Monthly Archives: January 2017

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, February 25 1-6pm

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

Join the land trust on Saturday, February 25 from 1-6pm for our first FrogWatch training workshop of the year. The workshop will be held at our offices at the Old 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.

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.

New Flint Creek Headwaters Preserve Donated to the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

Flint Creek Headwaters Preserve Protects Water Quality, Public Enjoyment and Threatened Species

Thanks to a generous donation from conservation-minded landowner, Mr. John Wasson, seven acres of pristine habitat along Flint Creek in Springtown, Arkansas have been protected forever as our newest Preserve. The property and surrounding parcels have belonged in Mr. Wasson’s family for generations. He recalls learning to swim in the cool deep pools and jumping from limestone outcroppings that border the stream.

Land trust staff and board tour property with Mr. John Wasson (center).

Mr. Wasson donated the property to the land trust to ensure that it was forever protected and made available to residents of and visitors to Springtown for many more generations to come.

In accordance to Mr. Wasson’s wishes, the land trust will be developing a plan in 2017 to allow public access for “quiet pedestrian and educational” use, while ensuring the protection and proper stewardship of wildlife habitat on the property. Additional acreage may be added to the Preserve in the future.

The property includes a wooded riparian buffer along spring-fed Flint Creek, which is a tributary of the Illinois River. Riparian corridors protect water quality by slowing runoff and preventing excessive streambank erosion. They also provide habitat to a wide variety of plants and animals, and serve as important migration corridors for wildlife to move between habitat areas.

Flint Creek Headwaters Preserve includes seven acres of wooded riparian habitat in Springtown, AR.

A cave on the Preserve has been documented by The Nature Conservancy with small population of Ozark cave fish, a species that is listed as federally threatened. The land trust will be working with TNC and other local and state experts to further document, monitor and protect this and other species of unique plants and animals on the Preserve.

Due its conservation value, this property ranked highly in the Open Space Plan for Benton and Washington Counties. “Open space” refers to undeveloped natural lands such as forests, streams, prairies, parks, farms, and heritage sites. The Plan identifies those areas that are most important for conservation in our growing region. The land trust continues to partner with the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission and other regional partners to identify and protect this and other special places, before it is too late.

In addition to donating the property, Mr. Wasson provided funding towards the ongoing stewardship of the Preserve, an essential component of our perpetual land protection mission. A matching contribution was made by the Walton Family Foundation due to their support of the Open Space Plan and of our efforts to protect significant lands in Northwest Arkansas.