February 17, 2018 Two Rivers Park, Little Rock AR

Participate in the 2018 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) by joining ASCA’s February field trip.  Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Two Rivers Park Bridge (also known as the “Little” Dam Bridge) at the start of the walking trail located at 4468 River Mountain Road at the southeast end of the Two Rivers Park peninsula.  We’ll scope the river from the parking lot and bridge, then walk the dirt and paved trails as far as people wish to go.  You can turn around at any point and head back to your vehicle.  After returning to our cars, we’ll drive to the west entrance of Two Rivers Park and walk the big field and horse trail.  Both areas have a diverse population of sparrows and provides a great opportunity to work on identifying those “little brown birds”.  Knee-high rubber boots are recommended because of the copious sand burrs.  Bring water, snacks, and your scope if you have one.  We should finish around noon.  If any rare loons are being reported, birders can continue on to Lake Maumelle.  Loons, mergansers, ducks, and grebes are easily found on the lake this time of year.  If you can’t join the field trip, participate in the GBBC by counting the birds in your own backyard and submitting your sightings to the GBBC website at www.birdcount.org.

Directions-take Exit 9 west off I-430 onto Cantrell Rd.  At the first stop light, turn right (north) onto River Mountain Road.  Go to the bottom of the hill then bear right to the main parking lot.  GPS coordinates are 34.797458, -92.383017.

Monthly Meeting: February 8, 2018 – Private Land Conservation Programs & Projects

Amanda Mathis, Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships, NRCS

Because so much of Arkansas’s land is privately owned, private landowners have a large role to play in environmental conservation. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners with taking measures to conserve their soil, water, and wildlife. Amanda Mathis will provide an overview of these conservation programs and the environmental benefits achieved through voluntary conservation efforts across Arkansas.

Amanda Mathis began her career with NRCS in 2004, and has served in various positions including District Conservationist in Carroll and White Counties. She currently serves as the Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships, where she works with conservation partners (such as Audubon Arkansas) to provide information on conservation programs and issues, and enhance collaborative efforts to achieve common conservation goals. Amanda leads the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) for the state. She holds a B.S. in Conservation and Wildlife Management from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO, and a M.S. in Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences from the University of Arkansas. She and her husband reside on a small cow-calf operation in White County.