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Fall 2017 Happenings

It has been a busy summer at IRWP and thanks to all those who attended our Art and Nature Summer Camp, participated in our first-ever Charity Golf Tournament at the Creeks Golf Course, or joined one of our education or volunteer events. We are so grateful to all in our IRWP community! 

Upcoming Events

Bats and Bluegrass
Date: Saturday, September 16
4:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: IRWP Watershed Sanctuary, 220 South Main Street, Cave Springs, AR 72718
Come join us for our 5th Annual Bats and Bluegrass event. This is a family friendly event, and admission is free. There will be activities, live music, raffle prizes, and a "reverse garage sale" where you get the opportunity to purchase items for IRWP! Watch bats at they leave the cave for the evening, enjoy some good music, and quality time with friends and family.

Illinois River Art Salon and Awards Reception
Date: Thursday, November 16
6:00 pm
Fayetteville Underground, 101 West Mountain Street, Suite 222, Fayetteville, AR 72701
Celebrate the beauty of the Illinois River at our Art Salon Awards Reception at Fayetteville Underground. This competition features artists who have created scenes from the river in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and drawing mediums. Heavy hors d'ouerves will be served. 

Education Happenings

Robin is gearing up for the fall school field trip season and making some important changes to our Learning Center and Watershed Sanctuary programming. Beginning this 2017-18 school year, we will begin charging on a per student basis. We have previously been blessed to offer free field trips to local schools, but with changing funding strcutures and uncertainty in federal and state budgets, we needed to capitalize on our best asset: education! 

Monitoring Happenings

This fall, we will begin an exciting new monitoring project called "Ecological Assessment of Priority Subwatersheds", which is supported by ANRC, Walton Family Foundation, and AGFC's Stream Team Program. We have commitments from fifteen (fifteen!!!) local EAST programs to participate and we are jazzed about geting started! 
The goal of this project is to evaluate and monitor major tributaries within each of our priority subwatersheds. IRWP's recently defined priority subwatersheds are Moore's Creek around Lincoln, Muddy Fork around Prairie Grove, Sager Creek around Siloam Springs, and Clear Creek around Lake Fayetteville. Each of the major tributaries will be assesed for in-stream characteristics, habitat condition, and macroinvertebrate communites, as well as some water quality parameters. 
If implemented correctly, this project will not only get students in the field learning about scientific processes and data collection methods, but also produce usable data for IRWP. With these data, we can target our outreach efforts by identifiying high-priority tributaries within our high priority subwatersheds. 

Restoration Happenings

Streambank Restoration Field Tour at Cliff Gibbs Ranch 
Thursday, September 14th at 12:00 pm

IRWP, Watershed Conservation Resource Center (WCRC), and Northwest Arkansas Land Trust (NWALT) will co-host a streambank restoration project field tour on Thursday, September 14th. WCRC is an organization that uses natural channel design engineering methods with the goal of ecological restoration, not just streambank stabilization. NWALT serves to conserve and protect properties of high conservation value across Northwest Arkansas and holds a conservation easement on the riparian land around the project. 
Please join us for a free lunch and tour. Staff from WCRC, NWALT, and landowner Cliff Gibbs will be on-hand to answer your questions about streambank erosion, how you can prevent it, and what you can do about it. 
Date: Thursday, September 14th
Location: 16734 Old Highway 68, Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Time: 12:00 to 2:00 pm 
RSVP: Please visit this page or call 479-215-6623

Shumate Farm Field Day
Tuesday, October 17 at 10:00 am

The Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCCD)  will host a field day at the WCCD's demonstration farm owned by Allen Shumate, located south of Elkins. 

Come learn about the best management practices Mr. Shumate uses on his farm, including permanent electric and temporary electric fencing, barbed wire fencing, watering systems, prescribed grazing, fall pasture overseeding, and forage stockpiling.

Date:Tuesday, October 16
12491 Hazel Valley Road, Fayetteville, AR 72701-3732
Time: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Casey Dunigan at 479-718-6371, 479-521-4520 Ext. 3, or casey.dunigan@ar.nacdnet.n et.
Land Stewardship Dinner
Thursday, October 19 at 5:30 pm
We will be having a free dinner open to landowners within the watershed who would like to learn more about conservation programs and available funding. There will be presentations followed by an informal landowner discussion. We want to know what your biggest barriers are, so we can pair you with the right partners to solve your problems! Come out and join us for dinner and good conversation. 
Date: Thursday, October 19
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Location: IRWP Watershed Sanctuary, 221 South Main Street, Cave Springs, AR 72718 

RSVP: Stephanie Burchfield at or calling 479-215-6623

Thank you to our sponsors and partners who help IRWP fulfill our mission of improving the integrity of the Illinois River through education, monitoring, conservation, and restoration!

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