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Commission Meeting and Field Trip

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Thursday, September 17, 2009

The August 26, 2009, meeting of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission included a business session at the Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain, followed by a special trip to Cove Creek Natural Area to “unveil” and actually install the entrance sign at the new and improved access area. The commissioners and staff enjoyed the uncommon, cool August weather and assembled at the new parking area to erect the sign identifying the site as part of the System of Natural Areas.

Cove Creek Natural Area encompasses approximately one mile of Cove Creek, a major tributary of Cadron Creek. Cove Creek is formed by the convergence of Hogan’s Creek and Pine Mountain Creek in Van Buren County. Bluffs tower as high as 140 feet above the streambed. This site's topographic relief, varied exposures, and considerable extent provide habitat for a mosaic of aquatic and terrestrial communities characteristic of the Arkansas River Valley Natural Division.

Commissioners and staff hiked the area, with ANHC botanist Theo Witsell identifying various plants along the way, including a native orchid. The group explored one of the smaller bedrock bottom streams (see photograph below) that tend to be more shallow and open because the bedrock does not allow the stream to erode down into the channel. The areas beside the stream, with bedrock near the surface, thin soils and few trees, support dry glade plant communities while the nearby stream itself may have more typical wet community plants

Driving directions for the new access:
From I-40 in Conway travel north 7 miles on Highway 25 to Wooster, then travel 7 miles on Highway 285 to Mallet Town Rd, turn left and travel two miles to Town Circle Rd, turn right. Follow Town Circle Road for 0.3 miles and turn right and follow the gravel access road for 0.2 miles to the parking area.

Additional signage for the area and updates for the website are underway. - See more at:

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