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Welcome To CAMN!

Central Arkansas is where it all began! In 2006, at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, a need met a solution. The need: trained volunteers who could help supplement the work of the Park Interpreters. The solution: a recently relocated Texas Master Naturalist, Tom Neale. Together the park personnel and Tom created a training program, recruited the first class, and launched the program that has grown to encompass much of the state of Arkansas and has provided thousands of hours of volunteer support to state parks as well as dozens of other agencies and entities.


For 15 years, CAMN members have been stewards of the natural areas in Central Arkansas. We have educated the public and introduced kids to the wonders of nature and the responsibility we all share in caring for it. We've built trails, provided housing for birds, monitored the quality of rivers and lakes, picked up litter, removed invasive species, grown and planted native plants, and provided educated citizen scientists. We've worked hard and we've had fun. And the Natural State has benefitted from it all. Come see what we do!

Our Mission:

To develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service

dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.


CAMN Decade Pavilion Project
by Bert Turner



Back in 2015, Richard Lawrence came up with the idea to build a pavilion or something like that as a permanent memorial to CAMN and all it has accomplished over its first 10 years of serving nature in Arkansas.  Richard along with Bill Toland and Bert Turner, all members of the second class of 2017, decided the best place for a pavilion would be on the Arkansas River Trail on the North Little Rock side where multiple trails we worked on came together—Pfeifer Loop, Isabella Jo, Northshore, Yellow Trail from Burns Park, and connector trails.  (See attached photo.)


The view across the Arkansas River was beautiful, Campbell Lake would be right behind the pavilion, and the area was surrounded with lots of flora and fauna.  There was even a nice beach just across the River Trail.  That would make it a great location for hikers, dog walkers, runners, road bikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, fishermen, and others that may pass by the pavilion or stop in to take a break—and maybe even learn about or get interested in CAMN.


We decided on a metal pavilion with a disabled accessible picnic table, benches, bike racks, horse hitching rail, and signage touting Arkansas Master Naturalists.  A plan was launched and we raised enough money to construct the CAMN Decade Pavilion.

Bert volunteered to work with the City of North Little Rock to get approval and make it happen.  Our first big mistake was letting Bert head up the project!  Bert did quickly get approval from the city, and he has been working on getting past numerous other obstacles to get the pavilion constructed.  However, here we are five years later he is still trying to get it completed.  Bill is calling it the Decade-and-a- Half Pavilion. 


The obstacles were quite monumental.  Several floods slowed us down directly and indirectly.  The beach across the River Trail almost washed away, the Arkansas River Trail was under 3’ of sand, and huge logs were deposited by the floods right where the pavilion was to be built!  Then City Engineers, Pulaski County maintenance, Army Corps of Engineers, and FEMA all got involved in the flood recovery.  The pavilion itself had to be redesigned and rebuilt with materials that would withstand a 500-year flood, and the foundation would have to be about 3’ deep with concrete and compacted gravel.  The price skyrocketed for cleanup, 16 cubic yards of concrete, many dump truck loads of gravel, new heavy duty construction materials, etc.  The good thing is Bert was able to get the City of North Little Rock to help cover much of the price increase.

Decades Pavilion Map

And now we have a pavilion.  The area is cleaned up, the structure itself is in place, there are bike racks, a hitching rail, and  a picnic table and bench!  NLR Parks is going to help landscape around the pavilion and reshape some of the sand dunes across the River Trail.  CAMN may do a few little touchups ourselves.  Miraculously we have not run over our budget. 

CAMN President Davis Thompson did the smart thing and formed a committee (without Richard, Bill or Bert) to put the final touches on the pavilion with signage and a fancy ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, May 18 at 10 am. What's more is that the mayor of North Little Rock has declared that day Central Arkansas Master Naturalist Day!!

Watch this site photos of the Dedication!


Decades Pavilion Sign
Decades Pavilion 2022

Fourche Creek



For more information and details, visit the Servicing Fourche Creek Catchment website:    

Servicing Fourche Creek

Donations accepted for boat upkeep and supplies
used for Fourche Creek Clean Up Events.

Donate Now!

Donations made to a specific project will be used only for that project. If a project ends with remaining funds, those funds will be placed in the General Project Fund and used for other CAMN projects.

Fourche Creek

Donate now for Arkansas Wild Spaces

Arkansas Wild Spaces (AWS) is a project of the Central Arkansas Master Naturalists designed to assist homeowners in Central Arkansas to 1) identify non-native invasive plants they should remove from their yards, and 2) suggest native plants for adding to improve ecosystem functions and increase wildlife populations.  We welcome your donation!  We use donations to provide handouts for homeowners, website setup and maintenance, and supplies. Volunteers run AWS and no funds are used for profit. Donations are 100% tax deductible. 

To apply, download the application, fill out and save, then email it to:

Land Steward Application and Pledge

It takes 6-9,000 caterpillars to raise one clutch of chickadee babies.

Donate Now!

Arkansas Wild Spaces

JNC SJCA 2022 Dem Gaz
We made the paper!

