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
Table of Contents
Unfortunately, there is no way in Club Express to "link" directly to a location within the newsletter. However, the actual Section Header for each of the categories listed below will be in large red font.
NOTE: If the entry below is highlighted in yellow that entry has a volunteer opportunity.
- HELP!!! 😳
- Important Dates
- Introduction of Lynne Hehr
- ONSC Trail and Ground Work Days
- Native Plant Beds
- Bug Kickin' On The Illinois River
- AGFC and Devil's Eyebrow
- Project WILD and AGFC
- Arkansas Highway 12 Clean Up
- Poultry House Remediation
- The Most Recognizable Plant in the World?
- Secchi Day Cancellation 😟
- IRWP August is Water Quality Month
- Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership ZOOM Session
- Creative Corner
- Crow's Cottage
- Bella Vista and Beyond
- July Chapter Meeting
- July Board Report
- Contact Us
This month's newsletter started off with VERY little content. And as you will see has grown into a lengthy publication.
So here is where I would like feedback:
- Is there too much in the newsletter to make it "usable and readable?"
- Is the content interesting? If not, what type of articles would improve the usefulness of the newsletter?
- What content is not needed?
Please do not hesitate to provide negative comments, this newsletter is for ALL of the members and I want to make sure it is of value and worth your time to read.
Important Dates in August
August 11 10AM-Noon - NWAMN Board Meeting. Will be conducted via ZOOM session. A few days prior to the meeting Dave Leisure will send an email to all members with a ZOOM link. EVERYONE is invited!!
Click HERE for the calendar.
Lynne H. Hehr
Hello NWAMN Members,
I want you to join me in welcoming Lynne Hehr to our board. She joins us filling the position of President Elect based on the vote of the Board. We all look forward to Lynne's participation on our board of directors as we all work together to make our chapter even stronger and more impactful on the Northwest Arkansas environmental community. She assumes her place on the NWAMN board effective immediately and Lynne we welcome you with enthusiasm and gratitude for your willingness to serve the NWAMN chapter in this capacity. We look forward to your leadership. Lynne, with sincerity enthusiasm, and on behalf of all the members of the NWAMN.....WELCOME!
Lynne H. Hehr is the retired Director for the University of Arkansas STEM Center for Mathematics and Science Education and the Arkansas NASA Educator Resource Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. At the University, she was a formal and informal education link between the Arkansas K-12 science, technology, engineering, & mathematics education and research communities for more than 25 years.
Her education background includes a BS Ed degree in English from Indiana University and a BS and MS research degree in Geology from the University of Arkansas. Prior to 1988, she taught kindergarten through high school students in private and public schools. Her main responsibilities included connecting K-12 students and educators to materials, resources and personnel while providing professional development for K-20 pre- and in-service educators.
She has been the President of the Arkansas Science Teacher Association, Conference Chair for the annual state teacher Arkansas Curriculum Conference, Director of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair for 5th -12th grade students, and has served on local and national boards for the advancement of lifelong learners. She has presented hundreds of invited professional development presentations at international, national, state, regional and local conventions, conferences, institutes and workshops. Currently, Lynne is the Vice Chair of the Education Working Group for the international GLOBE program < http://globe.gov >.
OK, if you read all of that and are not totally asleep, I am a native Arkansan from rural northeast Arkansas. I love all things Earth related, especially rocks! I have traveled all 50+ states, all 7 continents, and more than 50 countries. I have lived in Fayetteville for 35 years, graduating from both Fayetteville High School (many, many years ago) and the University of Arkansas (several years ago).
For me, Nature provides inspiration, evoking both a sense of stillness and exultation for those who take the time to listen and wonder. In the seventh grade, I misspelled the word ‘environment’ and told my mother that I would never need to know that word. Funny thing, I have spent 50+ years being surrounded by it, both as student and teacher. I look forward to working with and for the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists, a group that exemplifies the best in environmental stewardship. Thank you for providing me this opportunity to serve.
Ozark Natural Science Center
Trail and Ground Workdays
Ozark Natural Science Center is seeking volunteers to assist during several summer and fall workdays:
Wednesday, August 5th, 8AM to 12PM
Wednesday, August 19th, 8AM to 12PM
Saturday, August 22nd - 8AM to 12PM
Duties include trail maintenance and tending to native plant gardens. Some tools will be provided, but please bring your own if you have them. If you’re able to bring a weed-eater, they’re very helpful for trail trimming. Please bring a mask, and we’ll have extras available as well.
The work will be outdoors, but indoor restrooms will be available as needed. We will be taking COVID precautions including physical distancing of at least 6 feet, extra cleaning of doorknobs and restrooms, and wearing masks when indoors (if you prefer, you may wear masks outdoors as well).
