A dynamic, 10-minute multimedia presentation filmed in high definition – is one of the center’s highlights. It appears on a large screen that 60 people can view. The movie also features closed captioning for the hearing impaired. Each member of the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame is featured between showings. The show also focuses on the AGFC and the role it plays in conservation.
After the show, visitors can pass through an old trapper’s cabin, which appears nestled in the woods.
Visitors will follow water as it passes through a continuous series of living habitat exhibits – from a replicated mountain spring into the river’s main channel cypress swamps, delta marshlands and a bottomland hardwood forest. Each segment has been isolated with flow-through barriers that contain each habitat’s population of fish.
Since this area is rural and includes the Ozark National Forest, the region is represented with a pool with large rocks and river-bottom pebbles at the base of a series of springs and falling water. Visitors hear the natural sounds of the region, including elk bugling, turkeys gobbling, squirrels barking, whip-poor-wills and wood thrushes.
Geologic forces crushed the mid-continent region in Arkansas, forming one of few east-west ranges in North America. Because of this orientation, pine and hardwood forests alternate on the north and south faces of ridges. These trees are represented with a stream along a rock-lined course.
A large aquarium with moving water displays larger fish found in the river. The river itself is seen just yards from the center. The site has great blue herons, belted kingfishers and waterfowl as regular visitors. White pelicans stop by during fall migration.
Cypress tree bases and knees recreate a swamp and bayou environment.
Visitors are first engaged in this vast bottomland forest region by a large, fallen tree with a snake among its roots. Large fish, turtles, ducks and geese are featured in this wetland marsh region. Natural sounds of the delta – such as Chuck-will’s-widows call and frogs – can be heard.
Delta Country/Big Woods
Interpretation of the Big Woods conservation story are incorporated into this exhibit with information about the AGFC’s role in preservation and management.
The AGFC’s three major divisions – Law Enforcement, Wildlife Management and Fisheries – are highlighted in display cases where visitors may learn about the roles of agency personnel through interactive components.
Nature Gift Shop
Are you looking for a unique gift item? Make the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center your first stop. Our gift shop features nature-related books, outdoor-themed gifts, toys, games, animal guides, jewelry, educational items and more. There’s something for everyone on your list.
Grounds and Trails
Outside is a variety of bird-feeding stations set among shrubbery and a gently flowing seep. An interactive state map highlights Arkansas’s natural resources using a laser projector system. The system is funded in part by a grant from the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.
The location along the Arkansas River allows many watchable wildlife activities within an urban area. Basking water turtles, butterflies and migrating pelicans are common sights. A portion of the Arkansas River Trail crosses the site, offering more options for exploration. The grounds of the center includes beds of native plants found throughout the state.