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Category: Nature

For Orion Buster, this was not a typical Friday night. “I’d probably be in my room,” said the 15-year- old. Instead, he was outside, setting up a tent, playing Frisbee and eating hamburgers hot off the grill. Welcome to the Governor’s Capital Campout – an overnight event celebrating National Great Outdoors Month.  These special events are held by State Parks agencies across the country in an effort to encourage families…

Read More Governor’s Capital Campout

June has brought the first wave of hot summer temperatures, which has many Arkansans heading indoors for relief.  However, Arkansas State Parks wants to remind folks that one can safely enjoy the outdoors even during the heat of the summer.  Here are some handy tips and precautions when outside in the heat:   Planning is key.  Consider the heat before you go.  Do you know how to handle an emergency…

Read More Handling the Heat

As summer draws near and the temperature starts to rise, people start to look for other activities to stay cool and still enjoy nature. While Cane Creek State Park boasts over 20 miles of trail, the park has another unique feature to its name. The park offers kayaking, for rent or guided. While during the day, you can only rent kayaks between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the night offers…

Read More Take a Journey to Another World

Only a few short years ago a few friends and a coworker of mine had an unusual experience while kayaking the flooded woods of Moro Bay State Park.  It was spring time and the river rose to the point where it closed the park.  This happens every couple of years at Moro Bay State Park so our facilities are built to withstand high water.  It doesn’t rise fast like it…

Read More Babysitting a Beaver

The best way to learn is to get your feet wet, or at least that is how I feel when I give this program. These park guests are taking part in my creek seining program. It was developed to help monitor the aquatic life found in Lee Creek, but it turned into so much more.  As they were scooping up fish this little girl got her first look at a…

Read More Getting Your Feet Wet

Sitting on a bluff overlooking a vast landscape is a great way to enjoy a September morning on Mount Magazine. Scanning the horizon with a good set of binoculars helps spot wings on the wind. Southward migration has started for many species of birds and some butterflies. The unpredictable nature of migration watching requires diligence. Some days are a bust due to weather conditions. But other days can be outstanding…

Read More Wings on the Wind

For kids here in Arkansas, August means it’s time to head back to school.  The end of the summer is near.  School sports have started, school supply shopping is in full swing, and kids are slipping back into their educational routines.  However, a few weeks ago many of our kids were enjoying their summer breaks without a thought of routine and involving themselves in one of my best summer memories:…

Read More Growing up in day camps

Arkansas’s motto is “The Natural State”. The natural state just doesn’t mean having nature. If that were true all states can claim to be the natural state. We have to support and be our motto. A part of the State parks mission is to protect and manage our natural resources. I would have to say that each park does their best to uphold their mission…in the park. What we need…

Read More Making Arkansas Natural

I almost always have music playing.  I have radios, cd players, mp3 players, and music on my computer and phone.  But when I go hiking I don’t take anything for music.  Nature has its own song. The rhythm section is filled by the frogs.  Frogs aren’t the most melodic animals, but add a beat to the song of the woods.  Cricket frogs have a clicking noise that to me sounds…

Read More Songs of the Woods

The best use of my park is as a classroom.  The thing I love to see are young people using their senses to enjoy this place that I have loved all these years.  My greatest hope is that through this contact that they will learn more about their world and come to care for the park.  What could be a more important goal of this special place? The first school…

Read More The Outdoor Classroom