Please RSVP to Renee Valentine (email@example.com) with your date preference(s), as well as whether you prefer garden or trail work.
Karen Takemoto and Paula Ellington assisting a young volunteer at ONSC.
Native Plant Beds
NWAMN Native Plant Beds
A Call to Action for Master Naturalist Volunteers
Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists have successfully established or helped to establish some wonderful public native plant beds at more than ten locations in northwest Arkansas (see list below). This has been the result of careful planning, generous application of MN elbow grease, donation of native plants grown by MN, and collaboration with our partner non-profit organizations. It is critical that we work to maintain these gardens so they remain attractive and functional habitats for local native insects and birds. According to Doug Tallamy in his recent book Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Back Yard, establishment of beds such as these is something each one of us can do to promote diversity and retention of our native species.
If you are looking for volunteer opportunities and like to work outdoors, please consider becoming a regular volunteer for native plant bed maintenance. Each of the native plant beds listed below has a Master Naturalist coordinator (see list for the coordinators and their contact information for each location) who has graciously agreed to organize volunteers to carry out needed work in a timely fashion. Maintenance includes tasks such as pulling weeds, applying mulch, pruning, watering, plant replacement, updating and replacing plant labels, etc.
Please contact one or more individuals on the list below to volunteer for maintenance duty on a MN native plant bed near you. Thank you.
List of native plant beds and project coordinators
Greenway Master Naturalist Beds – City of Fayetteville – "Rachel Lyons" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rogers Native Plant Gardens – "Phyllis Stair" <email@example.com>
Lake Wedington Projects – "Kathy Mason" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Devil’s Den State Park – "Martha Ragar" <email@example.com>
Hobbs State Park – "Ken Leonard” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Botanical Garden of the Ozarks – Native Plant Beds "Ken Leonard “ <KenLeonard57@gmail.com>
Mock Park in Prairie Grove – "LaDeana Mullinix" <email@example.com>
Buckingham Trailhead Native Planting in Bella Vista – "Nancy Gilmore" <Nldugas@gmail.com>
Lake Springdale Trailhead Project – "Jonathan Perrodin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eureka Springs – "Scott Miskiel" <email@example.com>
Frank Tillery Elementary School Native Plant Beds – “Frankie Jackson” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Master Naturalist Steve Alarid in the foreground helping to establish one of the native plant beds at Lake Wedington.
School garden at Frank Tillery Elementary School, Rogers
Native plant bed, Greenway in South Fayetteville
Master Naturalists building a native plant bed along the Fayetteville Greenway (Lisa Edmiston, Gary Kirkland, Nate Weston, Ralph Weber, Patty Severino, Tom Edmiston, and Jane Foster).
IRWP is in the process of organizing a few habitat assessment/bug-kicking events in Oklahoma in partnership with the Blue Thumb Program. This is a continuation of IRWP's two-year ecoassessment study that IRWP began in Arkansas and are now expanding into Oklahoma (below is a flyer for the August sampling events). IRWP would LOVE to have a few volunteers at each event and would like to extend an invitation to NWAMN's, particularly this year's NITs who didn't get a chance to have the field portion of their water training.
We'll be sampling over six days, two times per day, and at different sites each time. Folks are welcome to join us for one or all sampling events, but please contact Candice Miller at Blue Thumb beforehand so she can get an accurate count for each event. The health and safety of everyone involved is, of course, of utmost importance to us. This is an outdoor activity and, to reduce risk, we'll be observing social distancing and wearing masks when distancing is not an option.
AGFC and Devil's Eyebrow
Hey folks, AGFC has a VERY immediate need for a response to an upcoming volunteer opportunity. Read the description below for details on the opportunity. AGFC is applying for a grant from National Fish Habitat Partnership BUT Jon Stein needs to know the level of volunteer involvement for the opportunity. So please read the volunteer opportunity description below and contact Jon Stein NO LATER THAN 8/13.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is looking for volunteers for a fish, wildlife and glade restoration project on Beaver Lake. The goals of the project would be to remove invasive cedar trees from Devil's Eyebrow and place them in Beaver Lake to improve fish habitat. This will be hard work and volunteers will be cutting rope and tying blocks to trees to sink them in the lake. All volunteers will have a scenic boat ride to Devil's Eyebrow Natural Area where the work will take place. Volunteers should bring sunscreen, water, gloves and sturdy shoes. The project will occur from fall 2021 to December 2022.
