Arkansas Master Naturalists
If At First You Can't Burn...Wait...Then Burn, Burn Another Day! Print
North Central Arkansas Master Naturalists
Written by Nell Doyle & Ron Beasley   

Sunbeams pierce smoke from prescribed burn as Park Asst. Superintendent Jeff Shell, NCAMN volunteer Carol Beasley, and Park Interpreter Julie Lovett discuss the biennial burn.The course of prescribed burns doesn’t always run smooth. Sometimes you look ahead, watch the weather, schedule the day, invite participants, and then a stiff wind blows, and you have to start all over.

That’s what happened at the Bull Shoals/White River State Park’s Gaston Wildflower Meadow early Thanksgiving week. Team leaders Karen and Hugo Woods, Park Interpreter Julie Lovett, and Park Assistant Superintendent Jeff Shell got everything ready for the biennial burn on Monday, and several intrepid Master Naturalists showed up. However, Shell declared the morning breeze at “category 5,” and—discretion being the better part of responsible volunteerism—all agreed to postpone the burn ‘til the next day. Before leaving that day, Lovett and Shell took the opportunity to walk the three-acre meadow again to refine the plan for setting a healthy but beneficial blaze.












Flames crawl along the wildflower meadow’s surface, helping to rejuvenate the garden for an even better growing season next spring.







Weather was nearly perfect for burning Tuesday, and the event went ahead as planned with a somewhat smaller group of NCAMN volunteers. Dry leaves, dead grass, and other debris were effectively burned and the garden looked great at the conclusion of the burn. Only one “jump” of the border sidewalks occurred and the resulting renegade fire was quickly extinguished by an alert crew.

“Shell, who had attended an environmental burning workshop during 2014,” said NCAMN volunteer Ron Beasley, “did a great job of directing the burn so that it was relatively complete and kept under control.”

Near the conclusion of the burn, Jim Gaston, who funded the Garden in memory of his son, happened to be driving by and topped for a brief time to observe the project.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 December 2014 07:29
River Valley Master Naturalists Seeking New Members Print
River Valley Arkansas Master Naturalists
Written by Phil Wanzer   

As the Ouachita forest, Ozarks and river valley radiates its autumn glow, enthusiastic volunteers known as Master Naturalists charge into the woods cleaning up hiking trails and rivers, cultivating native plant gardens and testing water quality in local streams.

The River Valley chapter of Arkansas Master Naturalists is also looking for new members to join them in learning about and preserving Arkansas wildlife. Classes begin in January on botany, entomology, mammals, meteorology, birding, archeology and much more. After completing the Master Naturalist program, volunteers are armed with knowledge that can change lives, help the environment and make a difference in the world.

Arkansas Master Naturalists logged nearly 27,000 volunteer hours in the state in 2012, working with such organizations as Arkansas State Parks, Audubon Arkansas, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U. S. Forest Service, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, and others.

Application: For an application form and information about next year’s classes  Click HERE for page with information and APPLICATION

Questions about the River Valley Chapter: Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Photos: To see photos taken during volunteer and training, click on this link:


Where are River Valley Arkansas Master Naturalists from? We have members from Russellville, Atkins, Dover, Bigelow, Conway, Dardanelle, Subiaco, Danville and the Fort Smith area.

Where do River Valley Arkansas Master naturalists volunteer? RVAMN volunteer at Lake Dardanelle State Park, Mt Nebo State Park, Petit Jean State Park and Mt. Magazine State Park.  We have helped the Army Corps of Engineers at Bona Dea and Old Post Park and helped the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commssion at Dardanelle Rock.  Four times a year we do Arkansas Game and Fish Commission sponsored Stream Team on the Illinois Bayou.  We have adopted a road for the city of Russellville and do clean up 4 times a year.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 November 2014 21:50

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