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Volunteers Help Out at Three Natural Areas

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Friday, December 20, 2019

Three natural areas recently benefited from volunteer efforts: Cave Springs Cave, Dardanelle Rock, and Foushee Cave natural areas.

ANHC staff, Illinois River Watershed Partnership (IRWP) staff, and five Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists worked at Cave Springs Cave Natural Area (NA) in Benton County to cut and remove storm debris left behind by a recent heavy storm. The group used chainsaws, handsaws, and other tools to clear debris from the trail. The IRWP’s property is adjacent to the natural area and the trail is often used for interpretive programs.

At Dardanelle Rock NA in Yell County, local community volunteers and ANHC staff picked up trash and removed some of the graffiti from the rocks at the natural area. Approximately 10 bags of trash were collected by volunteers. ANHC staff led the graffiti removal effort using a biodegradable, nonflammable paint remover. While much work remains to remove all of the graffiti, volunteers were able to make a visible difference. Special thanks to Phil Wanzer for organizing the event.

Volunteers gathered at Foushee Cave NA in Independence County to remove trash from the natural area. The event also included an interpretive presentation with a demonstration of how to build bat boxes, followed by construction of bat boxes for use by participating volunteers. Participants, including a volunteer from the ANHC Adopt a Natural Area Program (ANAP) partner, Ennis Cave Conservancy, participated in the event. The federally threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) and the federally endangered gray bat (Myotis grisescens) and Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) are known from the natural area.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in volunteer events this year. Be on the lookout for more volunteer events to be scheduled in the spring!


Top - Volunteers remove storm debris from Cave Springs Cave Natural Area. Photo by Brian Mitchell.

Middle - Teresa Waldron scrubs graffiti from a rock at Dardanelle Rock Natural Area. Photo by Leslie Patrick.

Bottom - Volunteers at Foushee Cave Natural Area learn how to make bat boxes. Photo by Emily Roberts.













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