help_outline Skip to main content
Date: 2/29/2020
Subject: NWAMN March Newsletter
From: Jim Klinger


Newsletter of the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists

Inspiring a Love of Nature   |   Citizen Scientists   |   Stewards of Nature     Educating All Ages 


Working to Keep Arkansas

in its Natural State

Volume 2 Issue 3
March 2020

Important March Dates

March 7, 1PM-5PM Herbarium and Arthropod Museum Open House - UA Herbarium. Click HERE  for more details.
March 10, 10AM-Noon - NWAMN Board Meeting (CE Hours for all non-Board member attendees) - Shiloh Museum Meeting Hall. Click HERE  for more details.
March 15, 2PM-4PM - NWAMN Chapter Meeting (CE Hours for all attendees) - This is the Awards and Recognition meeting - Washington County Extension Office. Click HERE  for more details.
March 19, 6PM-8PM - NWAMN Book Club (CE Hours for all attendees) - Shiloh Museum General Store. Click HERE  for more details.


The Help Wanted section is a new section this month.  In it we will be highlighting volunteer opportunities that we need YOU to assist NWAMN and our agencies. 
In addition to this section in the newsletter we will also be implementing a Volunteer Time Module in Club Express.  There you will be able to register as a volunteer for these opportunities.
4-18-2020   12–4    Earth Day – Two volunteers for 2 hour shifts unless one wants to work the entire event
    Wilson Park, Fayetteville
    MN outreach + simple kid activity    
    Several environmental groups with tables and displays, two different bands, food trucks.  Fun celebratory event.
    CONTACT: Christie Waggoner at or 479-644-4294
4-18-2020   10-2    Earth Day – Two volunteers for 2 hour shifts unless one wants to work the entire event
    Hobbs State Park Conservation Area, Rogers
    MN outreach only
    Supposed to be the biggest Earth Day event ever for Hobbs, but I have no details, rumor of food trucks    
    CONTACT: Christie Waggoner at or 479-644-4294

4-25-20   9-12   Earth Celebration - One volunteer

   Gentry Public Library, Gentry

   Earth Day celebration and educational event to share information about NWAMN and answer  questions.

   CONTACT: Jim Klinger at

6-13-2020    6-8  Tree Sit In Anniversary Celebration –   Two volunteers plus me  (new event for MN)
    Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville
    Educational event both regarding MN, our activities, and native plants.  Strong focus on kids.
    CONTACT: Christie Waggoner at or 479-644-4294

Library Book Donation

NW Arkansas Master Naturalists donated 20 books, drawn from a list of past book club selections, to Springdale Public Library.  This donation is a part of our mission, to educate the public about the environment.  The books will be available not only to Springdale Library patrons, but also to other public libraries in Washington County.  NWAMN is proud to partner with public libraries in providing reliable sources of information to the citizens of Washington County.   10 books were adult interest books and 10 were of interest to children.  To see donated titles, as well as other NWAMN Book Club selections, go to  NWAMN Book Club.
Pictured: 2020 NWAMN Board members with Claudia Driver, Reference Librarian, Springdale Library, and Steve Alarid, NWAMN member.

Book Donation
Photo by Amy Leisure

Eureka Springs Volunteers Honored at Arkansas Municipal League Conference

At the recent Arkansas Municipal League Winter Conference held in North Little Rock, Eureka Springs mayor Butch Berry accepted an award on behalf of a local organization with close ties to NWAMN.


The Native Plant Garden Project, one of the three awards givenis the winner in the Under 5,000 Population category for Environmental/Green Management Practices. The Eureka Springs Native Plant Garden Project began about four years ago with two main objectives. The first was to provide a community educational resource by transforming a neglected right of way in downtown Eureka Springs into a vibrant, ecologically productive public green space. With support from the city, donors and NWA Master Naturalist volunteers, the neglected garden space along First Street has been transformed into a lovely demonstration of native plantings for attracting birds, bees, butterflies and other beneficial wildlife. 


The second objective was to encourage others to go native by offering a variety of interesting learning opportunities. The Native Plant Garden Project has hosted several Native Plant Fairs that included native plant vendors and expert speakers. 


The Native Plant Garden Project was honored locally at the beginning of the Eureka Springs City Council meeting on Monday, February 24, 2020.

Eureka Springs Awards
In attendance to receive recognition were from left: Volunteer Chris Fischer, 2020 NiT Sharon Roberts, and Master Naturalists Mariellen Griffin, Michael Shah, Faith Shah, and Mayor Butch Berry is on the far right (not pictured is Charlotte Harper).

