Category Archives: Events and Programs

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 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 by May 11.

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 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 to RSVP.


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 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 or call 479.966.4666 to register for the training.

Rain Garden Planting Day – Friday, September 9 9AM-11AM

DSCN1292We are installing a rain garden at the Kessler Outdoor Classroom, located at our offices in the Historic Ozark Mountain Smokehouse in Fayetteville and we need your help! Volunteers will assist in planting specially-selected native plants that will help with slowing runoff and filtering pollutants, providing cleaner water in the Illinois River Watershed. We are hosting a volunteer planting day from 9:00-11:00am on Friday September 9. After the planting, Frank Sharp will provide his increasingly famous wood-fired pizzas to all volunteers.

NWALT was awarded a Green Infrastructure Grant from Illinois River Watershed Partnership to install a rain garden to capture runoff from the roof and parking lot at the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse. Funding for Green Infrastructure projects through IRWP was awarded by US EPA and Arkansas Natural Resources Commission’s Non-Point Source grant program.

This rain garden will serve as an educational tool for the students & community as part of the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom & Nature Center, which is supported in part by the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s Urban Forestry Program and the U. S. Forest Service.  The rain garden will be used as a demonstration of what individuals can do to promote water quality for this growing region.

Join us for this fun and educational volunteer opportunity and enjoy a delicious lunch! Thank you for your dedication to water quality in Northwest Arkansas!

Kessler Outdoor Classroom Volunteer Extravaganza – Saturday July 30 7AM-12PM

Help us finish work at the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom & Nature Center!

Arboretum Entrance

Signs are up and the Outdoor Classroom is taking shape!

We’re hosting the biggest volunteer event in the history of the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom on Saturday, July 30 from 7am-12pm and we hope to see you there.

Thanks to the many efforts of our staff, volunteers and collaborators, we are seeing great progress at the Kessler Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center at the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse! We’re almost done, but we need your help to finish the project before the next round of classes start.

There will be several ways to help at this upcoming workday, like building exhibit displays, weeding/planting in the garden, posting trail signs and more. There will be a job for everyone at this family-friendly event.

At noon we’ll celebrate our accomplishments with Frank Sharp’s wood-fired pizzas and some watermelon.

Your presence at the workday will ensure that the Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center will succeed in its mission to grow the next generation of conservationists through research, outreach and education. Your support makes it possible!

Contact for more information. Thanks to our volunteers and partner organizations for their work on this project!

2016 LandWise Conservation “Win-Win” Workshops – Registration Open

Strategies for Achieving Win-Win Outcomes in our Growing Region

monarch on purple smartweed Wilson Springs Oct 1, 2013-Joe NealThe Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, together with our partners, are offering two “LandWise Win-Win Workshops” (one each in Benton and Washington Counties) designed for regional “decision-makers”; elected officials, planners, developers, engineers, realtors, municipal leaders, architects and landscape designers.

Space is limited – sign up today.  The Washington County Workshop will be held July 12 and the Benton County Workshop will be held July 19.

Workshops will feature examples of local plans and projects that highlight the mutual benefits conservation-minded development can have for the economy, the community and the environment.

Participants will hear from regional conservation and planning professionals about the unique services and partnerships that can help achieve these “win-win” outcomes for our growing region.  A peer panel discussion, specific to each county in which the particular workshop is held, will provide participants an opportunity to engage with their peers in a dynamic discussion about the challenges, benefits and solutions toward balancing growth and preservation in Northwest Arkansas.  Each workshop will conclude with an optional networking reception.

The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust thanks our 2016 workshop planning partners, including the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, Watershed Conservation Resource Center and Arkansas Forestry Commission.

Click here to view the agenda.

2016 Workshop Highlights

Opening Sessions

Each workshop will feature opening presentations by the following organizations:

Ben Kaufman, Walton Family Foundation

Mike Malone, Northwest Arkansas Council

Partner Presentations

Each workshop will feature presentations by the following program partners:

Terri Lane, Northwest Arkansas Land Trust

Elizabeth Bowen, Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission

Sandi Formica, Watershed Conservation Resource Center

Patti Erwin, Arkansas Forestry Commission

Peer Panel Discussions Each workshop will feature a peer panel unique to the workshop location:

Washington County Workshop Panel:

Patsy Christy, City of Springdale 

Mayor Bill Groom, City of Greenland 

Jeremy Hudson, Specialized Real Estate Group

Jeremy Pate, City of Fayetteville 

Kevin Thornton, City of Elm Springs

Benton County Workshop Panel:

Brenda Anderson, NWA Downtown Revitalization Fund

Harrison French, Harrison French & Associates

Steve Glass, City of Rogers

Mayor Kevin Johnston, City of Gentry

Tom Oppenheim, CEI Engineering

TO REGISTER:     Space is limited.  Register online: click here, or print and return the registration form.  Registrations must be received at least 4 business days prior to the scheduled workshop, or call to check availability. Contact Terri Lane at, or 479-966-4666 for more information.

Special thanks to the Walton Family Foundation, lead supporter of “LandWise”, and to Beaver Water District, workshop sponsor.

Photo: Joe Neal

Native Plant Garden Workday & Pizza Party — Thursday April 14 2-6 PM

Help us plant native wildflowers at the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom!

Plains tickseed_B.Hinterthuer_2013The time has come to start planting the native plant garden in preparation for this month’s 4th grade field trips! This garden will be an educational tool for students to learn how native wildflowers provide habitat for wildlife, support biodiversity, and protect pollinators.

If you want to help us improve the natural beauty of Kessler Mountain and contribute to local environmental education, then join us on Thursday, April 14 from 2:00-6:00 PM to plant wildflowers. After the work is done, we will enjoy Frank Sharp’s famous wood-fired pizzas. This volunteer opportunity is sure to be a fun way to get outside and do some good for the Kessler Outdoor Classroom!

We hope you will join us! Contact or call 479-966-4666 for more information.

Photo credit: Burnetta Hinterthuer