Grandview at a Glance (REGPCEC)

Summary:

This lesson will give a broad view of the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center (CEC) and wildlife management area (WMA).

Grade Level:

K - 12

Recommended Setting:

Indoor or outdoor classroom

Outdoor Activity:

No

Location:

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center, Columbus

Contact:

Education Program Coordinator, 800-983-4219

Duration:

45 minutes to 1 hour

Suggested Number of Participants:

10 - 30

Objectives:

  • Learn when and why Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) purchased Grandview.
  • Learn why the nature center is named Rick Evans Grandview Prairie.
  • Talk about conservation education centers versus wildlife management areas.
  • Discuss WMA and CEC resources: wildlife, fisheries, habitat, facilities and culture.
  • Talk about the mission of the center.

Key Terms*:

Conservation

Conservation education center

Cultural resources

Fisheries

Habitat

Imperiled

Interpretation

Mission

Resource

Rick Evans

Skeet

Sporting clays

Tall grass prairie

Trap

Wildlife

Wildlife management area

*See glossary for definations

Materials:

Application for facility use

Conservation education centers brochure

Current AGFC hunting and fishing guidebooks

Current range brochure

Directions and locator map, if applicable

Fiscal year 1999 – 2003 master plan

General information sheet/public use policy

Gift shop flyer

Grandview at a Glance trunk

Grandview programming list

Leader Information flyer

Plan for conservation highlights – July 1997 - June 1998 annual report

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie site map

The Nature Conservancy Blackland fact sheet

www.agfc.com

Background:

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie has 4,885 acres of Blackland prairie. It was bought in May 1997, the first major land acquisition using money provided by Amendment 75. It fulfills several commitments made in the plan for conservation including land acquisition and improvement, habitat protection and restoration and conservation education. It is in rural Hempstead County in southwest Arkansas off Highway 73 near Columbus, Arkansas

Procedure:

  1. Begin by discussing when and why Rick Evans Grandview Prairie became a part of AGFC.
    • Acquisition – Grandview Plantation was bought for $2.8 million in May 1997 from Ted Kengla. It was the first major land acquisition using money provided by Amendment 75. It was officially named the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center and wildlife management area in honor of Rick Evans of Callion, Arkansas. Rick Evans was an AGFC commissioner in the 1990s (chairman, 1997-1998) who was instrumental in acquiring this imperiled property.
    • Location – rural Hempstead County in southwest Arkansas, near the cities of Columbus and Washington.
    • Background – Capital improvements on the site: two area residences, two buildings for dining and overnight accommodations, one large metal building for game care and dog kenneling, a walk-through sporting clays range and four livestock barns.
    • Man-made resources: approximately 25 watering holes, two watershed lakes, archeological sites and the Ozan canal.
    • Natural resources: thousands of acres of low- to high-quality Blackland prairie habitat and a variety of fish and wildlife species.
    • Current Public Use Resource Inventory – Shortly after AGFC purchased the property, the area was divided into two sections – The CEC and WMA.
      • The focus of the conservation education center is to use more than 300 acres of the Blackland prairie as a youth conservation teaching tool. Personnel from the agency’s education and outreach division are assigned here.
      • The focus of the wildlife management division is on the remaining 4,500 acres with emphasis on prairie restoration.
    • Facility resources
      • There is a wildlife check station located at the WMA entrance.
      • There is a visitor’s center at the CEC entrance.
      • Lodging facilities are located on the CEC. They are designed for dining, meeting and overnight use (max overnight capacity is 40).
      • In addition, a small classroom facility is on-site.
      • Currently a portable shooting tower is used for sporting clays and a trap/skeet/five-stand sporting clays range is in the works.
    • Wildlife resources
      • Grandview prairie has been designated by the Audubon society as an important bird area. It has been used in the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program. This is a study which documents birds and collects data.
      • Wood ducks, mallards and doves are trapped and tagged for population study.
      • Grandview prairie has an excellent white-tailed deer herd.
      • Eastern wild turkeys were restocked and are common, and there is a small population of bobwhite quail.
      • Small mammals, birds and turtles endemic to Arkansas are on the property.
      • Doves, woodcocks, waterfowl and raptors including bald eagles are seasonal visitors.
      • Limited hunting is available for deer, squirrel, rabbits, dove, crows and fur bearers. The permit deer archery hunt and small-game hunting is on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays only. Refer to current regulations.
    • Fisheries resources
      • Two watershed lakes and area watering holes serve as fisheries on the wildlife management area. Many fish species live in these habitats including largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie and channel catfish.
      • A covered fishing pier, boat ramp and small boat dock are available on lake No. 1. Lake No. 2 is equipped with a small boat dock and boat ramp only.
      • A fishing pond is available at the center for those under 16 or 65 and over and is occasionally stocked with channel catfish. This pond is also home to special fishing derbies.
      • Regulations differ for each body of water.
    • Habitat resources
      • Grandview prairie represents the largest national example of Blackland prairie in public ownership.
      • Seasonal wildflowers and native warm-season grasses spring up.
    • Cultural resources – The AGFC and the University of Arkansas archeological survey/society cooperate in surveying an archeological site. (Paleo, Caddo, Plantation Era, etc.)
    • Personnel resources
      • Three full-time CEC employees work on-site and in an eight-county region surrounding the Grandview prairie.
      • Part-time, contract, temporary or intern labor is available.
      • Our mission is to provide people with educational and recreational opportunities to promote responsible stewardship and ensure the future of Arkansas’ natural resources.
      • Programs are offered in conjunction with the above resources.
  2. Discuss some of the popular programs that are offered.
  3. Answer questions.
  4. If time permits, shift focus to information outlined in the Blackland biography lesson plan.

Review:

  • How did REGPCEC get its name?
  • How many acres are on the conservation education center? wildlife management area?
  • What is the mission of the CEC?
  • Name five features of REGPCEC.

Glossary:

Conservation – planned management of natural resources (including wildlife and habitat) to prevent exploitation or neglect and to ensure their availability to future generations

 

Conservation education center (CEC) – rural property and facilities designated for conservation education

 

Cultural resources (REGPCEC) – primarily Native American and plantation era sites and information found at Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center

 

Fisheries – a unit that raises or harvests fish

 

Habitat – an arrangement of food, water, shelter or cover, and space suitable to animals’ needs

 

Imperiled – in danger

 

Interpretation – communication that emotionally and intellectually connects the interests of the audience and the meanings intended by the source

 

Mission – purpose that addresses primary service and primary audience

 

Resource – a portion of an environment that enhances the quality of human life; also a natural source of wealth or revenue  

 

 

 

Rick Evans – AGFC commissioner in the 1990s (chairman from 1997-1998) who was instrumental in acquiring Grandview, a 4,885-acre portion of the Blackland prairie ecosystem of southwest Arkansas

 

 

Skeet (high house and low house) – shooting where clay targets are thrown to simulate the angled flights of birds; angles differ through eight shooting positions, and speed and target size are consistent

 

Sporting clays (walk-thru, tower, 5-stand) – shotgunning sport where clay targets simulate ducks, dove, quail, and/or rabbits; angles may vary throughout shooting stations and target sizes can vary

 

Tall grass prairie – habitat characterized by few trees and abundant grass which grows three or more feet tall

 

Trap (standard) – shooting sport where clay targets are thrown in a flight pattern in front and away from the shooter through five stations; targets are the same size and can veer left or right

 

Wildlife – animals that are not tamed or domesticated including insects, spiders, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and mammals