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Arkansas Master Naturalists
Working to Keep Arkansas in its Natural State

Arkansas Master Naturalists are volunteer educators, citizen scientists and stewards of the environment striving to protect and preserve Arkansas' natural beauty.



Inspiring a Love of Nature

 

Citizen Scientists

 

Stewards for Nature

 

Educating All Ages



Become an Arkansas Master Naturalist

Want to learn about the natural world and participate in volunteer projects that contribute to conservation in Arkansas?  Arkansas Master Naturalist chapters are recruiting new members to participate in their spring Naturalist in Training courses. Classroom and field sessions led by expert naturalists and professionals in their fields will cover topics from trees to birds to geology to stream ecology. Completing the course is the first step to becoming a Arkansas Master Naturalist. As an Arkansas Master Naturalists you will have access to a wide range of volunteer activities that will help you learn more about the beautiful flora and fauna of our natural state, share your knowledge with others and spend time outdoors with a purpose that will benefit nature. Learn More and contact a local chapter 




Stewards of the Environment

Being good stewards of our environment and public lands is an important part of being an Arkansas Master Naturalist. The foundation of good stewardship includes routine maintenance of our natural areas. Through partners such as the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Arkansas Master Naturalists assist with stewardship projects such as prescribed burns, boundary demarcation, liter clean up, invasive species removal, seed collection and hiking trail maintenance.

 

The importance of fire in ecosystems is not completely understood, but does play an important role. The adjacent photographs show Searles Prairie (hot link) being burned and a seasonal pond that exists in a low spot in the prairie. The natural cycle of fire in prairies kept woody plants at bay, allowing the grasses and herbaceous plants to dominate these vast areas where bison, elk and alpha predators roamed. Searles Prairie is a remnant of the great Osage Prairie that covered vast areas of Northwest Arkansas. Searles Prairie provides habitat for hundreds of prairie plants and critters. It is a living natural history museum. The Arkansas Master Naturalists (hot link) under the direction of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission provide countless hours preserving and protecting this beautiful natural resource.





Highlighting Native Plants

As part of the Arkansas Master Naturalists effort to be good stewards of our environment, we are reintroducing native plants. We are growing thousands of native plants each year and making these plants available to home gardeners, city parks and other public lands.

What are Native Plants – Native plants occur naturally in a region, ecosystem or habitat. These are plants that were present prior to the Europeans arrival in North America.

Why Native Plants – One reason is native plants are beneficial for pollinators and other insects that are an important food source for birds and other insectivores that make up an important link in our natural food webs.



Gardening with Native Plants

Native plants are easy to introduce to your home garden. They require less care than ornamentals, including water and pesticides. They provide a seasonal variety of beautiful blooms and foliage and they are beneficial to our environment and pollinators.

Native Plant Photo Album










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