Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 30 Apr 2018 1:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Local historian and PhD, Jared Phillips, hails from Prairie Grove, Arkansas.  He is currently writing Hipbillies: Back to the Landers in the Arkansas Ozarks, under contract with the University of Arkansas Press.

    Phillips describes his upcoming program at Hobbs State Park.  “This presentation discusses the varied forms of communication utilized by the back-to-the-land community of the Arkansas and Missouri Ozarks during the 1970s.  These in-migrants inserted themselves into regional and national conversations.  Hipbillies were central to national policy shifts regarding pesticide use, cultural preservation, and more.  Utilizing publications like the Ozark Access Catalog, Living in the Ozarks Newsletter, Mother Earth News, letters, and memoirs, this presentation shows how hipbillies, while living remotely, were not isolated in the hills.  Indeed, they forged regular connections across the Ozarks in Arkansas and Missouri (and beyond) through these publications, all the while discussing high profile issues.  Not only did they comment on these major topics, but they utilized the newsletters and magazines as a proto-social media system in order to ask questions about farming, Ozark folk culture and customs, land purchasing, childbirth, and more.  This aided the creation of a vibrant community intent on forging a deep revolution aimed, in part, at breaking free from the mainstream, capitalist systems.

    Such an interpretation of the back-to-the-land community helps broaden our understanding of this unique social movement while further illustrating that the Ozarks were never truly isolated, nor isolating, for those who chose to move into the hills and hollows in the Arkansas-Missouri border country.”

    You will not want to miss this program on a very, very interesting time in our northwest Arkansas history.

    When:  Sunday May 6, 2018

    Time:     2:00 pm

    Where: Hobbs State Park 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


  • 26 Apr 2018 2:33 PM | 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.  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 crepes with persimmon ice cream, acorn scones, and roaster Jerusalem Artichoke soup. 

    The presentation covers concepts of conservation, history, culture, and plant identification.  Even weeds can have value, but know your plants before you try any edible.  Thirty pages of wild edible recipes are included as well.”

    When:  Saturday May 5, 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


  • 18 Apr 2018 9:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Those who wish to learn the basics of fly casting will want to attend the Fly Casting 101 workshop to be held at the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center Sunday April 29, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Two hours of instruction will be in the classroom, and two hours will be outside.   Participants will learn four basic casts, the six basic types of flies, (lures) how to cast and “play” the flies in the water, how to read water, how to wade, how to purchase and assemble your equipment, how to store your equipment, as well as how to tie the four basic knots used by fly fishers.  All equipment will be provided. 

    The workshop will be taught by Sallyann Brown, past recipient of the “Woman of the Year” and the “Federation of Fly Fishers Educator of the Year” awards from the Federation of Fly Fishers, Inc.

    When:  Sunday April 29, 2018

    Time:  12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

    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.

    Minimum age is 12 yrs.  Cost:  $35 per person + tax.   Reservations and pre-payment required.  For questions, and to register call: 479-789-5000


  • 09 Apr 2018 1:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earth Day is an annual event where family-centered activities are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

    Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area celebrates Earth Day on Saturday April 14th throughout the Park.

    9:00 am – 10:30 am:      Birds N Breakfast 
    U of A catches and releases song birds.  Bring your camera and have coffee, juice, and muffins on us. (Visitor Center)

    10:30 am:  Fun with Mother Nature (Visitor Center)

    11:00 am:  Shaddox Hollow Nature Hike (Shaddox Hollow Trailhead)

    11:30 am:  Tale of the Turtle (Visitor Center)

    1:00 pm:  Sinking Stream Hike (Sinking Stream Trailhead)

    1:30 pm:  Arkansas Symbols (Visitor Center)

    2:30 pm:  Joy of Discovery (Visitor Center)

    3:00 pm:  Galls

    All Day:  Scavenger Hunts (Main desk in lobby of the visitor center)

    All Hobbs Earth Day activities are Free.  For more information, questions, or directions call:  479-789-5000


  • 09 Apr 2018 1:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello volunteers! I am excited to be joining the Hobbs State Park family as your new Volunteer Coordinator .I look forward to getting to know and work alongside each one of you. Thank you in advance for your past and upcoming volunteer service. Your time, energy, and commitment continue to make Hobbs State Park an even greater place!

