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NWAMN Collect Seeds at Adopted Natural Area

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Friday, December 15, 2017

Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists (NWAMN) recently held a seed collecting event at one of their adopted natural areas, Searles Prairie Natural Area (NA) in Benton County. The NWAMN has adopted Searles Prairie NA (as well as Chesney Prairie, Devil’s Eyebrow, Kings River Falls, and Sweden Creek Falls natural areas) through the ANHC’s Adopt a Natural Area Program (ANAP).

The seeds collected by ANAP volunteers at Searles Prairie NA will be used for a prairie restoration project at Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) in Bentonville. NWACC owns a remnant post oak savanna located on its campus, the Outdoor Living Laboratory (OLL). The OLL is a remnant of a prairie ecosystem that once covered 75,000 acres across the Springfield Plateau in Benton and Washington counties. Of the original prairie ecosystem in these counties, it is estimated that only 150 acres remain. The OLL is used by classes in physical and natural sciences, giving students a unique opportunity to contribute to ongoing research in habitat management and ecosystem restoration. 

The ANHC has had a cooperative agreement with NWACC since August 2014. Theo Witsell, ANHC’s senior botanist and ecologist, created a management plan that describes the value of the area and provides ecological management recommendations for the site. ANHC staff continue to make annual or semi-annual visits to OLL and will re-evaluate and update the management plan (as needed) every five years.

Photo above: NWAMN members collected seed at Searles Prairie Natural Area, which they have adopted through the ANHC's Adopt a Natural Area Program (ANAP). Left to right - Bill Farrell, Steve Weiderhaft, Emily Robertson, Ralph Weber, Jenny Harmon, Steve Sampers, Rose Burns, Phillip Burns, Anita Burns, Pat French, and Ken French. Not pictured -- Carey Chaney.

Related content: ANHC Recognizes ANAP Groups

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WAMN Collect and Disperse Seeds at Flanagan Prairie

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