Category Archives: Events and Programs

Save Land this #GivingTuesday!

Support Local Land Conservation this #GivingTuesday!

Held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday is a social media-driven celebration of giving that has raised millions of dollars for nonprofits around the world.

As Northwest Arkansas continues to grow, it is increasingly important to act quickly and proactively to protect the natural landscapes that matter most to people and wildlife in the region. As your local land trust, we are dedicated to preserving the unique beauty and natural heritage of Northwest Arkansas forever. But we need your support to help us save land for wildlife, clean water, outdoor recreation and quality of life right here in our community. We hope you’ll join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for this year’s #GivingTuesday and make your donation count for local land conservation.

Last year’s Giving Tuesday was a huge success, and we want this year to be even better! This year, we want to increase our membership by 30 individuals. As a member of the land trust, and you will be making a sound investment in local land conservation. Plus, you’ll also receive special invitations to exclusive events and programs!

How can you help? Make a donation, invite your friends, share our #GivingTuesday posts, and tell us what you #SaveLandFor by using the hashtag to let us know why local land conservation is important to you!

Christmas Bird Count – December 17 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

Help Us Survey Birds on NWALT-conserved Properties at the Christmas Bird Count!

The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-standing citizen science program in the nation, with almost 100 years of data on bird populations across the country. The Fayetteville Christmas Bird Count is taking place on December 17 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The land trust is leading a team of birders to survey the NWALT-conserved properties that lie within the project circle. Our team will visit a variety of habitats, including restored riparian habitat, wet prairie, and the unique shale barrens habitat on Kessler Mountain. We expect to see waterfowl, sparrows, hawks, warblers, and others. Volunteers may join us for all or a portion of the day. There will be an after count tally and party at the home of Doug James and Elizabeth Adams.

The NWALT team will meet at our headquarters at the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse (1725 Smokehouse Trail, Fayetteville AR 72701) and will carpool to the first property. We will return to the Smokehouse for lunch. Please bring a sack lunch, binoculars, field guide, close-toed shoes and cold-weather attire.

If you would like to join our team, please contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org.

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.

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

FrogWatch Volunteer Training Workshop – Sunday, July 16 12-4pm

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

Join the land trust on Sunday, July 16 from 12pm-4pm for our next FrogWatch training workshop. The workshop will be held at the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area Visitor Center (20201 AR-12 Rogers, AR 72756)

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.

Contact sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org or call 479.966.4666 to register for the training.

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 sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org 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 sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org 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 sbarrow@nwalandtrust.org by March 16.