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State Park-Conservation Area

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  • 30 Aug 2018 2:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Saturn is known as the “WOW” planet.  Whenever someone first views it through a telescope and sees the remarkable rings with their own eyes, it is definitely a WOW moment for them.   In 1610, Galileo Galilei became the first astronomer to identify the rings around our second largest planet.  Saturn also positions itself as the sixth planet from the sun and the most distant that we can see with the naked eye. 

    Paul Anderson, member of the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society and program presenter at Hobbs State Park, said, “After a short classroom review of what will be in the night sky, we will journey outside for a look through our powerful telescopes to see what makes Saturn such an unbelievably beautiful planet.  We will examine its makeup and look closer at the rings.  Finally, we will look at a few of the 62 moons of Saturn which vary in diameter from .62 miles to 7,869 miles.

    Join us on Saturday, September 8th to find out more about the planet Saturn and how to best observe the visible planets this fall: Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and Mars.”

    What to Bring if you can:

    ·      Camera and a Tripod for Night Sky Photography  
    ·      Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
    ·      Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)
    ·      Folding chair – one per person
    ·      Star chart (if you have one)

    When:   Saturday September 8, 2018        

                      7:00 pm:  Lecture
                      8:00 pm:  Night Sky Viewing

    Where:  Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s visitor center
                  located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle
                  Road intersection.
    Cost:       Free
    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

  • 27 Aug 2018 10:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many of our grandparents and parents used wild plants for food and medicine.  We all know about sassafras tea and the glorious taste of wild blackberries, but we have perhaps forgotten how extensively wild plants can be used as food sources.  In the early 1970's, information on native wild foods and medicinal uses of wild plants became very popular.  The well-known naturalist, Euell Gibbons, told us, “My love affair with nature is so deep that I am not satisfied with being a mere onlooker, or nature tourist.  I crave a more real and meaningful relationship.  The spicy teas and tasty delicacies I prepare from wild ingredients are the bread and wine in which I have communion and fellowship with nature, and with the Author of that nature.”

    Dr. Walkingstick, who will conduct the Wild Edibles Workshop at Hobbs State Park, has worked for the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Co-operative Extension Service as an Associate Professor of Extension Forestry since 1996.  Tamara serves on several boards including the Arkansas American Indian Center, Arkansas Women In Agriculture, the National Network of Forest Practitioners, and is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

    Walkingstick noted, “In this comprehensive 4-hour workshop, you will not only learn to identify some edible species of Arkansas native and non-native vegetation, you will also have the opportunity to sample tasty dishes including sunchoke soup, persimmon crisp, muscadine ice cream, and more. The presentation covers concepts of conservation, history, culture, and plant identification.  30 pages of wild edible recipes are included as well.”

    When:  Saturday September 15, 2018

    Time:  10 am to 2 pm

    Where: The workshop will be held at the Hobbs State Park visitor center         located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost:  $15 per person -  Check or cash accepted on day of workshop:   Participants must pre-register.   For more information and to register, call:  479-789-5000

  • 21 Aug 2018 8:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When asked “What did the Indians of Arkansas eat?”, most Arkansans answer “corn, beans, and squash.”   While this triad of tropical crops does reflect staple foods for the late prehistoric agricultural peoples of the Southeast, they were only the latest addition to an already existing sophisticated system of land management and horticulture that stretched back thousands of years.  According to Dr. Horton, “Long before the introduction of tropical crops such as maize (corn), the Indians of Arkansas were planting and tending multiple locally-domesticated crop plants.  Known as the Eastern Agricultural Complex, these ancient domesticated and cultivated crops included Sump weed, may grass, little barley, sunflower, goosefoot, erect knotweed, and more.  My talk focuses on the fascinating history of the domestication of native plant species by the pre-Columbian peoples of the Southeastern United States.  I will also explore why the archeological record of Arkansas has been so critical to a broad array of research concerning plant domestication, and why Arkansas’ natural lands are so critical to the future of research into prehistoric crop domestication and crop genetics.”

    As an archeologist, Horton specializes in Paleo Ethnobotany, the study of the relationship between people and plants.  She has a special interest in the use of plants for technological purposes.  Don’t miss this intriguing glimpse into the past, as Dr. Horton weaves a common-sense connection of earlier peoples and the plants they used.

    When:   Saturday August 25, 2018         2:00 p.m.    

