Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

False indigo bush or Amorpha fruticosa on World Peace Wetland Prairie on May 29, 2008

Please click on images to enlarge Amorpha fruticosa on May 29, 2008, on World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Asclepias viridis, also known as spider milkweed or common milkweed, with milkweed bugs on WPWP

PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE May 29, 2008, photo of spider milkweed with milkweed bugs.

Tall, green prairie milkweed is difficult to spot on World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of Asclepias hirtella at World Peace Wetland Prairie. The tall green milkweed is our only alternate-leaved milkweed. Until it blooms, it is hidden well in tall grass and among other flowering prairie plants.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Large milkweed bug gets to spider milkweed on World Peace Wetland Prairie before monarchs find it?

Please click on image to ENLARGE May 22, 2008, photo of large milkweed bug on spider milkweed at World Peace Wetland Prairie in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Large and small milkweed bugs online

Friday, May 16, 2008

West Fork Water Celebration coming Saturday

West Fork Celebration photos from 2007

West Fork Celebration on Saturday

3rd Annual West Fork Watershed Celebration
Riverside Park - May 17, 2008

The 3rd Annual West Fork Watershed Celebration of 2008 is an important event. The West Fork of the White River flows into Beaver Lake, which is our supply of drinking water. Each year, a cleanup of our river is conducted as part of protecting our source of safe drinking water and protecting wildlife habitats.
If you or your child would like to be a volunteer for this year's river cleanup or volunteer to help with activities being held at Riverside Park on May 17, 2008, you must complete and sign the liability and registrations forms. These forms can be found by clicking the Forms link to the left.
Cleanup teams will conduct a cleanup of the West Fork of the White River from Brentwood to Greenland. Some volunteers will be in boats and others will walk. The River cleanup will be divided into four sections with several pickup points along the way. Teams will be assigned to each section. An adult Team Leader and other adults will be a part of each team, and will be responsible for coordinating his or her team for the pick-up of materials.
It is hoped that parents will join their children at this event and make it a family outing. Come join the fun and excitement!
Volunteers Needed!!!
Sign up for a clean-up team and include the whole family. Win Prizes! Call 225-1611 today.
Activity Schedule:

12:00 Registration and River Clean-up
Volunteers needed for river and park
Call 479.225.1611
3-6 Awards and Prizes...
Food prepared by the West Fork Fire Department and WFEPA
Activities for every age including:
fishing for the kids (poles provided, bait for sale)
water ecology
water dynamics/chemistry classes
plus bee-keeping
health info and more
6-8 LIVE MUSIC by Local Groups
Sponsored by the WF Lions' Club

Call Henry Griffith at 479.839.3553
Frances Hime at 479.225.1611
The 3rd Annual West Fork Watershed Celebration - 2008 is being coordinated by the West Fork E.P.A. with support from the cities of West Fork and Greenland, and partnership with the following non-profit organizations: Washington County Environmental Affairs, Audubon, Watershed Conservation Resources, American rivers, Beaver Water district, Washington County Conservation, Washington County Bee Keepers Assn., Scouts, other organizations and merchants., U.S.G.S., Arkansas Forestry Service.

The West Fork Environmental Protection Association is a 501(c)3 organization and is not affiliated with the Environmental Protection Agency or any other government agency.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Build Hill Place right or don't build it