    I ask for your patience as I am learning the ropes but I am more than happy to help in anyway that I can. If I don't know the answer, I will find it! My email is amber.ebbrecht@arkansas.gov and my direct number is 479-789-5009.

    Newsletters will be coming out soon! We are moving forward with Volgistics, so remember upcoming volunteer opportunities can be found on our calendar. You can log onto Volgistics here: https://www.volgistics.com/ex2/vicnet.dll?FROM=321698

    Here is a little history about me:

    My husband, Bo, and I are native Arkansans and we have two children, Collin and Benjamin, ages 6 and 4. I began my career as an art educator with the Fayetteville public school district after graduating from the University of Arkansas in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Education Pre-K – 12th grade. In addition to serving nine years as a public school educator, I have continued to support our region by working for community organizations including The Center for Art and Education in Van Buren and Lifestyles, Inc. in Fayetteville.

    As an avid trail and endurance runner, the trails of Hobbs are my home away from home. Trail running has instilled in me a respect and love for nature and its’ resources that I am eager to share with my volunteers. I am also an active member of the Rowing Club of Northwest Arkansas Board of Directors where I also spend time sculling and sweep rowing. I love to utilize my background in art through baking and my cookie art has received numerous recognitions including national and international publications. Additionally, I partnered with the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce as a contributing watercolor artist to the children’s book, Goodnight Fayetteville.

    I am excited to work in close communication and unison with you to achieve goals, build and uphold resource stewardship, and bring awareness to the diversity of life at Hobbs!

    -Amber Ebbrecht

  • 02 Apr 2018 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What is a fossil?  …   simply the preserved remains of a plant or animal.  In Arkansas most of our fossils are of marine animals, which means that millions of years ago the land that is now Arkansas was once under shallow oceans.

    The next time you see one of those limestone bluffs along the streams in north Arkansas, just think that what you are really looking at is a pile of fossil fragments all cemented together.  A marine animal called a crinoid is the most common fossil found in these rocks and typically makes up 60% to 98% of our local limestone.

    The types of fossils contained in the rocks reveals clues about the age of the rock and the different environments of the past.  The fossils found in Arkansas range in age from over 500 million years ago to as recently as just 1000 years ago.  The latter have taken the name “Young Fossils”.

    A new fossil…we have a state flower, a state tree, etc., and now we have a state dinosaur.  The fossilized bones of our state dinosaur were found in Early Cretaceous Age rocks that date from approximately 146 to 100 million years ago.  The Arkansas legislature designated Arkansaurus fridayi as the official state dinosaur in 2017 thanks to efforts made by student Mason "Cypress" Oury of Fayetteville High School.

    Join John David McFarland, fossil expert, as he presents fascinating facts about fossils found in different parts of the state.  He will also bring a collection of Arkansas fossils to view.

    McFarland retired as Chief Geologist from the Arkansas Geological Survey after 30+ years of service.  During those years he published over 60 abstracts, articles, photographs, guidebooks, and reports in various venues relating to diverse aspects of the state’s geology. 

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

    When:  Sunday April 8, 2018 at 2:00 pm 

    Cost:  Free - The public/families are invited 

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000. This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series.


  • 26 Mar 2018 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many new to northwest Arkansas may have come from states where fishing took place in lakes that were only 30 or 40 feet deep.  Adjusting to fishing in Beaver Lake where the lake depth reaches to 200 feet can be a frustrating experience.  Spring is prime fishing time at Beaver Lake and an upcoming, free program at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area may help with the catching.

    A program for beginner anglers will teach the basics of catching bluegill, crappie, catfish and black bass at Beaver Lake during spring and early summer.  It’s designed for people who are new to fishing at Beaver Lake, those new to fishing, or people who have never fished.

    Flip Putthoff is the presenter.  He’s been fishing at Beaver Lake for 39 years, and lives on the lake.  He’s the outdoors reporter at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  Topics in the 45-minute program include basic tackle, characteristics of Beaver Lake, and simple techniques to catch fish.  Flip will bring examples of proven rods and tackle.  After the formal program, Putthoff will give an outdoor demonstration on the art of filleting fish.   Anyone interested in fishing is welcome. 

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection
    When:  Sunday April 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm
    Cost: Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5006   This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series.  

