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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 16 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 Grand Opening
Remarks by Janet Lanza

 

 

Wednesday, May 18 was a red-letter day, long in the making. The pavilion began as a germ of an idea in the brain of Richard Lawrence in 2015. He imagined it as a testament to the 10 years of efforts by the Central Arkansas Master Naturalists to improve the outdoor environment of Arkansas. It was thus termed the “CAMN Decade Pavilion Project.”

 

Richard, Bert Turner, and Bill Toland chose this spot for a pavilion because it was at the intersection of several trails and had—and has—a fabulous view of the Arkansas River. You can see for yourselves that they chose well.

 

Bert worked with the City of North Little Rock to secure approval, get the plans approved, and secure funding. We’re not sure, but we wonder if Bert’s efforts also led to a series of disasters and near-disasters. The disasters centered on that beautiful river—multiple floods! One deposited 3’ of sand on the River trail and huge logs right at this spot! But the community rallied. The City engineers, Pulaski County maintenance, the Army Corps of Engineers, and FEMA cooperated to restore this area. The original pavilion design was scrapped. The partially constructed pavilion was destroyed. So the pavilion was redesigned and rebuilt. There are 16 yards of concrete under our feet so that this structure will withstand the ferocity of a 100-year flood.

 

Most recently the project was spear-headed by a CAMN committee appointed by Davis Thompson, currently serving as past-president of CAMN.

 

But the Grand Opening represents the power and persistence of CAMN, donors, and the organizations and their people.—overcoming, at least for now, the power of the river!

 

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in making this day and our celebration arrive.

Slideshow
AMN Pavilion Grand Opening
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.

Slideshow
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: 
arkansaswildspaces@gmail.com

Land Steward Application and Pledge

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

Donate Now!

Arkansas Wild Spaces

 

Mother Nature Loves a Native Garden - here's proof!


Photos provided by Native Gardener, Lynn Foster


Focus on CAMNation

We started this column because the pandemic was preventing us from meeting the members of the CAMN Board.  Now, however, we are doing more in person these days and we've covered almost everyone on the board.  We've considered dropping this feature, but we have received good feedback from readers about it and how much fun it is to read the "back story" of a fellow CAMN member.  So we decided to continue the column, shifting the focus away from the board and out to the real Movers and Shakers of the organization!

Winged sumac

Eastern tiger swallowtails

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Eastern tiger swallowtail about to pupate

Getting to Know
Bob Pitts


Let me start off by saying I haven’t always been gentlemanly and distinguished looking as folks thought I was.  After a 42 year career in the Army, I went rogue.   Bearded Bob
Going back further, I was born in Iowa, a country boy.  Mom was a French immigrant and Dad was a WW II vet.  I was the oldest of 6 boys. Chaos in that house.  Went to Iowa State in Fisheries and Wildlife biology (1970) then got in the Army cuz they weren’t paying biologists but $4800 a year. Was enlisted at first (up to Staff Sergeant) then officer, then retired as a Colonel.  More degrees.  3 sons.  2 grands.  One too many wives. That’s past.  Next, the present.

Winged sumac

Red banded hairstreak on tall boneset

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Wingstem and strawberry bush

I have four influencers in CAMN.  No last names are necessary.  They are Bert, Bill, Reed and I like to say Mother Deckard cuz she’s a mother to all of us.  Keeps us straight.  So Bill says come and teach Camo in Nature at the Jr. Naturalist Camp. I said OK in my sniper/Gilley suit.  Bob at Junior Natualist Camp

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Southern plains bumblebee on tall boneset

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Blue mistflower and common bumblebee


Then Bert said you’d be perfect for playing in the dirt on trail maintenance.  Bob with pickax 
I said OK again as I played in the dirt back in Iowa and liked it. 

Dittany

Winged Sumac

Dittany

Dittany

Bob Pitts April 2022 Boom Blast Benny Craig

Reed told me I needed to dip my hands in the muck and the mud of Fourche Creek and dig out other’s garbage.


Well, OK. Mother Deckard told me not to listen to any of the three. Sorry Mom. Too late. 


So this is what a biologist does some 50 years later. Okaaaaay! And it has been great ever since.

Formal Bob

PS: Oh and if Bill can show off in a tuxedo, I can too as I tend to follow him. The Army Mess Dress uniform, the military equivalent to a civilian tuxedo. Strictly evening formal. Black tie. Hey, maybe I am a gentleman and don’t know it. HA!


CAMN Donations


Donations as memorials, to honor a CAMN member, or simply to support the work of the chapter.  


 

 

 

Educational Resources

Remote learning (Continuing Education) 


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CAMN Remote Learning Resources