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Land donated by Deckers becomes 74th natural area

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thanks to a generous donation by Louis and Sandra Decker, 33-acre Hall’s Creek Canyon Natural Area (NA) has been added to the statewide System of Natural Areas. Located in Ravenden Springs in Randolph County, the new natural area provides direct protection of a portion of Hall Creek, a spring-fed tributary of Janes Creek.

The natural area includes a narrow and deeply-incised, bluff-walled canyon with approximately 260 feet of local relief and a variety of geologic features in the creek-bed and canyon walls. Canyons of this sort are especially uncommon in this part of the Ozarks, which is generally less rugged and more gently rolling than other ecoregions to the west and south. Hall’s Creek Canyon NA is also the only known site in Arkansas for the wall-rue spleenwort (Asplenium ruta-muraria), a rare fern of vertical cliff faces.

In addition to the natural significance of the area, the property includes important historical features including several springs, for which the town of Ravenden Springs was named, and several caves/bluff overhangs that were used by early residents. One such cave “School Cave,” has been documented by several secondary sources as the site of Arkansas’s first free school, founded in the early 1800s.

The donation of the property for Hall’s Creek Canyon NA was fostered between the Deckers, historical and natural conservation leaders in the local community, including Bud Compton of Ravenden Springs and Bill Carroll of Pocahontas, and former ANHC Director Darrell Bowman. The ANHC is grateful to Louis and Sandy Decker for their generous gift to the citizens of Arkansas.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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