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Rick Evans Grandview Prairie
Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center

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 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.

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.

On-Site Programs

 

Note: Programs may range from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the group size.


Wildlife Adventure...All ages
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 involve a variety of ways to continue a study of wildlife.

Hook, Line, and Sinker...Third grade and up
Participants are introduced to fishing in this activity. They will learn about different types of fish found in Arkansas, their habitats, eating habits and baits 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...All ages
In this activity, participants are introduced to common outdoor dangers that can be found in Arkansas. They will learn how to identify animals and plants that 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...All ages
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...FIfth grade and up
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...All ages
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...All ages
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.

Reptiles of Arkansas...All ages
Learn about the four groups of reptiles in Arkansas. Discover features that make them different and steps you can take to protect them. And meet an animal friend!

Canoeing...Fifth grade and up
Seasons in Arkansas come and go so we can see the changes in weather, animals and plants. One of the best ways to see these changes is by paddling around the lake in a canoe. Join the staff of the education center to discover these changes that are going on in our backyard. Be sure to bring a camera for some great photos!

Archery Target Shooting...Third grade and up
This is a great introduction for anyone interested in learning a new skill. Participants will learn the basics of archery–safety, stances and proper use of equipment–with simple compound bows that are adjustable to each individual’s strength. This program focuses on group tournament style target archery and is taught by an ANASP certified coach. This hands-on program is suitable for ages 8 and up, and is recommended to anyone interested in learning a new sport or someone who wants to get into hunting with this skill.

Guided Trail Tour...All ages
Join the staff at Grandview for a short guided hike on our Education Trail. View plants that grow on the Blackland Prairie and maybe catch a glimpse of the animals that call the area home.

Birds of Prey...All ages
Owls, hawks, eagles and vultures are considered birds of prey or raptors. See a live bird of prey and learn about the physical and behavioral specializations these animals use for catching their prey. Understand their history that almost led to their extinction and what you can do to help them today.


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.

Note to Educators: Ask about Fishing in the Natural StateProject WILD, our Conservation Scholarship, and other programs offered by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Scheduling a Program

The service area for the education center includes the following counties: Clark, Garland, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Pike and Sevier.

Please call ahead so we can work out the logistics. The size of your group, weather, time limitations, and other conditions may be factors for some programming. Almost all subjects can be presented from kindergarten to collegiate levels; please specify ahead of time.

Please be prepared to provide us with the following information:

  • Name of group
  • Contact person
  • Address
  • Phone number(s)
  • Date(s) requested
  • Number in your group
  • Type of program(s) needed
  • Arrival time
  • Departure time

Note: Overnight accommodations can be made for up to 40 people in two lodges on-site.

Off-Site Programs

 

Note: Programs may range from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the group size.


All About Alligators...All ages
See a live alligator during an introduction and overview of the history and future of the American Alligator as well as an in-depth look at the biological characteristics of Arkansas’s largest reptile!

Amphibians...Fifth grade and up
Frogs, toads and salamanders, OH MY! Learn about the life cycle, habitats and behavior of these semi-aquatic animals. Also learn about the history of the nearly extinct hellbender salamanders and what is being done to protect them.

Animal Adaptations...All ages
Learn how some of our wildlife has adapted to living in Arkansas. See the physical and behavioral ways, such as camouflage and hibernation, that have helped them survive life in the Natural State.

Arkansas Game and Fish Careers...Sixth grade and up
Is the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission made up of only biologists and game wardens? Find out about what it takes to make the commission operate and all the different types of careers associated with the AGFC.

Birds of Prey...All ages
Owls, hawks, eagles and vultures are considered birds of prey or raptors. See a live bird of prey and learn about the physical and behavioral specializations these animals use for catching their prey. Understand their history that almost led to their extinction and what you can do to help them today.

Fishes of Arkansas...All ages
Learn to tell the difference in similar fish species using identification techniques. Along the way, learn some interesting facts about some of Arkansas’ s incredible fish!

Hunting Is Conservation...Sixth grade and up
How does hunting benefit wildlife? Learn about the history of the wildlife in Arkansas before hunting laws were established, the start of the AGFC and how hunters have become the largest contributors to conservation.

Invading Dangers...Fourth grade and up
Learn about the invasive species that are threatening Arkansas wildlife. Find out the steps that the AGFC is taking to protect native species and what you can do at home to help.

Mammals, Reptiles and Birds...All ages
Learn the differences between mammals, reptiles and birds. Discover the adaptations for each group and what special features make them who they are. See live animals and get a personal encounter!

