It’s a “Heads up,” “Mark your Calendar” occasion for kids. Saturday, April 18, 2020 will be an entire day of Earth-related activities for all members of the family, but especially for the kids. What’s your pleasure?
The list goes on and on all day, but the Friends of Hobbs board is bringing something very special. Jan and George Syrigos make up the musical duo Wild Heart. Their songs are delightful and entertaining with catchy tunes jam-packed with educational information for children! Your budding nature buffs will love it. Kids who like to sing and dance, and even mom and dad will have fun and find themselves singing along.
According to the Missouri Arts Council, “Emmy® Award winning recording artists and conservationists Jan and George Syrigos capture audiences with a musical adventure exploring wildlife, habitats and natural history. ‘Ribbit and Roll’ to their original upbeat tunes energized with motion, media and the conservation message. Combining 16 years of conservation experience and training with their Parents Choice-recommended music, Wild Heart truly brings the heart of the wild to the heart of the child! Jan and George are deeply committed to sharing their combined passions for nature and music in creative and engaging ways, offering school programs, teacher workshops, and concerts for adults and children. Wild Heart’s songs are strongly tied to grade level expectations.” Mom and Dad - Don’t miss this free one!
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the
Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
When: Saturday April 18, 2020 Earth Day activities – Wild Heart will perform from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Cost: Free – Families strongly encouraged to attend.
For more information, call: 479-789-5000
Beginners to astronomy often believe that their first step should be to purchase a telescope. This can be frustrating as they not only have to learn how to use their telescope (the finder, multiple eyepieces, and the focuser), but they also must learn the night sky.
The night sky is full of all types of objects. Some are large and some are small. Some shine brightly with some faint. Many do not require a giant telescope with high magnification to be able to see them. They can be enjoyed with an ordinary set of binoculars.
Join the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society at 6 pm Saturday Feb. 22nd at Hobbs State Park to find out more about viewing the night sky with binoculars. The beginner’s class will be led by Astronomical Society president Kent Marts. Kent will share the reasons why starting with binoculars may be right for you. He will provide some tips and tricks to make your night sky viewing with binoculars an easy and fruitful experience. After the lecture we will head outside for a Star Party and you’ll be able to view the night sky through binoculars yourself.
What to bring:
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection
When: Saturday February 22, 2020; 6:00 pm lecture, followed by 7:00 pm night sky viewing
Cost: Free – the public is invited
Sugar Creek Astronomical Society’s Facebook Group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/143382315673668/
For more information on Hobbs programs, trails, picnicking, or meeting room rental: Call: 479-789-5000
Flip Putthoff, outdoors reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, knows the northwest Arkansas countryside well and will present a program at Hobbs State Park on the waterfalls in our area. He has tromped through the northwest Arkansas woods and fished our creeks, streams, and Beaver Lake for 40 years.
Flip knows where the waterfalls are and he will explain when, where, and how to go on safari to see them. According to Putthoff, “I will highlight some of the waterfalls that are not too difficult to reach, including some by hiking, and a couple that you can drive right up to. There are some in Van Winkle Hollow after a big rain, one nice one near the Madison County water intake, and a neat one near Hog Scald Hollow.”
What is it about waterfalls? Why do we like them? Why do we want to see them? Waterfalls and beauty go together. Moving water is “poetry in motion.” Here in northwest Arkansas many of our waterfalls can be found plunging off majestic limestone bluffs, thus creating another reason to visit these flowing beauties.
We may not think of it as a reason we want to visit them but, subconsciously, waterfalls improve our mood since they have a calming effect on us. In truth, just like hiking in the woods, watching and listening to waterfalls relaxes us and works positive wonders on our mental well-being, and all of us need some of that occasionally.
Flip loves to talk about the waterfalls he’s found. Bring your note pad and pencil so you can write down the directions to some of his favorite places to visit.
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy.12/War Eagle Road intersection
When: Sunday February 16, 2020 at 2:00 pm
This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series.
