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Speaker: Cindy Franklin, ASCA & Master Gardeners

Cindy and her husband Bill Burnham spent 24 days in southern South America on a Wings tour sampling a variety of habitats from Iguazu Falls in northeastern Argentina to Ushuaia in Terra del Fuego to the high Andes east of Santiago, Chile. They traveled approximately 6,000 miles by air, land, and sea from Buenos Aires to Valpraiso, Chile. They added 286 birds to their life list including 4 species of penguins and 7 species of albatross as well as many mammals and several species of whales & dolphins.

Cindy Franklin has had a lifelong interest in gardening and bird watching that began when she was growing up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania. After she retired from a VA nursing career she became a Pulaski County Master Gardener. She and her husband Bill are members of the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas and the Arkansas Audubon Society. Cindy maintains a pollinator garden both on her front patio and in her front yard, and is endlessly fascinated by the insects that visit her plants throughout the growing season. She also maintains an active hummingbird feeding station during the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds’ breeding & migration seasons. 

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.

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.