At one with nature in the natural state
Why are Arkansas’s bears considered the most successful reintroduction of a large carnivore anywhere in the U.S.? Why are native gardens better for the environment than gardens full of non-natives? Why are trees, shrubs, and flowering plants better than turf grass lawns? How should you start a native garden? What do you need to know to germinate native seeds for your yard? What kind of habitat should you plant for birds? What’s the dark sky movement and what simple steps does it involve? You can find the answers to these and more questions at Naturally Arkansas, a brand new monthly webinar series beginning January 27th.
Hosted by Lynn Foster, a native gardener, master naturalist, and the writer of the Central Arkansas Master Naturalists and KUAR’s “Nature in the Natural State” educational spots, each of these programs will focus on one aspect of our environment, providing information and exploring what we as individuals can do to help the environment. Each session will have a different expert speaker. We expect this series to run through September, with the potential to continue next year if there is enough interest.
These programs will take place virtually via zoom. They will be interactive, with a discussion-style format, and we encourage you to submit questions. You can also send questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The lineup of sessions can be found here, and descriptions of each event can be found below:
January 27 – Lions, Wolves, and Bears in Arkansas
Myron Means is the Large Carnivore Program Coordinator at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Join him for a presentation and discussion about the past, present, and future of bears and other large carnivores in the Natural State. Why was Arkansas known as the Bear State? What’s the origin of the town of Oil Trough’s name? How did black bears recover from almost being exterminated in Arkansas? What’s the life of a black bear like? Are mountain lions living in Arkansas? Register for this event here.
February 24 – Ask the Natural Gardeners
Now is the perfect time to be thinking about planting trees, shrubs, and flowering plants in your yard! Would you like a pollinator garden? Want more native plants in your yard? Ready to get started but unsure of how to begin? Karen Seale, Kay Sanders, and Lynn Foster are all native plant gardeners who will be talking about their experiences with native plants and answering your questions. Register for this event here.
March 31 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in Central Arkansas
How does a recycling operation work? Why has Regional Recycling cut back on what it will accept? What happens to a plastic bottle that is recycled? What happens to people who don’t follow the recycling rules? What barriers must be surmounted for our society to become more sustainable? What future job growth, and what kind of jobs, lie in the future of sustainability? Join Craig Douglass, Executive Director of the Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District, and Lynn Foster for a fascinating hour about recycling and bring your questions! Register for this event here.
April 28 – The Wonderful World of Native Seeds
For Earth Month, we’ll be talking about seeds, which are essential to life on Earth. Ben Thesing, Natural Resource Specialist at Central Arkansas Water will be discussing the dispersion and germination of native seeds, and how to best handle them to grow native plants. Fun fact: Kentucky coffeetrees are rare today. One theory for this is that their seeds were intended to survive being digested by mastodons and giant sloths, and without that exposure to stomach acid, the seeds don’t germinate. Learn about this and more, and bring your questions! Register for this event here
May 26 – A Yard Full of Birds
Dan Scheiman, Bird Conservation Director for Audubon Delta, will join us this month. He will be discussing the type of habitat you need to plant to attract birds to your yard. So often discussions like this focus on feeder food, but plants themselves are so much better for the environment! Find out about other Audubon projects as well, like the Bird-Friendly Yard program and the Fourche Creek cleanup. Register for this event here.
Future topics will include gardening for monarchs, the dark sky movement, fall gardening, drinking water in Central Arkansas, and more! If you have a suggestion for a topic, email Lynn Foster at email@example.com.