  • 15 Mar 2018 12:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hikers, bikers, and equestrians will be happy to know that after 8 months of being closed for major repairs, the War Eagle Loop of Hobbs State Park’s multi-use trails opens again Friday March 16th.

    April of 2017 dumped 17.72 inches of rain at Hobbs State Park.  There was trail damage for sure; however, because the rain was spread out pretty evenly throughout the month, the damage on all of the Park’s trails, even the War Eagle Loop, was quickly repaired.  Then came July of the same year, a relatively dry month.  Five inches of rain fell within 6 days at the beginning of the month, doing more actual damage to the War Eagle Loop than the spread out 17.72 inches that fell in April.  The damage to the trail’s drainage systems was extensive, and the trail had to be closed.

    Staff and many dedicated volunteers worked and worked many weeks to rehab the harm done.  Trail sections that washed out had to be rebuilt and relocated by hand.

    Why has it taken so long to get the War Eagle Loop back open?  In addition to the physical labor expended to address the trail damage, over one mile of the trail had to be relocated.  This was completed by a trail construction contractor at the cost of $25,000.00.  That money was not immediately available, and it took time for the wheels of state government to turn until some “emergency” money was in hand.

    In addition to the massive repairs to the trail, a nice improvement has been made at the trail’s War Eagle Creek overlook.  Staff and volunteers hauled in some 130 split rails and erected an eye pleasing split rail fence.  (See attached photo) 

    For more information, call:  479-789-5006


  • 13 Mar 2018 2:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    They don’t make open-in-the-tree type nests, and they don’t use platforms.  They don’t lay their eggs on rock ledges like vultures.  They’re “Cavity Nesters”.

    Rick Jones, avid birder and bluebird nest box monitor, will offer his experience and advice on the joys and responsibilities of being a successful “landlord” for the cavity-nesting birds in your neighborhood.

    As Rick puts it, “Some birds nest in tree cavities formed by decayed wood or that have been excavated by woodpeckers.  These “Cavity-Nesters” have adapted their breeding, egg brooding, and fledging schedules to take full advantage of cavity life; however, natural cavities are becoming harder to find as humans alter wooded habitats.”

    Jones will answer the questions:  What materials and nest box features will attract these birds to my property?  Where and how should the nest boxes be placed?  How can I increase the odds that multiple broods of nestlings will survive to fledge the nest?  What can be done with the boxes during the winter months?

    You need a plan.  Remember that birds, like humans, search for a nice place to raise their families.  Join Rick Jones as he explains how to make the best bird-friendly yard for cavity nesters.

    When:  Sunday March 18, 2018 at 2:00 pm

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

    Cost:  Free – The public is invited

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000


  • 13 Mar 2018 2:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As Earth revolves around the Sun, there are two moments each year when the Sun is exactly above the equator. These moments are called equinoxes.  Equinox literally means “equal night," since the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world during the equinoxes.

    The March equinox marks when the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt toward the sun, which means longer, sunnier days.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is called the vernal equinox, because it signals the beginning of spring.  (Vernal means fresh or new like the spring.)

    The vernal equinox is probably the most important astronomical event of the year because it not only marks the first day of spring, but it also marks the beginning of the astronomical year.  It’s interesting that you cannot observe it in the night sky because it involves the sun which floods the sky with light and makes it impossible to see what is actually happening.

    People have celebrated the vernal equinox for centuries. For ancient cultures, the vernal equinox signaled that their food supplies would soon return.  Early Egyptians even built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox.      

    How do people celebrate the vernal equinox or the coming of spring today?  Holi is a Hindu spring festival when for two straight days people throw colorful powders on each other until everyone looks like human tie-dyes.  In Zurich, Switzerland, the residents celebrate spring by burning a giant snowman made of cloth and stuffed with fireworks called the “Böögg”.   Maybe one of the most enjoyable ways to celebrate spring is to go south with the college kids for Spring Break.  Destination – libation – incarceration – yay spring!

    No matter how you celebrate spring, come join the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society at Hobbs State Park and learn more about the vernal equinox.

    What to Bring if you can:

    • 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:     March 17, 2018
                   7:00 pm lecture
                   8:00 pm night sky viewing

    Cost:       Free – Public invited       
                   Great for families and scout groups

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000


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