The maps based on aerial photos below are reasonably new, and people who live in some houses along the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River between Eleventh Street and Fifteenth Street who are paying on mortgages on their homes now have to pay for flood insurance.
A close look at the maps reveals that FEMA now acknowledges not only that many buildings in that stretch are either IN or immediately adjacent to the acknowledged flood plain but also that much of the infrastructure for the failed Aspen Ridge site was built in the flood plain between Sixth and Eleventh streets west of South Hill Avenue.
People who have lived in the neighborhood a long time know that the actual floodplain is much wider in places than the FEMA map shows.
While the developers of the Hill Place project are being required to remove a sewer line and blocks much of the flow under the bridge at Eleventh Street, they have not been told to build their proposed traffic bridge higher than the current walkiing bridge. In fact, they are proposing to build the traffic bridge LOWER than the walking bridge built in 2005 or 2006 across the stream. Because federal agencies will barely even look at the plans, the city must make the decision on this further construction in the floodplain.
In 2003 and 2004, the developers claimed that FEMA maps did not show floodplain in the area. Neighbors pointed out that the Town Branch FLOWED OVER much of that land frequently even though the government had not designated it as floodplain and that, not only did the stream flow over the bridge at Eleventh Street but sometimes flowed over the bridge at Fifteenth Street.
Just another example of NIMBIES being ignored in favor of developers and builders who don't care what harm their projects might do as long as they are able to reach the density level required to make a huge profit. People who say "Not in my backyard" in this neighborhood have seen the water there (and some have seen it in their houses or flowing in front of their houses); so they aren't talking about a trivial problem.
The lowest portion of the former wooded wetland at the southeast end of the project must be dug out and structured to pre-Aspen Ridge grade or lower to reapproach the historical flood-prevention capacity of that land.
No further paving should be done southeast of the existing walking bridge and the impervious fill dirt should be removed and water again should be allowed to soak into appropriate organic soil.
Developers claim their right to build as long as their project doesn't send more water off their land than flowed off there before.
They use voodoo mathematics that ignore overflow from the Town Branch and that ignore the nearly 100 percent permeability of the surface of the area before it was cleared and filled with rocky dirt and red clay.
They rely on the fact that water has threatened the downstream homes a little more each year during the decades the University of Arkansas has filled similar land on the campus and covered or dredged absorbent soil on the campus in favor of non-absorbent, non-organic soil and concrete.
Now is the time to begin to require developments to DECREASE downstream flooding, not aggravate it and blame the university for its building practices. Multiple wrong decisions don't add up to a right decision.

Monday, May 12, 2008

FEMA floodplain map of Aspen Ridge/Hill Place and streets downstream

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Please attend meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday


Water flow to World Peace Wetland Prarie from the Hill Place and Summit Place development sites will be discussed in this meeting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ten-flowered native trumpet honeysuckle on World Peace Wetland Prairie on May 9, 2008.

Please click on photo of Lonicera sempervirens, the native, non-invasive, loose-climbing and gently twining trumpet honeysuckle photographed on May 9, 2008. The 10 flowers shown come from the last two leaves at the ends of new growth, which are joined at their bases and grow cup-like around the stem. The flowers grow out from there and the berry-borne seeds will eventually replace them. Unlike its relative, Japanese honeysuckle (L. japonica), Lonicera sempervirens (also known in some areas as coral honeysuckle) will not spread out of control, and its sparse vines won't strangle shrubs, small trees or tall grass.

Scroll down to view photos of a few other native plants seen on May 8, 2008, by visitors from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Spider milkweed

Please click on image to enlarge Asclepias viridis.

Swamp milkweed — old stem and new growth juxtaposed

Please click on images of Asclepias incarnata to ENLARGE.

Members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute saw milkweed almost grow in front of their eyes on May 8, 2008

Please click on images to ENLARGE.

The area shown below, where Professor Kim Smith's class dug out fescue one day last fall, is dominated by milkweed, some 55 of which I marked with red tape Sunday, May 4. Similar already fast-growing milkweeds in other relatively open spaces may bring the total in easy to spot places on WPWP to a couple of hundred by fall. Butterfly milkweed and spider milkweed and swamp milkweed already are well represented. And at least a couple of other varieties are likely to up by summer.

Butterfly milkweed is the lowest photo of the four — Asclepias tuberosa.

OLLI members saw a magnificent flower in Ellya Richardson Memorial Butterfly Garden on May 8. 2008

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Something Osher Lifelong Learning members arrived a couple of minutes too late to see at World Peace Wetland Prairie on Thursday

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Rabbit nests difficult to spot.

Please click on image to enlarge.

Rabbits who can nest in a thicket are often successful although an extremely high percentage of rabbits born don't live a year because of predators in a natural world. Rabbits who foolishly nest in open grassy areas have a more difficult time reproducing. Mowers kill millions every year. As one can see in this photo, cottontail rabbits often nest in very shallow holes in soft earth. When mowers pass over, the tiny babies instinctively jump upward, resulting in fatal injuries. Rabbits may not understand how wasteful of fuel and how environmentally harmful mowing is, but a female who has lost a litter to a mower may at least learn to move to a thicket before trying again.

War Eagle Appreciation Day tomorrow ( Saturday, May 10, 2008) north of Huntsville, Arkansas

Please see
War Eagle Appreciation Day 2007 photos
for a sample of what has been and may be again tomorrow.

