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Speaker: Kayti Ewing, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
Wildflowers are now being used by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) to help beautify the over 200,000 acres of highway roadsides it maintains. Kayti will talk about AHTD’s Wildflower Programs, discuss the recent federal policies that have been put in place to promote and develop pollinator habitat on roadsides, and the issues—both positive and negative—related to the actual implementation of pollinator habitat on roadsides.

Kayti Ewing is a botanist with AHTD’s Environmental Division. At AHTD, she oversees the Department’s several Wildflower Programs, consults with USFWS regarding endangered and threatened plant species, and performs wetland and stream impact assessments in order to obtain the proper 404 permit. She was born and raised in Harrison, AR. She has a B.S. in Botany and an M.A. in Geography, both from the University of Oklahoma. For her thesis, she developed a Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) for Oklahoma wetlands. An FQA is tool used to evaluate and determine the quality (or degree of pristineness) of wetland habitats based on the vegetation present at a site.

The meeting will be at 7 PM at the Fletcher Library.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Two Rivers Park Bridge located at
4468 River Mountain Road on the southeast end of the Two Rivers Park peninsula.
We’ll scope the river from the parking lot and bridge, then walk the paved trail.
You can turn around at any point and head back. 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. Knee-high rubber boots are
recommend for the big field because of copious sand burrs. If any rare loons have
been reported, birders can continue on to Lake Maumelle. Bring water, snacks, and
a scope if you have one. We should finish around noon.
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: 34.797931, -92.384704.

Speaker: Bear Starr, Arkansas Master Naturalist & Frog Watch USA Coordinator
The names “Bugweiser” and “IHOP” are two of the memory aides that
Bear uses to keep straight the difference between a frog and a toad. Bear
will use these and other memory aids as a fun way to help you learn to ID
the species of frogs and toads that live in the Little Rock area. In addition,
he will discuss how frogs and toads are indicator species for the health of
local ecosystems, and describe the many benefits that frogs and toads bring
to the local environment.
Bear Starr moved to Hot Springs Village in February 2014 from
Virginia. His interest in all things reptile and amphibian started as a typical
10-year-old boy terrorizing local critters. He joined Audubon in the early
70s in central Florida when the local board of directors wanted someone
with a herpetology background. He continues to be an avid birder to this
day. Bear was a certified Virginia Master Naturalist and is now a certified
Arkansas Master Naturalist, often volunteering at Lake Ouachita State Park.
He is also the Diamond Lakes Chapter Coordinator for Frog Watch USA in
Arkansas, a citizen science program that monitors the health of frog and
toad populations.

Meeting will be at the Fletcher Library at 7 PM.