In the face of rapid growth and development, the Northwest Arkansas Community has a unique opportunity to direct the future of open space in the region. This workshop is designed for regional decision-makers, including city planners, civil engineers, landscape architects, elected officials, developers, conservation professionals, and business and community leaders that have an interest in preserving quality of life as Northwest Arkansas grows. Participants will learn from regional professionals with practical examples and resources for planning and designing projects that preserve our natural environment and support the long-term vitality of our region.
Topics will include: designing for sense of place, planning for water and wildlife, economic benefits of open space preservation, partnerships for landscape-scale conservation – and more.
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.
Onsite networking reception to follow the workshop.
$35/participant; includes buffet lunch and reception, CEU’s and materials.
Space is limited! Register online today
Special thanks to Walton Family Foundation and Beaver Water District for their ongoing support of land conservation.
CEU support generously provided by education provider US Green Building Council-Arkansas and American Society of Landscape Architects.
Cover image by Carl Smith Design
Join us as we explore the wetland and contribute to a growing biodiversity database on NWALT-conserved properties.
NWALT staff will lead a walk through Wilson Springs Preserve, Fayetteville’s largest wet-prairie remnant, in order to look for plants, animals and fungi. No expertise is necessary for this family-friendly hike! Bring your smartphone (or camera) and mud boots. The program will begin with a brief tutorial about how to use iNaturalist.
iNaturalist is an online community dedicated to documenting the diversity of life in our world. Users capture photos or sounds of living organisms and submit to the worldwide database, where other users collaborate to reach an accurate identification. NWALT is using iNaturalist as a tool for collecting biodiversity data on its preserves, while also providing a new way to for people to explore and connect to nature. Contact us for more information about our iNaturalist Observers volunteer program.
Want to get started using iNaturalist? Sign up online and join our project before the hike!
Join us as we explore Wilson Springs Preserve and its cold-blooded inhabitants at this year’s 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 this hike through Wilson Springs to hunt for frogs, salamanders, snakes, and turtles.
Wilson Springs Preserve is Fayetteville’s largest wet-prairie remnant, and provides 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 family-friendly hike is a great opportunity to explore the property in search of these and other fascinating creatures.
This program is suitable for all ages. Registration is required. Register Here
Meet at Vold Vision (2783 Shiloh Drive Fayetteville, AR 72701) at 6:30 p.m. Headlamp or flashlight is required. Mud boots are highly recommended, as we will be wading through water at times.
Help us improve habitat on Kessler Mountain!
Invasive bush honeysuckle has taken over in some areas of the mountain, especially at the base of the bluffs along the newly-developed Terrapin Station trail. Clearing the bush honeysuckle will give native plants a chance to reestablish while also enhancing the scenic views along the trail. This workday is a great opportunity to help steward Fayetteville’s largest public natural area! Tools and training will be provided. Please wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Contact Sim Barrow to register.
When: Tuesday, April 24 10:00 am -1:00 pm
Where: Meet at the Kessler Mountain Regional Park, 2600 W. Judge Cummings Road, Fayetteville, AR
Thanks to Fayetteville Parks and Recreation for partnering with us to steward habitat and trails on Kessler Mountain!
Join our newest citizen science biomonitoring program!
If you enjoy discovering things in nature while exploring the outdoors, then you will love our newest biomonitoring program. We’re using iNaturalist to document biodiversity on five of our protected properties. iNaturalist is a worldwide citizen science project in which volunteers use their camera or smartphone to record observations of living organisms and submit them to an online database where experts work together to make an accurate identification.
NWALT has created a Project in iNaturalist that tracks observations that are made at the following properties:
Wilson Springs Preserve
Kessler Mountain Reserve
Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom
Steele-Stevens Heritage Park
Flint Creek Preserve
Citizen science is a great way to experience the outdoors in a new way while providing valuable information to local conservation efforts. By becoming an iNaturalist Observer with us, you will help us gain a better understanding of the biodiversity of the properties that we protect.
Becoming an iNaturalist Observer is easy! Just go to www.inaturalist.org and create an account (or, download the iNaturalist app on your smartphone and sign up there). After you create your account, join our project. Next time you’re on a hike on Kessler Mountain or at a program at Wilson Springs, you can start submitting observations directly from your phone!
We are hosting a short training workshop on Thursday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. We encourage all interested volunteers to join us to learn about the program and how to make the most of the iNaturalist platform. Contact us if you’d like to attend.
Theo Witsell Presents Rare Plants and Special Places of Northwest Arkansas
Join us on Saturday, March 24 at 2pm for the next program in our Kessler Speaker Series with a presentation by Theo Witsell, State Botanist/Ecologist with the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Witsell’s presentation, titled “Rare Plants and Special Places of Northwest Arkansas,” will cover the sensitive habitats and rare plants that are found in the region. The program will conclude with a short plant hike on the education trail to practice plant identification. This program will take place in the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom and Nature Center at our headquarters in the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse (1725 Smokehouse Trail Fayetteville, AR 72701).
In 2014, Theo Witsell completed a rapid ecological assessment of the Kessler Mountain Reserve and discovered many rare plants, including the Missouri ground cherry (Physalis missouriensis). He also characterized sensitive habitats on the mountain, where unique plant communities thrive.
Theo Witsell is the senior botanist and ecologist for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and a Research Associate at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. He has also worked as a contract botanist for a number of federal agencies and private organizations including the USDA Forest Service, the National Park Service, the United States Department of Defense, The Nature Conservancy, NatureServe, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (University of Texas at Austin), and the Gates Rogers Foundation. He is co-editor of the recently published Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas, and is co-author of an upcoming book on Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas.
Theo is currently working on a number of research projects including an inventory of the plants of remnant grasslands across Arkansas and the description of several undescribed plant species. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 scientific publications and book chapters and serves as a regional reviewer for the Flora of North America Project. Theo is a native Arkansan and holds a Masters degree in botany from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His research interests include the ecology and conservation of rare plants and their habitats, restoration of degraded ecosystems, and anything to do with the shale barrens of the Ouachita Mountains. He has expertise in the flora of North America east of the Rocky Mountains and is also an avid native plant gardener.
The Kessler Speaker Series features presentations by local experts in various environmental fields, and is offered to all members of the Northwest Arkansas Community. Registration is limited. Click here to register.
Join us as we prepare for a big year of volunteering!
Are you looking to volunteer in 2018? Join us at this short meeting to learn about how you can help preserve and protect Northwest Arkansas’ natural landscapes. We will be launching multiple projects in 2018 to create new soft-surface trails, restore habitat, ramp up our biomonitoring program, and more. The meeting will take place at our headquarters at the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse (1725 Smokehouse Trail Fayetteville, AR 72701) on Sunday, January 14 from 2-4pm. We will give an overview of NWALT’s volunteer programs and set goals for the new year. After the meeting, we’ll lead a short hike on the Kessler Mountain Outdoor Classroom Education Trail.
We couldn’t accomplish our work without the help of our volunteers. Thanks to everyone that gives their time to support local land conservation!
Learn the fascinating geologic history of Kessler Mountain from Geologist Walt Manger!
Join us on Saturday, January 27 from 1-4pm for our annual Geology Walk! Emeritus Professor of Geosciences Walt Manger and local bird expert Joe Neal will lead an easy and informative hike through Rock City Trail on Kessler Mountain in Fayetteville. Dr. Manger will teach about the geologic history of Kessler Mountain, and Joe Neal will point out information about local birds and plants. Comfortable shoes or boots are recommended. The program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.