Plant identification can be challenging, especially during the cold winter months when many species have gone dormant. Luckily, even during this bleak time of year, plants still provide us with plenty of clues that we can use to identify what species a tree, shrub, or woody vine belongs to. At Hobbs State Park, Eric Fuselier will teach us about these clues, and how, even during the wintertime, botany can still be a fun way to spend time outdoors.
Eric Fuselier is an Environmental Scientist in Crafton Tull's Rogers office. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental, Soil, and Water Science from the University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Louisiana Tech University. Eric has extensive knowledge of wetland science, soil science, and botany. Eric is also serving as the vice president of the Arkansas Native Plant Society (ANPS), and as the president of ANPS’s Ozark chapter.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a professional on how and why Winter Botany can be fun and personally rewarding.
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
When: Sunday January 26, 2020 2:00 p.m.
Cost: Free – Public invited
This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series.
It’s not every day that we observe Mother Nature. She’s careful regarding when she can be seen by humans. One of her favorite stops however, is Hobbs State Park. Every 2nd Saturday of the month she drops in at the Park’s visitor center to tell timely stories to her little human friends. Readings begin at 10:30 a.m. Story time will be followed by “hands-on” nature-craft activities. Humans of all ages are welcome, however most stories target those 3-6 years of age.
Upcoming Mother Nature visits:
Feb. 8th The Woods in Winter: Where are the Animals?
Mar. 14th Getting Ready for Spring: Changes in the Woods
Apr. 11th Dandelions: Stars in the Grass
May 9th Around the Pond: Frogs and Toads
June 13th Animals in the Night
July 11th Water Dance-Water Cycle & Storm Drain Pollution
Aug. 8th Caterpillar to Butterfly
Sept. 12th Autumn in the Woods: Preparing for Winter
Oct. 10th Bats: Not Really Scary
Nov. 14th It’s Turkey Time
Dec. 12th Who Goes There? Footprints and Animal Signs
Meet Mother Nature in the lobby of the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
Cost: Free - Length: one hour. For more information call: 479-789-5000
If the onset of “cabin fever” is beginning to set in, the Wonders of Winter Wildlife at Hobbs State Park will set you free. Bring the whole family.
9:00 am – 10:30 am: Birds N Breakfast: Free activity: Enjoy some coffee, juice, and donuts on us. The University of Arkansas will be catching songbirds, and then releasing them back into the wild. Bring your camera for close-up bird photos.
11:00 am – Live Birds of Prey: Free activity: Local wildlife rehabilitator, Lynn Sciumbato, will give her always popular “Raptor Rescue” program using live birds native to northwest Arkansas.
Noon – 4:00 pm – Hikes, indoor programs, and crafts: Free Activities
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Eagle Watch Cruise: * Eagle Watch Cruise originates from Rocky Branch Marina.
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
When: Saturday January 18, 2020
Cost: All activities free – except Eagle Cruise
*Eagle cruises require pre-registration
Cost: $10+ tax/adult, $5+ tax/child 6-12
For more information and to register for the eagle watch tour call: 479-789-5000
On Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 2:00 pm at the Hobbs State Park visitor center there will be an enlightening and significant program on the life of Aaron” Rock” Van Winkle. Rock was Peter Van Winkle’s former slave who after the Civil Was as a freedman became his business partner. There have been numerous programs given on Peter Van Winkle and his famous saw mill, but there has never been a program solely dedicated to Aaron “Rock” Van Winkle and the outstanding reputation that he achieved while working at the Van Winkle saw mill.
We usually think of slavery in a plantation or agricultural setting, but in Van Winkle Hollow at the present-day Hobbs State Park, slavery in the 1850’s was happening in an industrial setting. Although not unique, it was not the norm.
Jerry Moore and Chris Huggard, instructors at Northwest Arkansas Community College, have completed extensive research on “Rock”. They have found descendants of black Van Winkles in NW Arkansas, Nebraska, and California. These individuals will be coming to Hobbs State Park for this distinctively special program. Descendants of white Van Winkles will be there as well. This will be a one-time, historic get-together that you will not want to miss.
