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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.


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

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Arkansas Wild Spaces

Slideshow
CAMN Home Page

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.

 


Lorance Creek Field Trip

After more than a year of not being able to meet in person for learning, it was a real treat to be able to participate in a Field Trip to the Lorance Creek Natural Area. 
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Photo Courtesy of Lee Soderberg
Specific safety protocols were in place and followed, which allowed nearly 20 people to enjoy a beautiful morning together getting to know the creatures that inhabit the swampy creek. 

crayfish FT
Photo Courtesy of David Holcomb

 

Our instructor was Dustin Lynch, Aquatics Biologist with ANHC, who is not only extremely knowledgeable about what lives in the swamp, he is also willing to get into the swamp and trap the specimens for us to see. 
crayfish FT
Photo Courtesy of David Holcomb
With the assistance of Brie Olsen (CAMN), ecologist with ADEQ, Dustin set 6 traps the night before our visit, and then retrieved the traps for us to examine.  We saw 3 different species of crayfish (our primary target), along with numerous fish and other aquatic creatures.  Dustin is also an accomplished birder, so he helped us identify a number of birds, including the gorgeous prothonotary warbler – a life bird for several of our attendees. 

crayfish FT

Photo Courtesy of David Holcomb

 

Focus on CAMNation

Nita Sheth

In 2011, CAMN member Nita Sheth took on the challenge of enrolling CAMN in the Adopt-A-Highway program. Nita has a passion for protecting Mother Earth. Nita saw the litter along the roadways of Little Rock as an offense to our planet.

 

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The initial steps involved bureaucracy, naturally, but Nita persevered, working with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Departments as well as West Pulaski County Area Maintenance, until CAMN was assigned a mile of Hwy 300 close to PMSP.  

 

Signs were mounted on each end of our mile letting passers by know that the mile "belongs" to the Central Arkansas Master Naturalist. Apparently there wasn't room on the sign to make "naturalist" plural!

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Nita then began to enlist work crews to begin regular patrols of our mile. As you can imagine, our first venture there was a hard one, since no litters crews had been there maybe ever!

 

We've learned a lot in the nearly 10 years that we've been keeping that stretch of road clean. We know that cleaning before the maintenance crews have mowed means wading through very high grass and needing to make a lot os noise to scare off the varmints. But we've also learned that cleaning after the maintenance crews have mowed means cleaning up thousands of water bottle and aluminum can chards instead of whole bottles and cans!

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Nita led this project for nearly 10 years, during which she insured that the work was done at least 5 times a year. She was always there for the clean up, supplying bags and vests to the other workers and making the reports to the agencies.  

Thanks to Nita for all of her hard work - and 9 years of service on this one project!

 

Now that Nita's husband Nayan, has retired, she has decided to pass the reins on, but we know that we'll see her out there with the litter patrol whenever she can be there!

Rose Creek Clean Up

Rose Creek


The city of Little Rock created an initiative this spring called “Impact the Rock.” Part of this initiative has been to make improvements at seven city parks, one of which is the long-neglected Rose Creek Park. Jan Baker, CAMN member and member of the Little Rock Sustainability Commission, brought this park to the attention of the CAMN board, which agreed that it was a worthy addition to our projects list, especially since Jan offered to take the lead on it. 

 

The area showed up on city maps back in 1909 and the city at that time said, "Gee, that'd be a great space for a park." Fast forward 100 year later, and people are still saying, "Gee, that'd be a great space for a park." Capitol View/Stifft Station does not have any other park area (although Lamar Porter Field is there, and a Community Garden), and in that regard is underserved. The Capitol View/Stifft Station Neighborhood Association is on board, as is City Director Capi Peck. 

 

The kick-off event at Rose Creek was on April 17th. In addition to neighborhood residents, a number of CAMNers showed up to help.  The first job that Jan wants to tackle is the removal of invasive plants and so that was the main activity that day.  Jan sai(Photo by Sam Yates)We wouldn’t have been able to cleanup so much of the park if it were not for Bill Toland’s truck and the group of CAMN members who worked like dogs removing invasive species and picking up trash both on the side of the creek and in the creek bed.” Kudos to CAMNation!

Rose Creek

Jan plans other clean up days in the near future, and her long-term goal is to install a trash boom on the creek to keep the trash from continuing on to the Arkansas River. Please stay alert for opportunities to help this new project and burgeoning place of beauty and peace in the midst of the city.
  
Photos by Jan Baker and Sam Yates



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


Servicing Fourche Creek and Fourche Bottoms

Educational Resources

Remote learning (Continuing Education) 


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Remote Learning Resources