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Speaker: Chris Hiryak, Director, Little Rock Urban Farming

Topic: Urban agriculture as a mechanism for building vibrant healthy communities

Little Rock Urban Farming (LRUF) is a community based food enterprise located in the heart of Little Rock. LRUF is dedicated to urban organic food production and the urban agrarian lifestyle. Their new farmer incubator program trains people in the production, marketing and distribution of organic fruits, flowers and vegetables. Their Community Supported Agriculture program provides a fresh basket of produce and flowers to their shareholders every week during the growing season. Learn more about this unique urban enterprise and why local food is good for you and our community.

Chris Hiryak is an organic farmer, pragmatic food activist, minimalist, artist, and yoga practitioner from Little Rock. In 2009 he was accepted into a leadership program at the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas. There he learned about economics, politics, industry and agriculture in communities throughout the state. At the same time, he immersed himself in organic farming through an apprenticeship program at Dripping Springs Garden, an organic farm in the Ozarks. Organic farming started as a hobby, became a passion, and has been an obsession ever since

St. Charles, AR

Join the Blitz!  March is Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz.  Help us survey this declining population.  Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Prothro Junction commuter lot off I-40 East, at Exit 157 in North Little Rock, on the southeast side of the interstate.  We will arrive at the White River Refuge Visitor Center around 9:00 a.m. for those who want to meet us there.  At the Visitor Center, there is a mix of paved and unpaved trails, all fairly level.  Bring boots, the Bottomland Hardwood Trail can be muddy.  Also bring water, snacks, and lunch.  This will be an all-day trip.  Time permitting, we may stop at the Stuttgart Airport on the return to Little Rock.  The airport is a 45 minute drive from the refuge.

The Refuge was established in 1935 for the protection of migratory birds.  It is designated a Wetland of International Importance.  It is one of the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi River Valley.  Its forests and lakes are interlaced with streams, sloughs, and bayous, providing a haven for native wildlife and migratory birds.

For directions and more information, go to  www.fws.gov/refuge/White_River.  Address is 57 South CC Camp Road, St. Charles   GPS:  34.418239, -91.120605.  The Visitor Center is approximately 15 miles east of DeWitt off Hwy. 1 in St. Charles.  Follow the signs.  Refuge number is 870-282-8200.