Northeast Arkansas Master Naturalists presents National Trails Day June 2, 2018

The Northeast Arkansas Master Naturalists will host National Trails Day on Saturday, June 2, in conjunction with Craighead Forest Park and the Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center in Jonesboro.  National Trails Day is an annual event sponsored by the American Hiking Society.  This event focuses on increasing trail awareness through outdoor opportunities such as hiking, kayaking, trail building and cleanup, and other educational events.  This year’s theme is “Find Your Trail!”

The agenda is as follows:

9:00 a.m.

  • Information booths located at Pavilion 2 at Craighead Forest Park and on the front deck at CRNC will open. Registration for prizes begins.
  • A water station will open for all hikers, walkers, and bikers. Bring your own bottle!
  • Information on trails of Arkansas, including local hikes near you, and a schedule of activities at local state parks and CRNC will be available.
  • Favorite Tree Hike, Pavilion 2: Hike with a master naturalist – a little off the beaten path.

10:00 a.m.

  • “LNT – Leave No Trace” Ethics for outdoor activities will be explored. How should I conduct myself while taking advantage of the great outdoors?  How long does that plastic water bottle last?

11:00 a.m.

  • Dan Kaeples, director of parks and recreation for the city of Jonesboro will speak on the Jonesboro Beltway Project. What is the plan for a greener, more livable Jonesboro?  If you missed the original presentation at the city council meeting, this is your chance to hear about what’s happening in Jonesboro.

1:00 p.m.

  • “Hiking 101”. What to take?  What to wear?  What to do if I get lost?  All these topics and more will be explored for the day hiking person.

2:00 p.m.

  • “Yoga for Hikers.” A yoga class geared for any activity level will be held at pavilion 2.  Stretch out those hiking and walking muscles.  Certified yoga instructor from Eastern Livity, Holland LeDelia, will lead the class.

Please join us for an enjoyable day at one of our beautiful local parks.  Get your trail map of Craighead Forest and CRNC to enjoy a great day outdoors!

Thank you to our supporters:  city of Jonesboro, Jonesboro Parks and Recreation, Forest L Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center, Northeast Arkansas Trails Organization (NEATO)

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.