NIT Training!!

Four classes are now in full swing in NWA with a total of 115 students.

Benton County Class.  Photo by Phyllis Kane. 
Eureka Springs Class.  Photo by Dave Leisure. 

Volunteer Fair

85 NITs
+ 13 NWAMN Speakers
+ 10 Partnering Agencies
+ 4 Benton County NIT Class Coffee Hosts
+ 30 Pizzas
                + 1 New Photo Frame                  
1 VERY Informative Day
All the NITs and Agencies at IRWP Saturday, February 15th, 2020. Photo by Dave Leisure. 
Kevin and BJ
Missy and Roseann
Kevin Power and BJ Westhoff
Missy Stratton and Roseann Kennedy
Ya-Jane Wang
Kitty Sanders
Ya-Jane Wang
Kitty Sanders
Ruth Teague
Mikes and Kim Barrett
Ruth Teague
Miles and Kim Barrett
Denise and Carrie
Russell Richman
Denise Klinger and Carrie Byron
Russell Richman

2020 NITs Facebook Page

Fellow MNs and NITs!  If you haven't already, join our Facebook group at NWA Master Naturalists - Class of 2020.   You can use this group as your training journal and share photos and thoughts of your training days and activities.  Not only will each of our posts contribute to the full story of our shared Master Naturalist training experience, but they also plant the seeds of awareness to the good work that we are doing for our community!  Post! Comment! Share! 😊


The group is public, but we are allowing only MNs and NITs to submit new posts.   After joining the group, send a request to D Jasmine Dorn or any admin so that you can post.  Please be sure to identify your NIT group.

Notes From Nature (Part 2)

Following is a note we received from Diane Soteropoulos

Hi, everyone,

We’ve had a busy week on Notes from Nature! The Benton and Washington County (Part 2) expedition was completed on Tuesday, February 11, and Part 3 launched Wednesday, February 12 in the evening!

We are very excited about the third and final expedition for Benton and Washington Counties. This expedition is the first to gather specimens exclusively located in herbaria outside the state in which they were collected. Six herbarium colleagues from Harvard, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina contributed specimens they have from the two northwestern counties in Arkansas to support the ANHC county inventory project.


Having completed transcription of all the herbarium holdings in Arkansas from Benton and Washington Counties (nearly 8000 specimens!), this expedition will add almost 1600 more specimens of data for our project. Cumulatively, these records represent >90% of all the specimens reported on the SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise in Collections (SERNEC: online portal to search herbarium collections from the Southeast US. Transcribing the label data from all these specimens would not have been possible without the help of the Notes from Nature community.


I hope you’re excited about participating in this project, too. This expedition should have specimens from familiar collectors, including Theo Witsell, D. M. Moore, and Delzie Demaree, but also some new names. Be on the lookout for some of the early explorers of Arkansas flora, including the first naturalist who collected plants in Arkansas 200 years ago: Thomas Nuttall. Other early collectors of interest include William Willard Ashe (the namesake for Ashe Juniper and Ashe’s Blackjack Oak) and George Engelmann (the namesake for Engelmann’s quillwort and many western species).


This expedition will also offer an opportunity to see different curatorial styles, especially with different specimen imaging formats. In Arkansas, all herbaria followed the same imaging protocol and used one of two mobile imaging stations.


Please enjoy the diversity of specimens in this expedition, across a range of up to 200 years, from familiar collectors and new ones!




Botanist / Arkansas Herbarium Digitization Coordinator

Member Profile - Sonya Zimmer

What year did you become a Master Naturalist?



What was it that made you interested in MN?


The love of nature and the desire to know more about what I observed first drew me to the Master Naturalists.  When I learned about its outreach, service and dedication to protecting our natural resources, it felt like coming home.  


What activities do you volunteer as a MN?  


One of the joys of becoming a Master Naturalist is the abundance of volunteer opportunities.  I already had been working as a Kessler teacher volunteer for elementary field trips.  After becoming a MN,  I explored many other avenues including greenhouse work with Native Plants,  Avant Gardening at Crystal Bridges and more.  Since then I have primarily focused on volunteering at The Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks, Mount Kessler and Wilson Springs. Being a Butterfly Nanny is one the highlights for me at BGO.  Participating as part of a team in the maintenance, monitoring and data collection for bird boxes at Wilson Springs is another project I thoroughly enjoy. An additional benefit of regular hikes at WS is the chance to take pictures along the way for the Citizen Science project iNaturalist.  I also am on the Citizen Science and Ambassador committees.  In the last two years I’ve moved from being trained in projects to be a trainer, though I always feel I still have a lot to learn.


