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.
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.
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.
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 3-D archery range and a shotgun range are 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.
Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center
1685 CR35N,Columbus, AR 71831
870-983-2790 or 870-983-2740
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.
(off-site programs are approved on a case-by-case basis by the Facility Manager)
A Sneak Peek at Game and Fish: In this lesson, participants are given an overview of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). They are introduced to the AGFC’s major divisions, support divisions, and the various programs and resources offered. Then, the class will focus more on the Education Division.
Blackland Biography: This lesson gives an overall view of the Blackland Ecosystem of Arkansas and Rick Evans Grandview Prairie (REGP). It addresses the historical, cultural and ecological characteristics of the prairie. Participants are introduced to the agencies dedicated to preserving the ecosystem and current restoration methods.
Grandview at a Glance: This lesson is designed to give a broad view of the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center (CEC) and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) past and present.
Wildlife Adventure: After determining the difference between domestic and non-domestic animals, participants will learn about wildlife. They will identify species of animals native to Arkansas. Next, connections will be made to tracks, scat, fur, sounds, and/or other clues. Discussion will also involve a variety of ways to continue a study of wildlife.
Hook, Line, and Sinker: Participants are introduced to fishing in this activity. They will learn about different types of fish found in Arkansas, their habitats, eating habits and what baits are used to catch them. Training also includes proper knot tying, basic fishing instruction and important safety tips. If time permits, participants will get to fish.
The Danger Zone: In this activity, participants are introduced to common “outdoor dangers” that can be found in Arkansas. They will learn how to identify the animals and plants which can cause harm, and how to successfully handle exposure or encounters with them. Finally, participants will learn how these “dangers” are a vital part of the ecosystems in which they live.
It’s for the Birds: This program focuses on birding basics and commonly occurring Arkansas species. Participants will learn the proper use of common birding tools, such as field guides and binoculars. Included will be an overview of “Wings Over Arkansas,” an interactive AGFC sponsored program. After establishing the “basics,” participants can put their newly acquired skills to use on a prairie birding expedition.
Target Tactics: This lesson teaches proper handling techniques when using shotguns. It is an introduction to the basic characteristics of a shotgun. Participants will learn safety tips and proper carrying positions. It can be taught in the classroom, or as a “hands on” lesson that includes live firing.
Let’s Take a Ride: This interpretive area tour gives participants the opportunity to experience the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA first hand. It allows them to see, hear, smell and feel various aspects of the prairie. While on the tour, participants will make several stops and discuss key points of interest.
A Painted Prairie: In this lesson, participants are introduced to the vast array of wildflowers found on site. Basics of plant anatomy and how to use this information to identify different species will be discussed. Discover the importance of biodiversity. Finally, suggested field guides and their use will be presented. Test your knowledge on an area tour or hike.
Survival Sense: Participants will discuss the rules of survival related to planning, food, water, clothing, etc. An introduction to basic first aid and first aid kits will be offered. Information will be presented by using current events or hypothetical situations.
Hunter Education: Call to set up a Hunter Education class at REGPCEC. This is a ten-hour course. We must have at least ten students. Ask about our overnight accommodations. Ensure that the young sportsman in your family is safe, legal, and ethical. More about Hunter Education.
Note: Ask about the home study course or internet course.
Boating Education: Call to set up a Boating Education class at REGPCEC. This is a six-hour course. We must have at least ten students. Ask about our overnight accommodations. Please call to get information for all the young mariners in your life. More about Boating Education.
Note: Ask about the home study course or internet course.
Special Request: If the topics above are not exactly what you are looking for, give us your request. We will research your topic and present it. Please give us two weeks to research the subject before presentation, and please make sure it is outdoors related.
The size of your group, weather, time limitations, and other conditions may be a factor for some of our programming.
Please call ahead so we can work out the logistics.
These subjects can be presented on kindergarten or collegiate levels. But, please specify ahead of time.
The service area for REGPCEC includes the following counties: Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Miller, Lafayette, Nevada, Pike, and Sevier.
Please be prepared to provide us with the following information:
Also, visit the Educator Training classes that are currently scheduled at different locations around the state.
Hundreds of tagged catfish have been stocked into the Family and Community Fishing Program ponds this year, and many tags still are out there. Any angler who turns in one of these tags is eligible for a prize. One lucky angler will be drawn for $1,500 in prizes, a two-night stay for up to 14 people at Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Education Center to enjoy fishing, canoeing, archery and trap shooting. The live drawing will be televised on the evening news on KTHV (Channel 11) in Little Rock, Nov. 16.