District Fisheries Supervisor
Project WILD and AGFC
What a timely CE opportunity we have as NWA Master Naturalists who are eagerly awaiting the grand opening of the Ozark Highlands Nature Center and a local volunteer partnership with AGFC! Nature Center info here https://www.agfc.com/en/explore-outdoors/nature-and-education-centers/jbjhfohnc/
We are being included in an invitation to participate in a 6 hour Project Wild workshop, offered to educators and nature interpreters like us!
Project Wild is a K-12 hands-on activity-based curriculum guide featuring wildlife, habitat, and environment lesson plans. In Arkansas, Project Wild workshops and activity guides are FREE through AGFC's sponsorship.
Opportunity: Workshop details: August 18, 9 am-noon and August 19, 9 am-noon. Offered online via ZOOM
To register, contact Sheila Connerly, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Project WILD Coordinator at email@example.com.
Project WILD activities are a great resource as we build interpretation credibility with our volunteer partners.
Hope to see you on ZOOM...and soon in person !
Care Butler, NWAMN Continuing Education Chair
NWAMN Cleanup on Highway 12
NWAMNs Carey Chaney, Bruce Darr, Mike Holloway, Ken Leonard, Mike McMullen, Steve Sampers, Judith Sapsford, Terry Weiderhaft, Diane Wyatt and John Wyatt cleaned 2 miles of Highway 12 and collected 20 bags of trash. It was a great turn out.
Another interesting factoid is that this litter pick up location was one of the very first commitments made by the chapter when it was first formed and Hal, Ken and Steve have been among the volunteers from the beginning.
They even got a photo and write up in the Democrat-Gazette!
Poultry House Remediation
Dr. Susan Rupp
2016 Washington County
Arkansas ranks second in the nation for broiler (poultry) production, with most of that production occurring in Benton and Washington counties in northwest Arkansas. Poultry wastes, including substantial amounts of manure and litter, can contaminate groundwater, spread pathogens, and contribute to air pollution and global warming. Even old, non-operational poultry houses can continue to cause environmental contamination years after they have been decommissioned. A new research project aims to improve our natural resources by removing old poultry houses and replacing them with native grasses to improve water quality, stabilize soils, remove contaminants, and provide wildlife habitat.
Opportunity: We are looking for landowners who have 2 to 4 old 40' x 400' broiler houses on their property they would be willing to take down as part of a project to create a poultry house remediation program for the state of Arkansas.
Opportunity: We will also be looking for citizen scientist volunteers to assist with the project, if funded.
If interested, please contact Dr. Susan Rupp at 479-340-7018 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the most recognizable flower IN THE WORLD? Arguably it is the ubiquitous Taraxacum also known as the common Dandelion.
It can be found on 6 continents (Antartica being the exception). The Dandelion has a long history with humans from medicinal to food to nemesis.
Here is an educational, enjoyable and entertaining video on Taraxacum.
Secchi Day Cancellation
VIRTUAL August 15, 2020
15th Annual Secchi Day Science Fair Goes Virtual
Beaver Water District has made the difficult decision to cancel this year's wildly popular Secchi Day event on Beaver Lake. Below is some info from their webpage.
HERE is a short video on the Secchi Day event.
To ensure everyone’s safety during the coronavirus pandemic, the “in-person” Secchi Day Science Fair at Prairie Creek is cancelled this year. Instead, we invite you to join us for an ONLINE VIRTUAL 15th Annual SECCHI DAY SCIENCE FAIR 2020 with videos and photos of Environmental and Water Education activities for local citizens and friends around the world to learn from and enjoy. This is a work in progress. Please keep an eye on this webpage, as well as following Beaver Water District and our partners on our Social Media pages.
Secchi Day sampling activities will continue this year with all the necessary precautions to ensure everyone is safe. To indicate your interest in volunteering, email Matthew Rich at email@example.com.
Secchi Day is named for the Secchi Disk, a black and white device lowered into the water to measure clarity. Volunteers with boats help us gather samples that day. This takes about 20-30 minutes, but there’s travel time involved depending on where your sample point is located. Pre-registration well in advance is required. Additionally, you must have a boat (in some instances, sites that need to be sampled may be accessed via a kayak, a canoe or a stand-up paddle-board that is rigged to carry sampling gear and an ice chest).
The Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership Speaker Series
The speaker will be Dr. Brian Haggard, Director, Arkansas Water Resources Center.
