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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


 

Central Arkansas Master Naturalists



 



Welcome To Our New Web Page

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 along with dozens of other agencies and entities. 


For 14 years, CAMN members have been stewards of the natural areas in Central Arkansas. We have educated the public and introduced the 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 benefited 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.



HELP NEEDED TO RESTORE BUILDING!


SJCA has given CAMN a building on their grounds that we will use as storage (thus eliminating paying for a commercial storage and using member's personal storage as backup).  In addition, this building has space for a workshop.  However, for the building to be secure and usable, repairs must be made. 

 


Here's what Bill Toland has to say about the space: 

"The major benefit is CAMN having plenty of room for storage rent free saving the chapter $$ over the years. Having a space large enough to have a workshop to make Aldo Leopold benches, wildlife nesting boxes, Signage, and other educational props. My wife appreciates that this stuff is not stored in my garage for the first time in years!! Tired of Bert ringing the doorbell at 11 pm at night wanting a bird box ( and a glass of scotch).


In the process of getting what we need we help an important non profit ( SJCA) inch along in fulfilling their mission that benefits us all.


And now that the PMSP greenhouse project is self supporting we need a worthy project that our members can donate a small amount of their charitable budget to on a one time basis.
This will save us from voting on who is the “ most sympathetic looking member” who will have to beg on a street corner with a misspelled sign!"

 

DONATE NOW! SJCA/CAMN Storage Building



TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR:
VIRTUAL TOUR
CAMN/SJCA Storage Building


EDUCATION 


The Covid-19 pandemic has created a need for remote learning opportunities. New options will continue to be added.  See what's available!  

Remote Learning Resources


Rocky Valley Trail
Pinnacle Mountain State Park

CAMN trail team just completed maintenance work on the Rocky Valley Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
During the process 69 non functioning water bars were removed along the two mile trail. In addition old pvc drains were removed, loose rock and vegetation removed, trail creep narrowed, drainage creeks cleaned out, blazes freshened up and / or replaced , root trippers lopped AND some camaraderie restored amongst our trail group.
The park will add some new  signage at key intersections with the new monument trails. The trail still retains its “Rocky personality “.



 
 






More Educational News





OUTREACH


Focus on CAMNation:

Adopt-A-Highway Organizer:  

Nita Sheth

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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 perservered, 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!

 


SERVICE

 

Greenhouse Work

About 20 CAMN members showed up to sow 20 different species of native plants at the Pinnacle Mountain State Park greenhouse.


Everyone wore mask and spread out while getting reacquainted. 1800 pots of seeds will germinate and get ahead start for spring planting.
PMSP and Partners for Pinnacle will make use of the majority of the plants with any remaining distributed to some local non profits for their use.

 

 

Waterfront Native Garden

New Native Garden

This is phase one of the native garden near the wetlands at Witt Stephens Nature Center.  It didn't quite get finished for Earth Day or Native Plant Week.
Thanks to Bill Toland and David Holcomb for doing the heavy lifting and the greenhouse team for providing the plants.
Katherine Becker