2022 Junior Naturalists Camps


CAMN volunteers and others provided 2 Junior Naturalist Camps this year.  2022 was the 10th JN Camp at Wildwood Park.  Created and organized by Bill Toland in 2012, this camp has been offered during Spring Break each year to offer an outdoor leaning experience to local kids, aged 7 through 12. 

The Wildwood Camp hosted 30 kids, all of whom logged many miles of hikes through the Wild 40 and other trails, who made bird boxes and picture frames, who played and ran and had a great time.  In addition to Bill, other CAMN volunteers included NiTs, Ann Bleed (who was there ALL week!), Joan Meeks (who cleaned and organized the paints and stencils!), Paul Gosnell, Greg Short, Ari Remmel, Katie Mann, and Tom Utley.  Way to step up, Newbies!  Other members of CAMNation included Bob Pitts (2 place at one time, Bob), Nita Sheth, Kathy Boone, Lynn Jessup, Fritz Kahley, Scotty Scholl, and Nancy Deckard. 


Bob Pitts organized the 1st ever camp at SJCA, which hosted 22 kids.  Bob made good use of the 11 AmeriCorps folks who are in residence at St. Joe’s at the moment. With the help of CAMN mentors, Bob, Bill Toland, Ruth Landers and Fritz Kahley, the Americorps staff entertained and taught the energetic kids all week. 




Focus on CAMNation

Living through the social isolation of the pandemic has had impact on so much of what we do, of course.  Each one of us could likely make a long list of things we do differently now.  One impact that we are beginning to realize is that there is a good chance that many of you don't even know the people who serve you on our board.  And until it's safe to resume in-person meetings, that's not likely to change.  So we thought it would be fun and helpful to feature our board members and others!




Getting to Know
Cindy Fain
2022 Training Coordinator

I was born and raised in western Oklahoma.  My mom instilled in me a love for nature early in my childhood.  I remember catching tadpoles, horned lizards, and helping my brother collect specimens for his 4-H entomology project.  I have always loved every aspect of nature but I’m particularly passionate about birds, insects, and snakes.  

Cindy Fain and her husband, Mark

My husband Mark and I are both pharmacists and my job brought us to Arkansas four years ago.  I wanted to find a way to immerse and educate myself about the Natural State, as well as make new friends.  A pharmacist friend, who is also a certified Arkansas Master Naturalist, introduced me to this organization. 

I have the pleasure of traveling around the entire state of Arkansas inspecting pharmacies for the State Board of Pharmacy.  I get to appreciate all the ecoregions and experience the seasonal changes.  We live on 12 wooded acres so there is a vast variety of wildlife right in my own backyard even though I live in Little Rock. 

JNC Wildwood 2022 Shelter Building

Wildwood Kids find materials to build a survival shelter.

Photo by Ann Bleed

JNC SJCA 2022 Shelter Building with Jena

AmeriCorps member, Jena, helps the SJCA kids build a shelter.

Photo by Sandy DeCoursey

I’m currently serving as the curriculum chair, aka 2022 NiT Coordinator.  I enjoy working with my fellow curriculum chair members to bring the best learning opportunities to our newest members as I continue to acquire more knowledge.

When I’m not working, we love to travel, go to concerts, visit our four children in Oklahoma, and I’m currently learning to quilt.  We’re also very active in our church.  I’m patiently waiting for grandchildren and impatiently waiting for retirement.  We’re always on the go, but I believe that life lived fully is a life lived well. 

JNC Wildwood 2022 bird house Paul Bleed

Paul Gosnell helps a camper build a bluebird house.

Photo by Ann Bleed

JNC SJCA 2022 Shelter Building with Jena

Jason with AmeriCorps conducts an experiment with the St. Joe campers.

photo by Sandy DeCoursey

Cindys deck in snow

Cindy's deck and retreat

Cindys deck in snow

Cindy's deck in snow

Hummingbird Rescue

by Cindy Fain

Hummingbird in peril
Hummingbird in Cindys hand
Cindys recovering hummer
Hummingbird in Cindys tree

One day in the spring of 2020 I was working from home due to Covid, and I heard thunder.  I took my dog outside before the rain hit and saw a huge moth on the side of the shop.  I had just discovered the iNaturalist app and was eager to identify this new species. 


Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a hummingbird with its beak stuck in the siding about 10 feet off the ground. I had to get the ladder to reach it.  I still don't know how it managed to get stuck. 


The poor bird had obviously been struggling for quite a while and was completely spent. They're so light that I couldn't even tell it was in my hand if I wasn't looking at it! 


I took the exhausted female ruby throated hummingbird into the screened-in porch and helped her get some nectar.  It took over an hour to get her strength back and she was eventually able to fly away.  


I've always wanted to touch a hummingbird and now I've actually saved one's life!  

Can you spot the hummingbird in the tree?

2022 NiT Training Classes

CAMN 2022 NiT Training Schedule



Educational Resources

Remote learning (Continuing Education) 


CAMN Remote Learning Resources