CE Opportunity: THURSDAY, August 13th, 6:00--7:30 PM
ABOUT THE TALK
TITLE: Harmful Algal Blooms at Lake Fayetteville
SUMMARY: The caution and advisory signs about harmful algal blooms (HABs) at Lake Fayetteville have appeared again due to the presence of the algal toxin, microcystin. The EPA issued guidance regarding recreational criteria for microcystin concentrations in water bodies, and the concentrations at Lake Fayetteville have on occasion exceeded that criteria of 8 micrograms per liter. The Arkansas Water Resources Center along with collaborators from Baylor University have been trying to research these HABs and cyanobacteria producing toxins at this lake over the last couple years.
This research has brought about several questions, and it observed one piece of evidence helping to suggest why and when the cyanobacteria produce toxins. The data collected has shown that typical sampling strategies might lead to some variability in the measured microcystin concentrations due to sample collection and volume saved for analysis. The microcystin concentrations in the lake are also highly variable diurnally, temporally and spatially. The surface scums also tend to have the greatest microcystin concentrations, which often exceed the recreational criteria.
This presentation will hopefully answer several key questions about HABs at Lake Fayetteville, while also showing how the presence of cyanobacteria does not always mean high toxin.
Topic: Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership
Time: Aug 13, 2020 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 838 5292 5089
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|Eb Bowles, 2019 Washington County, is the editor of a very informative journal about the natural world called Crow’s Cottage. Below are some synopses of articles in the current editions. You can read the articles by following the links to the pertinent journal. |
When renowned Arkansas naturalist Theo Witsell identified the rare White Prairie Rose at a tallgrass prairie in the Arkansas River valley, it was a happy surprise. The discovery followed by 200 years the first White Prairie Rose (Rosa foliolosa) sighting by explorer/botanist Thomas Nuttall in 1819.
The Katydid from Texas was photographed in 2017 under mysterious circumstances. What were those strange yellow lights on the other side of the glass? Only Katy knows.
Early on when this comely wildflower from Mexico was introduced to the USA, she was called The Black Dahlia, even though she’s neither black nor a dahlia. Instead, she’s the beautiful Cosmos. Read about how this special wildflower was transformed into a hothouse favorite by pioneering female floriculturist Mrs. Theodosia Shepherd.
The above three articles may be found HERE.
Joyce Hicks is one of only a handful of Arkansas Game and Fish certified and licensed turtle rehabbers. Saving sick or injured box turtles, red-eared sliders, common snappers, and river cooters is her passion. In this photo essay, NWA Master Naturalist Joyce tells the story about the Northwest Arkansas Turtle Rehabilitation Center.
What’s in a name? How about the Dianthus aka Sweet William aka Sops In Wine aka Wild Carnation. This annual with many names is among the favorites of nursery-raised flowers.
Unlike the hardy hibiscus, the tropical hibiscus makes its way onto patios and porches from nurseries and commercial greenhouses. She’s a summertime favorite for many naturalists who enjoy her saucer-sized flowers and her ability to produce blossoms all summer long.
The above three articles may be found HERE.
Bella Vista and Beyond Subgroup Quarterly Meeting
Below is an abbreviated synopsis of the meeting.
The NWAMN Board approved $1826 for the interpretive signage at Buckingham Trailhead and Blowing Springs Park.
The Bella Vista and Beyond NWAMN, Cooper Elementary, and Discover Bella Vista is collaborating on a program about butterflies this summer. Families are encouraged to participate. Wildflower seed packets are available thanks to Discover Bella Vista and JB has about 400 packets left to distribute. Opportunity: Please contact JB Portillo if you would like wildflower packets or would like to help distribute them.
Opportunity: Denise reported for Nancy that the Monarch monitoring project started today and will run through August 2nd. Contact Nancy Dugas Gilmore for more information.
Deb Shoemaker reported that the Leadership Committee is beginning to look at positions that will become open for next year, and will be advertising the openings. Deb is working on position descriptions and an easy application for members to complete. Announcements and information will be available on the website, social media and newsletter. Opportunity: Consider applying for a board position or to serve on the education, outreach or service committees.
Susan Rupp submitted the grant proposal for poultry house remediation activities with a request for $148,000. The announcement will be sometime in September. If the grant is awarded there will be several opportunities for Master Naturalists to become involved. She is looking to recruit land owners who have old poultry houses on their sites, particularly broiler houses. Contact Susan Rupp if you know someone who may be interested in the project. Opportunity: Contact Susan if you would like to be on her email list to volunteer at one of the field days or volunteer collecting data at treatment sites in August.
Gayle Walker reported that the watering at Buckingham Trailhead is going well. Several volunteers are taking turns watering the native plants about 3 times a week. There is some deer damage but the gardens look good. Opportunity: If anyone is interested in helping to water, please contact Gayle Walker at email@example.com.