Free Music, Food, Education at War Eagle Appreciation Day on Saturday May 10, 2008

Shannon Wurst, the Mountain Gypsies, and Crossroad Country will take the stage from 2-7 p.m. Saturday during War Eagle Appreciation Day at Crossbow Pavilion in Withrow Springs State Park about five miles north of Huntsville off Arkansas 23. Admission is free. Organizers suggest members of the public bring lawn chairs. A cookout sponsored by Arvest Bank and the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce will be provided from 4 to 7 p.m. The event also includes a float that morning led by educators with Ozark Natural Science Center, Audubon Arkansas and Beaver Water District; a stream cleanup that morning led by Madison County Solid Waste & Recycling, and educational booths with hands-on activities. Visit for more information. Or call 479-756-3651.

War Eagle is a sub-watershed of Beaver Lake Watershed. A watershed is an area of land that drains water, sediment, and dissolved materials to a common receiving body or outlet, which in this case is Beaver Lake, the primary source of drinking water for most of Northwest Arkansas. The purpose of the event is to draw attention to the rich history of War Eagle and the many benefits that War Eagle Creek brings to Madison County and Northwest Arkansans.
Amy L. Wilson, Director of Public Affairs, Beaver Water District, P.O. Box 400, Lowell, AR 72745
479-756-3651 (office)
479-263-4584 (cell)
Beaver Water District, the second largest drinking water supplier in Arkansas, supplies drinking water to more than 250,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas. For information, visit

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute bringing group to World Peace Wetland Prairie for tour from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday May 8, 2008

Several members of the Osher Lifeling Learning Institute are scheduled to walk the World Peace Wetland Prairie between 1:30 and 3 p.m. tomorrow. The Osher center is in the UA Continuing Education Center in downtown Fayetteville. Members of OLLI must be age 50 and over and the annual membership fee is $50.
OLLI has about 200 members in Northwest Arkansas and is actively seeking members throughout Arkansas. The local center has a grant for three years but must become self-supporting after that time.
Kathleen Dorn is the director.
Her e-mail is

The Website is
The telephone number is 575-4545
Some classes in coming months will be held at the Fayetteville Senior Activity Center, while most will be at the Pauline Whitaker Equine Center on the UA farm property.

Osher Lifetime Learning Center

Olli in the Ozarks

Wards one and four, Town Branch neighborhood meeting to discuss Aspen Ridge / Hill Place

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fayetteville City Council to visit Town Branch Neighborhood at 4 p.m. today. Everyone welcome.

The mayor and members of the Fayetteville City Council are to gather at the failed Aspen Ridge town-house construction site near W. Sixth Street and S. Hill Avenue at 4:30 p.m. today (Monday, May 5, 2008 ) to view the 30-acre parcel from which nearly all the trees and topsoil have been removed. The rich, fertile, stormwater-absorbing, water-purifying soil has been either dredged out and hauled away or buried under tons of less-absorbent rocky soil.

Tuesday at 6 p.m., the council is to evaluate a plan that has been brought forward by Hank Broyles, who sold his share of the Aspen Ridge property to his partner in that venture, Hal Forsyth, soon after it was approved in 2005, but who bought the whole parcel after Forsyth's development ended with hundreds of low-income residents displaced but nothing built on the property.

Slimy, yellow silt-laden muddy water has overflowed from the failed Aspen Ridge site onto the north end of World Peace Wetland Prairie ever since that 30 acres' vegetation was removed and the soil replaced with non-absorbent soil. The Hill Place student apartment plan and the Summit Place plan must manage silt and stormwater properly or both WPWP and the Town Branch will be further damaged.

Broyles' new plan is to sell the property to
Place Properties, limited partnership
, which develops and manages apartment complexes for college students in several states. The sale, apparently, is contingent on Broyles' getting the student-apartment plan approved by the council.

Please see
Summit Place, Hill Place maps and photos
with first plans for Summit Place that were submitted to the Fayetteville planning department early this year.

Please see
Hill Place/Aspen Ridge plans, maps and photos
with concept drawing from January 2008.

Town Branch neighbors are asking that the Summit Place plan be evaluated by the council before the council approves the Hill Place plan. Water from the eastern slope of Summit Place on Rochier Hill will increase erosion and further exacerbate the stormwater problems created by the Aspen Ridge land clearing and now the problem of the Hill Place project. Appian Design Center
Hill Place/Summit Place plan designers
is planning both projects. Hank Broyles and John Nock reportedly own the Summit Place property.

The Summit Place project west of the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad is in Ward Four, while the Hill Place project is in Ward One.
As in the case of many adjacent projects, these are separate but the upstream work will have a bearing on the downstream project's success in protecting people further downstream on the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River from flooding as well as an effect on the quality of water entering Beaver Lake, the water supply for most of Northwest Arkansas.
For details, please call 479-444-6072.