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ANHC volunteers help out across the state

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Friday, December 21, 2018

ANHC Adopt a Natural Area Program (ANAP) partners and other volunteers have been busy this fall and winter working on natural areas and participating in seed collecting events. We appreciate all of our volunteers for their time and hard work. The ANHC is able to accomplish so much more with the assistance of these dedicated individuals.

In early October, an Environmental Biology class from Hendrix College helped with a native seed collection event at Camp Robinson Special Use Area in central Arkansas. Additionally, in mid-October, the Hendrix College Naturalists Club and other volunteers participated in a native seed collection event at Cherokee Prairie Natural Area in western Arkansas. The seeds collected from these events will be used in prairie restoration projects.

In late October, the Diamond Lakes Arkansas Master Naturalists (DLAMN), University of Central Arkansas students, and local residents assisted ANHC stewardship staff in a Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) removal day at Middle Fork Barrens Natural Area in Saline County. Chinese privet is a non-native invasive plant species that can quickly dominate the landscape, adversely affecting our native ecosystems. In several cases, it is necessary to utilize a combination of chemical and mechanical removal, fire, and other biological methods to remove the plant and control its spread. The DLAMN have adopted the natural area as an ANAP partner.

Also in late October, the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service Office – Southeast Arkansas Stormwater Education Program and the Rotary Club of West Pine Bluff held a cleanup event at Byrd Lake Natural Area in Jefferson County. The cleanup event was held in conjunction with Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s Great Arkansas Cleanup program, which takes place each fall from September to October. During this event, volunteers removed approximately 1,000 pounds of litter along the natural area boundaries. The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Stormwater Education Program has adopted the natural area as an ANAP partner.

The Arkansas Climbers Coalition (ACC), The Nature Conservancy Arkansas Field Office, and Access Fund built a new trail access point at Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area (RRNA) in Pulaski County this November. RRNA, just west of Pinnacle Mountain State Park, protects rare plant and animal species while offering visitors a rugged, low-impact recreational experience. The ACC has adopted RRNA as an ANAP partner.

In early December, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership (IRWP) and the ANHC hosted Girl Scout Troop 5807 at Cave Springs Cave Natural Area. Volunteers learned about water quality and its importance. They also removed non-native invasive Chinese privet and Japanese honeysuckle (Ligustrum japonicum) from the natural area. IRWP has adopted the natural area as an ANAP partner.

The ANHC hosted an event in mid-December to collect native prairie seeds from the Grand Prairie region of Arkansas. Volunteers collected native seed from Downs Prairie Natural Area (Prairie County) and Railroad Prairie Natural Area (Lonoke and Prairie counties).

Photos:

Top left - Volunteers participated in a cleanup day at Byrd Lake Natural Area in late October, in conjunction with Keep Arkansas Beautiful's Great Arkansas Cleanup program. Approximately 1,000 pounds of litter were removed from the area.

Bottom left - Volunteers from the Arkansas Climbers Coalition (an ANAP adopting group), The Nature Conservancy Arkansas Field office, Access Fund, and ANHC staff members built a new trail access point at Rattlesnake Ridge Natural Area this November. 

 



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