Carrie Byron is heading up a group to address membership engagement which is especially important during these times of social distancing due to COVID. She and the group are looking for ideas to keep the members engaged and moving forward. COVID seems to be taking its toll on involvement: Jim Klinger reported that there was a 33% drop off in the number of members who read the July newsletter. Partner organizations who requested volunteers for projects saw a decline in responses. Four of the 7 groups who posted volunteer opportunities in the last newsletter did not receive any responses.
Several ideas were generated such as working on infrastructure projects like the website and social media. It was suggested that the Ambassadors (formerly the mentors) could be involved in contacting and encouraging members.
Opportunity: Paula Hixon and her family have been conducting stream testing, but she needs help with quarterly data entry. She would email the documents to the volunteer with the data needed to be inputted into the AR Game and Fish Commission database. She estimates that it would take an hour each quarter to enter the data. Contact Paula if you are interested.
July Chapter Meeting
Keynote Speaker was Fred Paillet with an assist by Steve Stephenson
Click HERE for a link to the Youtube video of the Chapter meeting
Fred and Steve are co-authors of Forest Forensics - The Science Behind the Scenery in Our Regional Forests. Fred provided an excellent overview of the book and the thinking behind their approach to telling the story of the forest. If you are interested in purchasing the book please EMAIL ME and I will get you the order form.
Opportunity: Lake Fayetteville clean up with Dr Brian Haggerty
CE Opportunity: Rogers/Lowell Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Leadership Seminar. Northwest Arkansas Emerging Leaders (NWAEL) has developed a certification program for board service to assist emerging leaders in pursuing leadership and service positions and to create a reputable source for organizations to recruit emerging talent to serve in leadership capacities.The Rogers/Lowell CofC is offering four 1-hour ZOOM training sessions.
July Board Report
July 2020 NWAMN Board Meeting held via ZOOM
Click HERE for the link to the Youtube video of the Board meeting.
Lilia Beattie, Carrie Byron, Jane Foster, Ken French, Rose Gergerich, Denise Klinger, Jim Klinger, Cheryl Larson, Dave Leisure, JB Portillo, Deb Shoemaker, Tom Waggoner and 21 non-board members.
Board Members Not Attending:
Charlotte Harper, Kathy Mason, Paul Springer
The recorded ZOOM session is available HERE. Below is a brief synopsis of the meeting.
Treasurer’s Report - JB Portillo
JB will be working with Rose G this year to evaluate how to best categorize the sale of native plants for the upcoming season. NWAMN may classify the sales as donations as opposed to sales.
We are in good financial condition.
Dave Leisure – Susan Rupp
Dave said that Susan is applying for a grant (not with NWAMN) for more study of the soil restoration of lands around retired chicken houses.
Susan is looking for NWAMN support at educational events and soil sampling events.
Bella Vista Funding Request - Grace Turley
Signage for two locations in Bella Vista detailing the use use and benefits of native plants.
A total of 4 signs are requested for a total of $1826.86.
The Board approved.
Free Seed Packets – JB Portillo
Nancy Dugas-Gilmore worked with the Cooper Elementary School in Bella Vista to develop an awareness of monarchs. Seed packets for pollinator plants have been made and are available for FREE!! If you are interested contact JB.
Lake Wedington – Rick Jones
The tri-fold brochure has been developed for visitors to Lake Wedington to identify birds that the visitors observe.
Printing to be provided for by the US Forest Service.
Woolsey Wet Prairie Bluebird Box Funding Request – Rick Jones
Rick Jones, working with Jeff Hickle, is requesting funding for 12-16 Bluebird boxes.
This will present volunteer opportunities to monitor the boxes.
Cost is $460 (12 boxes) - $615 (16 boxes)
The Board approved up to $615 for up to 16 boxes.
CIG Class Update – Denise Klinger
Due to covid the CIG class attendees and instructor have decided to indefinitely postpone the class. A future date will be selected once the issues around the virus are managed.
One possibility is a class to be held via ZOOM session. Details will be available soon.
Board Term Limits – Deb Shoemaker
Deb has written a policy regarding Board term lengths taking the best from a variety of volunteer organizations.
We will move to a Board term being 3 years and a maximum of 6 continuous years.
To get started 1/3 of board members will serve 1 year, 1/3 will serve 2 years and the last 1/3 will serve 3 years.
AGFC – Dave Leisure
Dave relayed that Schelly Corry has been hired as the director of the new AGFC facility in Springdale.
The Board will be having a ZOOM session with her in the near future.
Native Plants – Rose Gergerich
Rose indicated she is writing a 3-part article for publication in the magazine of the Wild Ones.
2020 Board of Directors
Policies and Procedures