Monthly Archives: August 2017

Calendar of Events

We’re hosting several events, programs and volunteer opportunities this Fall. Check out our schedule and mark your calendars!

September 11 – Kessler Classroom Garden Work Day 

6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Historic Ozark Smokehouse

Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty? Join us as we work in our native plant garden preparing for the fall. We will be weeding and mulching our perennial plants.

The native plant gardens at the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center are a key educational tool for the facility. They teach about the importance of pollinators, the benefits of native plant landscaping, and their impact on water quality. They are also beautiful throughout the growing season.

September 16 – Kessler Classroom Open House

9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Historic Ozark Smokehouse

Join us in exploring the Kessler Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center as we learn all about birds! This family-friendly program will feature crafts and activities in the Nature Center and a guided hike 10:00 a.m. Bring your own binoculars!

September 16 – Bats and Bluegrass hosted by Illinois River Watershed Partnership

4:00-9:00 p.m. at the Illinois River Watershed Sanctuary

Come out to the Illinois River Watershed Partnership (IRWP)’s Sanctuary for the 5th Annual Bats & Bluegrass event. Family-friendly outdoor activities including nature hikes, fishing, and canoeing start at 4 p.m. Live music will begin at 6 p.m. At dusk (around 8:30 p.m.), you’ll get a chance to watch the gray bats exit Cave Springs Cave. For more information, email contact@irwp.org or visit http://www.irwp.org/.

September 30 – Town Branch Preserve Cleanup

9:00-11:00 a.m. at Town Branch Trail, Fayetteville

Join us as we work to cleanup one of our urban pocket preserves along the Town Branch multi-use trail to improve water quality and habitat on the property. We will bring gloves and trash bags. Please wear closed-toe shoes. Parking is available on the West side of Spectrum Apartments, along Horizon Way. Please RSVP by contacting sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org.

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.

October 7 – Wilson Springs Preserve Cleanup

9:00-11:00 a.m. at Wilson Springs Preserve, Fayetteville

Join the effort to improve habitat at Wilson Springs Preserve. The land trust is seeking volunteers to pick up litter on the property as part of our stewardship program for the preserve. This work day will help prepare the site for upcoming restoration work.

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 9 am 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.

October 14 – Kessler Trail Run hosted by Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association

9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Kessler Mountain

Come out to the best trail race in NWA! Option to run a 10K or 20K. Race goes by some of the best trails in NWA, including Rock City. Doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced trail runner or if this is your first trail run, you are sure to enjoy this race!

Register here: https://app.regwiz.io/register/kessler/236

Oh and did we mention they have the BEST after party?!

 October 15 – The Big Sit

1:00-5:00 p.m. at Wilson Springs Preserve, Fayetteville

In honor of the beloved tailgating tradition in college football, we are hosting a tailgating party for birders at our Big Sit at Wilson Springs Preserve! Birdwatchers of all skill levels are invited to join us for free food and drink as we watch the birds at this unique and vital wetland habitat. Local experts will lead guided hikes and demonstrate bird sampling techniques. Bring a chair and binoculars. Please RSVP by contacting sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org.

Second Annual LandWise Win-Win Workshops Conclude in Northwest Arkansas

Workshops Led to Productive Conversations About Regional Land Conservation

We recently hosted our second annual Conservation Win-Win Workshops in Benton and Washington Counties. These workshops serve as a forum for community decision makers – elected officials, municipal planners, civil engineers, landscape architects, developers, and others – to discuss the mutual benefits of conservation-minded development for both people and the environment in Northwest Arkansas.

This year, presentations featured practical examples and resources for creating more profitable and longer lasting projects while improving the community through preservation of landscapes, watersheds and wildlife. Presenters from both local and state agencies highlighted the importance of open space for quality of life, and gave updates on current conservation efforts, like the Northwest Arkansas Open Space Plan.

Seth Mims, Partner and President of Specialized Real Estate Group, presented the importance of working with the landscape to design better residential developments that foster a sense of community while protecting our natural resources. He advocated for the inclusion of preserved open space in all development projects and gave case studies from across the country. Theo Witsell, botanist and ecologist with the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, explained how they collect and provide important biological data on rare and sensitive plant and animal species throughout the state. This data is critical for protecting species diversity and prioritizing land conservation. James McCarty, Manager of Water Quality at Beaver Water District, presented on how strategic land conservation protects water quality in the region, and Elizabeth Bowen from the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission discussed the future of the NWA Open Space Plan.

After the presentations, a panel of conservation professionals from state and local conservation organizations answered questions about the opportunities and challenges for conservation in Northwest Arkansas, and how they contribute to the overall conservation effort in the region.

We thank our sponsors, partners and presenters for another successful round of workshops, and look forward to working together to achieve more conservation win-win outcomes for our growing region.

Help Teach the Next Generation of Conservationists

Do you love working with kids and exploring the natural world?

We are seeking volunteer educators to help continue and expand our environmental education program. The Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center, located at our headquarters in the Historic Ozark Mountain Smokehouse in Fayetteville, is a local community conservation program that hosts field trips and special events throughout the year. Our mission is to grow the next generation of conservationists through research, outreach and education. Currently, all 3rd grade students in Fayetteville participate in a half-day field trip hiking and connecting with nature, and the land trust is working to expand to other nearby schools.

We need volunteer educators to help lead field trips for our growing number of schools. Training is provided. With your help, we can grow this program and offer experiences to students in other communities and schools throughout the region. For more information, contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org.

12th Annual Secchi Day – Saturday, August 19 9am-1pm

Join our community partners to celebrate and study water quality on Beaver Lake!

Beaver Water District is hosting its 12th Annual Secchi Day at Prairie Creek Park in Rogers on Saturday, August 19th. This event is named for the Secchi Disk, a black and white device lowered into the water to measure clarity.

At this free community event, Beaver Water District’s community partners will offer activities for all ages, including a mobile aquarium, on shore scavenger hunt with prizes, free lunch and ice cream, kayak and Stand-up Paddle-Board test rides, microscope activities, and more. The land trust will be there participating in the fun!

We hope to see you there! Contact the Beaver Water District for more information: awilson@bwdh2o.org

2017 LandWise Conservation Win-Win Workshop

Strategies for achieving conservation win-win outcomes in our growing region

 

Registration is open for our 2nd annual Conservation Win-Win Workshop.

August 8, 2017 at Pratt Place Barn, Fayetteville, AR

10am-4:30pm followed by an onsite networking reception.

$35/participant; includes buffet lunch and reception, CEU’s and materials.

CEU support generously provided by education provider USGBC-Arkansas.

This workshop is designed for regional “decision-makers”, including city planners, real estate professionals, elected officials, and business and community leaders. Participants will learn from local professionals with practical examples and resources for creating more profitable and longer lasting projects while improving our communities through preservation of landscapes, watersheds and wildlife.

This year will feature presentations by Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, Beaver Water District, NWA Regional Planning Commission, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, and others. Afternoon panel will include a conversation with regional conservation partners including Beaver Watershed Alliance, Illinois River Watershed Partnership, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Watershed Conservation Resource Center, Arkansas Archaeological Society, The Nature Conservancy and Walton Family Foundation.

CEU’s Available: Each speaker session approved for 1 AIA LU SD/HSW and qualifies for 1 hour USGBC/GBCI (non LEED specific) for a total of up to five credit hours.

Space is limited! Register online today:

Washington County Win-Win Registration

Special thanks to Walton Family Foundation, Beaver Water District, Specialized Real Estate Group, and Beaver Watershed Alliance for their support. CEU support generously provided by education provider USGBC-Arkansas.

 

Featured image by Amanda Bancroft