Current Regional Workshop

Tools for Keeping our Natural Areas Resilient:
Developing Native Seed Resources and Managing for Pollinators

May 7 and 8, 2019


The Natural Areas Association, along with its long-time partners, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and U.S. Forest Service invite you to join us in central Arkansas May 7th and 8th for this important workshop for natural areas professionals. 
This workshop is for practitioners who are managing similar systems in this region.  
Connect with land managers, ecologists, and other experts from around the region as we tour several managed natural areas and restoration sites and learn about the various components of the Arkansas Native Seed Program, a statewide, multi-organization partnership working to develop commercially available ecoregional-genotype seed resources.  Participants will see how this program uses volunteers to collect seeds from remnant natural areas, partners with private industry to propagate plants, and works with local farmers who multiply seeds in propagation fields and sell them on the open market.  Along the way we will discuss important considerations for pollinators in our management of natural areas.
Field trip sites will include: 1) the Camp Robinson Special Use Area, a complex of high quality woodlands, savannas, and prairies with a 70+ year history of prescribed fire, 2) Barnhill Farms, a producer for the Native Seed Program, 3) remnant and restored prairies on natural areas in the Grand Prairie Ecoregion, 4) the Lake Maumelle Wildlife Management Area, and 5) sites in the Ouachita National Forest.  We will also tour a farm producing seed as part of the Native Seed Program.  Participants will meet and interact with experts from around the region and explore a number of interesting habitats in the Ouachita Mountains and Mississippi Alluvial Plain including tallgrass prairies, oak savannas, and oak and shortleaf pine-oak woodlands. 

We are fortunate to have the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Audubon, Quail Forever, Central Arkansas Water and other partners share their expertise and experience on these important natural areas management issues.

NAA’s goal is to create an opportunity for practitioners to come together as a community, support each other and share tested methodologies and expertise – as well as challenges - in a collaborative atmosphere.

$65 NAA Members
$85 Non-members
Fee includes a continental breakfast the first day and lunch both days.

If you need overnight accommodations for the Regional Workshop, we have a room block at the Best Western in Conway where we have the special rate of $65.99 for single occupancy and $70.99 for double.  Just call 501-329-9855 and ask for a room in the Natural Areas Association block to get the discounted rate.

Download the Complete Itinerary


Tuesday, May 7

  • 7:45 a.m.: Meet at the Best Western in Conway (816 E. Oak St. Conway, AR) to load vans to Camp Robinson Special Use Area. Personal vehicles can be left here. We will end our day at the hotel. 
  • 8:00 a.m.: Depart for Camp Robinson Special Use Area
  • 8:30 – 10:30: Camp Robinson Special Use Area Field House (34.992724°, -92.359878°) - We will spend some classroom time giving an overview of the two days and project areas that we will visit.  Coffee, tea and pastries will be provided.
  • 10:30 – 11:30:  Tour management areas at Camp Robinson Special Use Area
  • 11:30 – 12:00:  Lunch at Camp Robinson Field House (provided by NAA)
  • 12:00 – 12:40:  Transport to Barnhill Farms (Native Seed Producer) (34.865220°, -91.962700°)
  • 12:40 – 1:30:  Tour Barnhill Farms
  • 1:30 – 2:30: Transport with restroom stop to Grand Prairie Irrigation Project Demonstration Site (34.800456°, -91.471710°)
  • 2:30 – 2:50:  Tour Demonstration Site
  • 2:50 – 2:55:  Transport to Downs Prairie Natural Area (34.779889°, -91.496481°) and adjacent/nearby Railroad Prairie Natural Area
  • 2:55 – 4:15:  Tour Downs Prairie Natural Area (includes both remnant prairie and restoration area) and Railroad Prairie Natural Area (remnant prairie)
  • 4:15 – 5:30:  Transport 1 hour 15 minutes to Conway and our hotel
  • 5:30 – 7:30: Dinner on your own
  • 8:00 p.m. - ?: Join NAA and other workshop participants for complimentary beverages at the hotel (Best Western in Conway).  This will be an opportunity to kick back, get to know one another, and share stories, challenges, successes, etc.

Wednesday, May 8

Breakfast on your own

  • 8:30 – 9:15:  Drive 45 minutes from Conway to the Central Arkansas Water Sod Farm (34.883814°, -92.703095°)
  • 9:15 – 11:30:  Tour Central Arkansas Water property and Lake Maumelle Wildlife Management Area
  • 11:30 – 12:00:  Lunch at Central Arkansas Water Sod Farm (34.883814°, -92.703095°) (provided by NAA)
  • 12:00 – 12:30:  Transport 30 minutes to Lake Winona/Ouachita National Forest (34.794254°, -92.846135°)
  • 12:30 – 3:00:  Tour sites on Central Arkansas Water property and/or the Ouachita National Forest
  • 3:00 – 4:00:  Transport 1 hour back to Conway 


Invest in the people who protect and manage our natural areas