    Where:  Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost:      Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

  • 14 Aug 2018 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The moon makes a great light source at night, but what you might not know is that many of the considerations you take into account during the day also apply when the sun goes down.  When the moon appears high in the sky, like the sun in the middle of the day, the light is harsher and colors are subdued.  When the moon shines low in the sky, the light is softer with scenes appearing nicely saturated.

    The Photographic Society of NWA (PSNWA) will start the evening with a presentation on long exposure photography.  They will share some of the equipment used, tips and techniques along with some amazing examples of the kind of photographs that can be achieved using the moon as your light source.  Following the lecture, participants are encouraged to take their own equipment out with the group to capture some moonlight photographs.  The photo session may be at the Visitor Center parking lot, or we may move to another location in the park to find some dark skies and interesting compositions to photograph.

    Your photographic leader for the evening will be Tim Johnson.  Tim is a member of the (PSNWA) with primary interest in nature and long exposure photography.  Tim serves as the leader for the Nature Photography Division within PSNWA that works with photographers of all levels to improve skills and conduct outings for members.  Tim has done several presentations at Hobbs State Park in the past including Photographing the Stars and Wildflowers.  Many of his photographs are shared on the PSNWA Nature Photography Facebook page at

    Don’t miss this free opportunity to add long exposure photography to your photographic tool box.

    When:   Saturday August 25, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.    

    Where:  Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost:  Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

    To learn more about the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas, go to:

  • 05 Aug 2018 4:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the following list of speakers and topics to take place through the end of they year. More details to come as the dates approach!


          August 5th, Sunday – Mike Martin – Beautiful Birds of Arkansas

          August 12, Sunday – Drew Shoptaw - Drones

         August 25, Saturday – Dr. Elizabeth Horton – How pre-historic                                                             peoples used plants in the Ozarks


         September 9, Sunday – Jon Stein – Beaver Nursery Pond

         September 15, Saturday – Saturday Tamara Walkingstick – Wild Edibles                                                      Workshop

         September 16, Sunday – Rose Gergerich – Social Impact of Plant Disease


         October 14, Sunday – Abby Burnett – “I See Dead People”–Portraits                                                    Found on Tombstones


         November 4 - Dr. Steven J. Beaupre   - Venomous Snakes of Arkansas                                                                            with studies

  • 01 Aug 2018 1:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The FAA has allowed drones, also known as unmanned aerial systems, to be used domestically for years for environmental monitoring, firefighting, disaster relief, and search and rescue. The Department of Homeland Security uses them to monitor borders and ports.  Drones can be equipped with high-powered cameras, microphones, infrared devices, and other high-tech tools.

    Federal law has streamlined the process for public agencies, including police departments, to get drone licenses, and paved the way for commercial use.  About 7,500 small, commercially operated drones -- not including drones flown by public bodies – are now active according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    As domestic drone use has grown, so have concerns about privacy, safety, regulation, and the potential for abuse, including fears of unwarranted spying on people by police agencies, or even by other citizens.  Lawmakers in several states are weighing rules to regulate the use of drones.

    A technically advanced cousin of the remote-controlled model plane, the commercial and hobbyist versions of drones range in price from less than $100 to thousands of dollars, depending on their size and sophistication.  Drones for the hobbyist are available for purchase online, or in “brick and mortar” stores.  They range in size from about 5 inches wide up to 3 or 4 feet.

    What is a hobbyist drone?  Where can I fly it legally?  What are the Federal Aviation Administration regulations?  What are the Arkansas state, city, and county laws regarding drones?  Jeepers!  Lots to learn.

    Drone Expert Drew Shoptaw will be at Hobbs State Park to answer all of your questions.  Drew even wears a Tee shirt that reads, “Talk Nerdy to Me.”   He really knows his subject well.  You will not want to miss this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of drones, aka, unmanned aerial vehicles.

    When:  Sunday August 12, 2018 - 2:00 p.m.

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection

    Cost:  Free

  • 01 Aug 2018 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mike Martin, award winning nature and wildlife photographer, and a native Arkansan, will present a free program on Beautiful Birds of Arkansas, at the Hobbs State park visitor center.

    Mike has been an avid nature and wildlife photographer for over 26 years.  His photos have been published by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, New York City Parks Department, the New York State Parks Department, the Florida Parks Department, and the California Parks Department.  He has also had a number of his photos published by the Cornell University Ornithology Department’s award winning website, “All About Birds”.

