Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 

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Office Hours

Our office is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Holidays are an exception. Please call before you come unless you are planning a self-guided visit of the area. Call 870-983-2790 or 870-983-2740.


Acquisition Information

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie is comprised of 4,885 acres of Blackland Prairie. It was purchased in May of 1997 and was the first major land acquisition using money provided by Amendment 75. It fulfills several commitments made in the Plan for Conservation. These commitments include land acquisition and improvement, protection and restoration of habitat, and conservation education.

It is located in rural Hempstead County in Southwest Arkansas off Highway 73 near Columbus, Arkansas.


Land Use History

Native Americans inhabited this area long before it was called "Grandview." Documented findings support the existence of the Caddo on the site.

The property was later called the Grandview Plantation and had a reputation for producing valuable crops and livestock.

In more recent times, the area was managed as a cattle farm and private hunting and fishing business. In conjunction with cattle farming, the introduction of non-native vegetation and over-grazing were common. In regards to the hunting and fishing business, the primary focus was on white-tailed deer, trophy bass, and pen-reared native and non-native upland game birds.

Currently, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission owns Grandview Prairie and is operating a Conservation Education Center and Wildlife Management Area on the grounds.


Resource Inventory

Wildlife. At the time of purchase, Rick Evans Grandview Prairie had an excellent White-tailed deer herd, a small flock of Eastern wild turkeys, a remnant bobwhite quail population, and other common game species.

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie is currently a home to a variety of game and non-game animals as well, including small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

After purchasing Rick Evans Grandview Prairie, an ecological assessment was initiated and is presently being conducted by personnel from the AGFC, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission (ANHC) . To date, there are working species lists for mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects, snails, and arachnids.

Fisheries. At the time of purchase, Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA had two watershed lakes that now serve as excellent public fisheries.  They contain many different game fish species such as largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, crappie, and channel catfish.

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie CEC has four small watering holes, one of which has been enlarged to accommodate fishing derbies, to allow for angler education, and to provide a fishing opportunity for youth under the age of 16 and adults ages 65 and over. Each of these also serves as habitat for migratory birds and aquatic species.

Habitat. Rick Evans Grandview Prairie represents the most significant example of blackland prairie existing for management and restoration in Arkansas.

It is comprised of open prairie, woodlands, savanna, and non-native grasslands. The diversity of habitat types accounts for the subsequent variety of animals such as songbirds, deer, butterflies, small mammals and reptiles year-round.

See a working plant species list below for Grandview that includes rare plant species tracked by the ANHC.

Facility.  An area office, two lodges, an educational building with classroom space, public restrooms, and a portable sporting clays tower are located on the center's grounds. A shotgun range is open by appointment Monday through Saturdays.

A covered fishing pier and the area check-station are located on the WMA.

Education center staff host thousands of school children and teachers each year with programs about the area’s cultural and natural resources and history. Two buildings accommodate overnight visitors and special programs can be offered by reservation.

Other Cultural. Rick Evans Grandview Prairie includes many educational opportunities listed under educational programming.

Archeology. Archeology is defined as the scientific study of material remains of past human life and activities. Rick Evans Grandview offers study of Caddo existence and early settlers on the prairie.

Paleontology. Paleontology is the science dealing with the life of past geological periods as known from fossil remains. Rick Evans Grandview offers the study of fossil remains from the cretaceous period found on the site. They include several species of exogyra, short and long-necked plesiosaur, mosasaur, and shark. Fossils of prehistoric marine life have been found on the grounds, some as ancient as 73 million years old.


Contact

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center
1685 CR35N
Columbus, AR 71831
870-983-2790 or 870-983-2740
870-983-2768 Fax

For more information regarding the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center or to schedule a class or group field trip at the please contact us at the phone number above, or send an email.