20120512-1

The Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission (NWARPC) has formally begun efforts to develop a Northwest Arkansas Regional Open Space Master Plan.  A steering committee, comprised of representatives from regional organizations, including the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, met in December to review details of the planning process and will meet another four times during the two year process. The purpose of the plan is to develop a coordinated, voluntary program to protect and promote the region’s natural landscapes that are valued by the residents of Northwest Arkansas.

The Plan will identify the natural landscapes that make Northwest Arkansas an attractive place to live, and will include a comprehensive strategy for the conservation of these natural assets. The goal is to preserve these assets, thereby maintaining our high quality of life as the region continues to grow and prosper. The planning process will involve extensive public input and outreach starting with public meetings scheduled for Jan 20, 2015 at the Fayetteville Public Library, at 401 W. Mountain Street and Jan 21, 2015 at the Bentonville Public Library, at 405 S. Main Street. Both meetings will be drop-in from 4-7pm.

Elizabeth Bowen, Project Manager with the NWARPC says, “The Plan will provide a strategic focus and direction toward establishing an open space network to support outdoor activities, economic opportunities, improved water quality, and habitats.” The planning process will involve identifying natural open space assets, analyzing and assessing those assets, and developing a conservation toolbox for the purpose of conserving these resources for current residents, visitors, and future generations.

To learn more about the project background, benefits of open space, and why this plan is important visit the website at http://www.nwaopenspace.com. Additional public input is requested through an online comment form found on this site. An Online Input Map has been created for users to drop points describing their favorite places and see what others have listed in your area. Citizens will be able to use this website to share their thoughts about their favorite open spaces in Northwest Arkansas. Examples could include: where citizens like to hunt, fish, hike, bike, canoe, kayak, swim, bird watch, ride horses, garden, play, and ponder.

Where are the best views and most scenic landscapes?  Where are the favorite old churches and cemeteries, battlefields, forests, and parks?  This information will be used to help identify what people value most about open spaces in this region. Open space has been a subject of discussion in NW Arkansas for decades, beginning with NWARPC’s first open space plan in the 1970s. Since then, many other local and regional studies have focused on open space, or included it as a key component. This new plan will build upon these previous efforts.

The plan is being financed through a grant by the Walton Family Foundation to the NWARPC. For additional information about the project, please contact Elizabeth Bowen at 479-751-7125 or ebowen@nwarpc.org.

To learn more about the role of the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust in the Plan, or to provide your input to the land trust, contact Terri Lane at 479-966-4666 or tlane@nwalandtrust.org.