Byrd Lake Natural Area Appreciation Day Planned

Byrd Lake Natural Area Appreciation Day Planned

Fast Facts:

* Tourists in Arkansas generated $745 million in expenditures in 2017

* Byrd Lake Natural Area and hiking trail in Pine Bluff sits on second most ecologically diverse waterway in North America

* Volunteers are needed to help keep the natural area clean for the benefit of all

– Residents from across Arkansas are invited to participate in the Byrd Lake Natural Area Appreciation Day, an outdoor recreation-based stewardship event intended to draw attention to and take care of a magnificent natural resource that provides multiple benefits to Arkansans, visitors to the state, and downstream neighbors.

The event will take place on July 21, from 9 a.m. until noon, at the Byrd Lake Natural Area, located at 43rd St. in Pine Bluff. Partners in the event include Keep Arkansas Beautiful, the City of Pine Bluff, and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.

According to the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission Byrd Lake is an oxbow lake that still interacts with its parent stream, Bayou Bartholomew, during times of high water. The natural area is representative of the boundary line between the Mississippi Alluvial Plain and the Coastal Plain regions of Arkansas. Participants at the event will be treated to a half-mile round trip interpretive hike, and will be encouraged to help take part in active stewardship during the event.

Although Byrd Lake Natural Area is a gem of Natural Area in Arkansas that contributes to the state’s tourism economy, protection of water quality, and quality of life, it needs some help from caring volunteers and interested citizens. The natural area sits next to a major highway and shopping center and, like many other urbanized areas, pollutants — such as litter — are affecting the natural area as they are directly discarded by passing motorists and then get washed by rain water into storm drains and discharged untreated to bayous and other waterways.

The Byrd Lake Natural Area is a part of the system of natural areas in the State of Arkansas that are preserved and managed by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Individuals and groups wanting to improve the water quality, wildlife habitat, and quality of life in the State of Arkansas can make a positive impact by joining in this effort to remove litter from a natural area, or they can adopt a natural area of their own by visiting http://www.naturalheritage.com.

To learn more about participating in the Byrd Lake Natural Area Appreciation Day and or about protecting water quality, contact Jefferson County urban storm water agent John Pennington at jhpennington@uaex.edu or visit http://www.uaex.edu.