Quail of Arkansas...All ages
The northern bobwhite is a small game bird that makes a big impact in its environment. Learn about the history of these birds, their population decline and the steps AGFC biologists are taking to ensure these birds stay in aThe Natural State.

Reptiles of Arkansas...All ages
Learn about the four groups of reptiles in Arkansas. Discover features that make them different and steps you can take to protect them. And meet an animal friend!

Venomous Snakes of Arkansas...All ages
Learn how to identify all the venomous snakes of Arkansas. Learn about their roles in the environment, the threats against them and how you can help to protect these misunderstood reptiles.


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.

Note to Educators: Ask about Fishing in the Natural StateProject WILD, our Conservation Scholarship, and other programs offered by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Scheduling a Program

The service area for the education center includes the following counties: Clark, Garland, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Pike and Sevier.

Please call ahead so we can work out the logistics. The size of your group, weather, time limitations, and other conditions may be factors for some programming. Almost all subjects can be presented from kindergarten to collegiate levels; please specify ahead of time.

Please be prepared to provide us with the following information:

  • Name of group
  • Contact person
  • Address
  • Phone number(s)
  • Date(s) requested
  • Number in your group
  • Type of program(s) needed
  • Arrival time
  • Departure time

Advanced Programs

 

Note: Available for on-and off-site programming.


Owl Pellet Dissections...Fifth grade and up
Owls are birds of prey, which means that they eat other animals. Like other birds, owls do not have teeth. They swallow their prey whole. Owls cannot digest fur, bones, feathers and other parts of their prey so they spit it up in a small pellet. Students will be able to explore these pellets using tools, and will learn to identify bones and use their new skills to learn what owls eat. Must schedule program at least three weeks in advance.

Fish Dissections...Fifth grade and up
Get hands-on experience exploring the anatomy and physiology of some native fish species! Students will be able to see the inner-workings of fish without discoloration from formaldehyde. This program is offered through application only.

Birdsong Bingo...Fourth grade and up
Learn about some of the backyard birds of Arkansas as well as identification, calls and songs, and birding basics. We will play birdsong bingo and put your new skills to the test.

Native American Crafts and Tools...Age varies by program
The AGFC Education Division offers many additional programs for the public including pottery, weaving, bow-making and leather crafts. The AGFC can offer and supply materials for most programs and crafts that are outdoor, wildlife, and/or nature related.

Arkansas Game and Fish to You...Age varies by program
Booths can be set up at several kinds of occasions including careers fairs, festivals and other events. BB gun ranges, mobile archery and fishing derbies also can be hosted through AGFC.

Crafts and Other Activities...Age varies by program
The AGFC Education Division offers many additional programs for the public including crafts such as making pine cone bird feeders, animal track soap, and walking stick handles. Outdoor classes such as Dutch over cooking, gun safety, trapping, and many others are available as well. AGFC can offer and supply materials for most programs and crafts that are outdoor, wildlife, and/or nature related.

Stream Survey...Fifth grade and up
Discover what lies beneath the water of Arkansas’ s fresh water creeks, ponds and rivers. Participants will catch macroinvertebrates using various methods, identifying and learning what they can tell us about the water quality. Bodies of water off-site will need to be reviewed before the program. Waders will be available, but please bring an extra change of clothes in case you get wet.

Hunter Education Course...Sixth grade and up
Anyone born after 1968 must complete a hunter education course and carry a valid hunter education card to hunt in Arkansas. Children under 16 may hunt without hunter education as long as they are under the direct supervision of an adult who is 21 years old and has a valid hunting license. The course takes a minimum of 10 hours and can be done in one day or multiple days.

Boater Education Course...Sixth grade and up
Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1985, and of legal age to operate a motorboat or sailboat, must have successfully completed an approved AGFC Boating Education Course and carry proof while operating a motorboat or sailboat on Arkansas water.


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.

Note to Educators: Ask about Fishing in the Natural StateProject WILD, our Conservation Scholarship, and other programs offered by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Scheduling a Program

The service area for the education center includes the following counties: Clark, Garland, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Pike and Sevier.

Please call ahead so we can work out the logistics. The size of your group, weather, time limitations, and other conditions may be factors for some programming. Almost all subjects can be presented from kindergarten to collegiate levels; please specify ahead of time.

Please be prepared to provide us with the following information:

  • Name of group
  • Contact person
  • Address
  • Phone number(s)
  • Date(s) requested
  • Number in your group
  • Type of program(s) needed
  • Arrival time
  • Departure time

Note: Overnight accommodations can be made for up to 40 people in two lodges on-site.