Monthly Archives: February 2016

Volunteers Knock Out Invasive Plants at Wilson Springs

Our partners and volunteers make a big difference for a small fish at Fayetteville’s largest wet prairie remnant

On Sunday February 21, the land trust, in partnership with Arkansas Master Naturalists, invited volunteers to learn about invasive plants at our Wilson Springs Preserve. Jennifer Ogle, longtime friend to the land trust and botanist with the Beaver Watershed Alliance, led a short workshop about invasive plants. Jennifer used specimens collected on site to demonstrate how to identify invasive plants like callery pear, Chinese privet, and bush honeysuckle.

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Jennifer Ogle explains the difference between honey locust and callery pear at Wilson Springs

She showed how invasive plants can be easily confused with native species.  For instance, honey locust resembles callery pear saplings, except that honey locusts have compound thorns (thorns projecting from other thorns) while callery pears do not. Coralberry and bush honeysuckle also look very similar, but the bark on coralberry tends to flake on the trunk unlike bush honeysuckle.

After the lesson on invasive plant identification, Alan Edmondson, land stewardship specialist for the land trust, led the group in removing invasive plants from along the Wilson Springs stream.  Karen Takemoto, a Master Naturalist, brought weed wrenches to pull some of the larger plants out of the ground. After working for about two hours, the volunteers had removed hundreds of invasive plants.

Knocking back these invasive species early in the growing season helps the later blooming native plants have a fighting chance, improving habitat for imperiled species such as monarch butterflies and the Arkansas darter, a candidate for endangered species listing. Our volunteers make a big difference and we thank them!

If you missed this program, you can still help!  A follow-up workday is scheduled for Sunday, March 13 from 1-3 PM.  Stay tuned for more information!

 

Educational Trail Loop on Kessler Receives Funding Boost!

Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association presents $5,000 toward education trail at the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom

FNHA_CheckDevelopment of a Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center has been progressing over the last several months (you can read about last November’s field trips here), including many volunteer hours establishing a 0.6-mile educational trail loop.  Thanks to a generous contribution from the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, some much needed enhancements to the trail, including construction of bridges, stairs and signage, will now be completed in time for the next round of students coming this spring.  

 

The educational trail loop is an excellent way to introduce students and the general public to the important ecosystems, geology and biodiversity that make Kessler Mountain so unique. Situated next to the historic Ozark Mountain Smokehouse, this short trail loop also provides an approachable introduction to the greater network of trails on Kessler Mountain.

 

The Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center is a collaborative effort coordinated by the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust in partnership with Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, Arkansas Native Plant Society, Fayetteville Public School District, Mt. Kessler Greenways, Boston Mountain Solid Waste District, and others. The mission of the classroom is to grow the next generation of conservationists through research, outreach, and education. If you would like to join the effort, please contact us today!

 

We thank the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association (FNHA) for their contribution.  FNHA is an all-volunteer organization that has worked to identify and preserve natural areas in and around Fayetteville since 2003.  Their work has made it possible to conserve some of the most valuable tracts of green space in Fayetteville, such as Mt. Sequoyah Woods, Brooks Hummel Preserve, Kessler Mountain Reserve, and more. To learn more about the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, click here.

 

Wilson Springs Volunteer Training with the NWA Master Naturalists Feb. 21 1:00-4:30 PM

Learn how to have a positive impact in the fight against invasive plants at this volunteer workshop!

NO Chinese PrivetThe Northwest Arkansas Land Trust is partnering with the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists to host a training workshop at Wilson Springs Preserve. This educational work day will provide an introduction to the largest wet prairie remnant in Fayetteville and the restoration that has taken place there.  Attendees will learn to identify invasive plant species and how to control them.  After the training, the group will clear invasive plants from the stream bank, providing new habitat for the Arkansas darter, a critically imperiled fish species.

This workshop is free and open to the public. We’ll meet at Vold Vision (2783 N Shiloh Dr, Fayetteville, AR 72704) at 1pm. Wear waterproof boots and sturdy clothes.  If you have limb loppers and limb saws, please bring them.  Gloves, snacks, and refreshments will be provided. Space is limited: contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org to RSVP.

Photo: KENPEI at Wikimedia Commons

Community Event: Inaugural Gumbo Cook-off March 5, 12-5 PM

Come on out for the 1st Annual Fayetteville Gumbo Cook-off to benefit the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association!

File Feb 05, 10 17 32 AMWhat could be better than delicious gumbo, local beers, and live music? How about all those things for a good cause? That’s what is happening at the Inaugural Fayetteville Gumbo Cook-off on Saturday, March 5 from noon to 5 PM at the Ozark Smokehouse! Several teams are already signed up to cook their best Gumbo. The proceeds go to one of our community partners, Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association.

 Click here for more info and to purchase your tickets!