How long have you been in NW Arkansas?  From where did you move?


Twenty-nine years ago my family relocated here from Katy, Texas.  I grew up outside Washington, D.C., but was attracted to wide open spaces and moved to various locals in New Mexico, then Texas before settling in Fayetteville.


What other hobbies besides MN do you enjoy?


So much about life fascinates me.  Of course, I love hiking, gardening, birding, and other MN pursuits. On the long list following would include travelling, reading, writing, painting, photography, cooking, movies and music.   Recently I have returned to genealogical research and find that alone can be a full-time endeavor.  


Is there anything you’d like to add?


I am very appreciative of  other Master Naturalists and volunteers  who take the time to share their knowledge and skills.  In the two years I’ve been with NWAMN I have seen great things accomplished through the efforts of many.  

Book Club

The following books are being suggested for our upcoming meetings:    


March 19th, 2020:  Inconspicuous Consumption, The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have  by Tatiana Schlossberg.  Nominated by Rose Gergerich 

April 16th, 2020:  Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World by Emma Marris.  Nominated by Frankie Jackson  

May 2020:  We have decided to read Ansel Adams: An Autobiography by Ansel Adams, suggested by Ken Leonard for our May Book Club meeting, and we may possibly meet at Crystal Bridges on May 23rd during Ansel Adams exhibit. Our normal meeting date for May 2020 is on Thursday, May 21st.  Stay tuned while we firm up plans for this book. 

March Full Moon:

 The Worm Moon


The Full Moon in March is the Worm Moon, and it is usually considered the last Full Moon of winter. It is also called Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Chaste Moon, Sugar Moon, and Sap Moon. 

Fun Facts

1.) Arkansas contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.  No wonder we need lots of Stream Smart volunteers!!

2.) The honey-bee is our official state insect.  Let's try to show them some love!!  We need them.
3.) The Ozark National Forest covers more than 1,000,000 acres.  Guess we need lots of tree huggers.

February Board Report  

The NWAMN Board started this month using a Consent Agenda.  Basically, this allows the board to review all committee reports prior to the meeting and agree to the reports without a readout of the reports and permits the board to work on tasks at the meeting which require their discussion and voting.  Dave Leisure got 10 reports for this meeting which is the most ever received by Dave in preparation for a meeting.
JB Portillo's Treasurer's Report is the one report required to be reviewed by the board at the meeting.  JB reported that we continue to be in positive financial condition and that we have $7,500 available for grants.
Jeff Hickle from Jacobs Engineering represented Woolsey Wet Prairie and their Build a Barn Owl Nest Box project.  Jeff gave an overview of the effort and will return at a subsequent board meeting to present further details.
Rose Gergerich made a presentation of Native Plant Propagation and Education Greenhouse at the new AGFC facility in Springdale.  The purpose of looking at this into a new greenhouse is to provide for transition and secession to a permanent facility to allow NWAMN to always have a native plant greenhouse for our use.
Paul Springer provided an update regarding the National Trails Day and Integrated Monarch Program from the State Board meeting he attended along with Denise Klinger, Cheryl Larson, Dave Leisure, Ken Leonard, and JB Portillo.

Contact Us

Below are the 2020 Board of Directors 
Lilia Beattie 
Carrie Byron
Jane Foster
Ken French
Rose Gergerich
Charlotte Harper
Denise Klinger
Jim Klinger
Cheryl Larson
Dave Leisure
Kathy Mason
JB Portillo
Deb Shoemaker
Paul Springer
Tom Waggoner
Public Relations
Board Secretary
Western Corridor
Native Plant Team
Eureka Springs Corridor
President-Elect/Citizen Science
Volunteer Coordinator
Lake Wedington Projects
Policies and Procedures
State Representative

Parting Shots

Submit your photos to be added to the Parting Shots in upcoming editions!  We would LOVE to see what you have been doing!!

Send your comments, content and/or photos to:
Cooper Chapel Path
Bald Eagles
Lenten Rose
Parting Shots  photos courtesy of Michele Warsaw


See you next month, till then, get outdoors!!

Volume 2 Issue 3
March 2020