Jerry and Chris have submitted an article on Rock for publication in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly. The article will appear this year. The program on April 25, 2020 expands on the content of that article and will tell Rock’s story.
The attachment is the only known photo of Rock (circa 1872). He is with Van Winkle family members on the front porch of the two-story white house at 303 Arkansas Street in Rogers that was torn down in 2019. Rock was a welcomed and beloved part of the Van Winkle family.
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy. 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection. When: Saturday April 25, 2020 at 2:00 pmCost: Free – the public is invited
This program is a continuation of the Hobbs State Park Speaker Series. For more information on Hobbs programs, trails, picnicking, or meeting room rental: Call: 479-789-5000
Are you still looking for a last-minute way to score points with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Weekend? Share the wonders of nature with your love this Valentine’s Day weekend by taking a boat cruise on beautiful Beaver Lake and enjoying a delightful lunch at Ventris Trails End Resort. There is live entertainment too.
Lunch features bacon-wrapped smoked chicken with sautéed mushrooms, onions and cheese, twice baked potato, seasoned green beans, French onion soup and salad with homemade bread rolls, chocolate cake, water, tea, or coffee; or a portabella sandwich…Holy Yum!
Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional charge.
There are two Sweetheart Cruises to choose from. One will run Saturday February 15th and the other Sunday February 16th. Each cruise will leave Rocky Branch Marina at 11:00 am and return at 2:00 pm.
Cost: $40+ tax per individual: Reservations and payment must be made in advance. Contact Hobbs State Park to reserve your spot. (479) 789-5000.
Come the first of November, migrating bald eagles begin to visit Beaver Lake. They are beautiful when they soar overhead, swoop down to the water to catch a fish with their talons, or just sit in a leafless tree. It’s indeed exciting to see them. We have been enjoying eagles for over two months now, and Hobbs State Park announces there is still some room for February eagle watch cruises
February 2020 eagle watch cruise dates:1,2,8,9,15,16,17,23,29
According to interpreter Steve Chyrchel, “Nature’s wonders are unpredictable. We may see four or five eagles on a cruise or maybe just one, and on very rare occasion we may not see any. If the weather is beautiful, the eagles are most likely looking for fish somewhere on the wing and not sitting in a tree. There are two things eagle watchers need to remember; one, eagle watching is not a warm weather sport, and two; the nastier the weather the more likely we are to see eagles. If it’s cold and a little rainy, that’s when eagles sit in a tree and wait for better weather.”
Although Hobbs calls these times on the lake “Eagle Cruises”, remember that there is other wildlife to see as well. Great blue herons, belted kingfishers, red tailed hawks, and maybe a deer, beaver, or several species of ducks become part of the viewing fun.
No matter what wildlife you see, it’s always great to be out on the water. Hobbs State Park provides a safe three-pontoon vessel, driver, and an interpreter to answer questions and share information about our national symbol, the bald eagle.
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Adults $10.00 + tax. Children 6-12 $5.00 + tax. Tours depart Rocky Branch Marina promptly at 3:00 p.m. For more information and to make reservations, call: 479-789-5000
Plant identification can be challenging, especially during the cold winter months when many species have gone dormant. Luckily, even during the bleak months of winter, plants still provide us with plenty of clues that we can use to identify what species a tree, shrub, or woody vine belongs to. At Hobbs State Park, Eric Fuselier will teach us about these clues, and how, even during the wintertime, botany can still be a fun way to spend time outdoors.
Eric Fuselier is an Environmental Scientist in Crafton Tull's Rogers office. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental, Soil, and Water Science from the University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Louisiana Tech University. Eric has extensive knowledge of wetland science, soil science, and botany. Eric has served as the president of the Ozark chapter of the Arkansas Native Plant Society.
When: Sunday January 26, 2020 2:00 p.m.
Copyright 2019 - Friends of Hobbs State Park - Conservation Area is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Send mail to: PO Box 802, Rogers, Arkansas 72757-0802
Located at: 20201 East Hwy 12 - Rogers, Arkansas 72756