    Mike Travels the state photographing birds of every kind.  His patience and keen eye have produced some of the most breath taking images imaginable of the beautiful birds of this state.  Bring a friend. Enjoy a remarkable program and visit personally with Mike Martin at Hobbs State Park.

    When: 2:00 p.m.  -  Sunday August 5, 2018

    Where: Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost: Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

  • 23 Jul 2018 4:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Chelsea Porter, Hobbs State Park interpreter, loves to snorkel.  She will be the instructor on the Hobbs July and August snorkeling tours on Beaver Lake.  Porter said, “Snorkeling on Beaver Lake is a great time outside, an incredible underwater learning experience, and 100% fun.  You’re going to want to be wet during the two hottest months of the year.  What better way to do that than to snorkel?”

    Please note the different days of the week for this activity.


    Tuesday July 24                    1-4 pm

    Monday July 30                     1-4 pm

    Wednesday August 1            1-4 pm

    Friday August 10                   1-4 pm

    Wednesday August 15          1-4 pm

    Friday August 24                    1-4 pm

         Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, including water shoes, and sunscreen.  Participants must wear a life jacket.  All participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and the adult must be in the water.  Life jackets, masks, and snorkels are provided.

    Where:  All participants meet at Rock Branch Marina, 8872 Rocky                   Branch Marina Road, Rogers, Arkansas 72756 (Hwy. 12 to 303 north to Rocky Branch Marina Road)

    Cost:     $20 Adults (13 and up), $10 Child (Up thru age 12)

    Preregistration and payment required.  To register call:  479-789-5000.

  • 06 Jul 2018 9:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While wandering through Zilker Park Botanical Gardens in Austin, Texas, Robert Thomas was photographing flowers and wildlife.  Suddenly, a beautiful bright red dragonfly landed in front of him.  Stunned at the beauty and vibrancy of its color, he shot a photo from about 15 feet away.  That was all it took for him to be totally fascinated by these creatures. 

    Robert Thomas has spent the last 12 years travelling and photographing odonates (dragonflies).  Thomas’s collection of photographs contains many very rare species, and some of his special photographs have graced the covers of numerous field guides.  As he puts it, “It’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and a little good luck and know how.”

    Bring the family and join Robert Thomas for a colorful, unique, and exciting program all about dragonflies.  Immediately following the lecture will be an outdoor dragonfly catch and release at the visitor center.  Bring your camera for close up shots.

    When:   2:00 p.m.  -  Saturday July 14, 2018

    Where:  Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost:  Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

    This program is a cooperative effort between the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas and Hobbs State Park.  To learn more about the PSNWA go to:  

  • 02 Jul 2018 9:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Charles Messier (Mez-e-a) was a French Astronomer who lived from 1730 to 1817.  He was a comet hunter and is credited with discovering 13 comets.  Comets can look like fuzzy smudges, especially in the telescopes Messier had available at the time.  As Messier hunted for more and more comets, he kept running into these other fuzzy objects that were not comets.  Frustrated, he decided to make a list of these objects so that he and other comet hunters could avoid wasting time on them!

    Today, we know the 103 objects that Messier cataloged (and 7 more added posthumously) are colorful star-forming gas clouds (nebulae), beautiful bubbles of gas expanding from a star that exploded (planetary nebulae), other galaxies outside of the Milky Way, groups of thousands of stars that are tightly held together in a ball by their gravity (globular clusters), and groups of stars that were born together and are loosely held together by their gravity (open clusters). 

    Obviously, these objects are far from a waste of time!!  A couple of the objects are visible with the naked eye, many are visible with binoculars, and all are visible through small amateur telescopes.  Messier himself only had a 4” refractor!  In early Spring, many astronomers will try a Messier Marathon where they stay up all night and attempt to see all 110 Messier objects in one night!

    Join us on Saturday July 7th to find out more about Charles Messier and the objects that he observed and cataloged, then head outside for a Star Party to see some of those objects yourself.

    What to Bring if you can:

    - Camera and a Tripod for Night Sky Photography

    - Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)

    - Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)

    - Folding chair – one per person

    - Star chart (if you have one)

    Where:  Hobbs State Park Visitor Center Located on Hwy 12 just east of the     Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection

    When:  Saturday July 7, 2018   8:00 pm lecture: 9:00 pm for night sky              viewing

    Cost:  Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000.  To learn more about Hobbs State Park programs, go to:  and

    Sugar Creek Astronomical Society’s Facebook Group is

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