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Planning your Visit to an AGFC Nature Center

  • What Should We Wear?

    JH
    Because the nature center includes a hiking trail and outdoors exhibits, it’s best to wear comfortable walking shoes and layered clothing appropriate for outdoor activities. Sunscreen and bug repellent are especially important during spring and summer.

    Be prepared for rain. Programs are not cancelled unless there are severe weather conditions. We will not cancel your reservation because of inclement weather; please call the center if you prefer to reschedule. Alternate indoor activities can be planned in case of inclement weather.


    FLW
    We suggest that your group wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing appropriate for outdoor activities and inclement weather. If it should rain, the tour will still be offered unless there is severe or threatening weather. We will not cancel your reservation due to inclement weather. You must call the center if you prefer to visit another day should it be raining. Alternate indoor activities can be planned in advance. Please have your group dress accordingly. It is strongly suggested that you bring sunscreen and bug repellent in the spring and summer months. If, for some reason, you would prefer to keep your group indoors on the day of your visit, please contact a staff member prior to your reservation date for other programming options.

  • Can We Shop?

    JH
    All visitors are welcome to visit the gift shop. We offer a wide selection of gifts, books, and nature supplies. If you would like to allow your group time to shop, please plan for additional time beyond the scheduled programs. We can plan a shopping visit as part of your visit plan. Pre-priced and gift souvenir bags are available if you wish to skip the gift shop during your visit.

    FLW
    Yes! Our gift shop is well stocked to reinforce your educational experiences here at the nature center. We offer a wide selection of gifts, books, and nature supplies. If you would like to allow your group time to shop, please plan to spend additional time here beyond the time allowed for scheduled programming. We can also plan a shopping visit as one of the stops provided in your visit plan. A limited number of people shopping at any one time will be allowed and only those who brought money for shopping should be in the gift shop area. The remainder of your group may wait outside the building or look at the exhibits. Members of your group should be encouraged to make their selections quickly so others may have their turn. A variety of gifts at various prices are offered.

  • Can We Eat Lunch There?

    JH
    You are welcome to bring a sack lunch and enjoy the day at Wells Lake. However, picnic tables are limited. The north side of the lake is recommended for picnics and group lunches.

    FLW
    Yes. We have outdoor areas available for lunches and picnics. These areas, however, have limited space and are only available on a first come, first serve basis. A better option for many groups would be to utilize the pavilions and picnic areas at Craighead Forrest Park, that are connected to our grounds. You may reserve a pavilion by calling (870)932-6905.

  • What if it Rains?

    JH
    Reservations are not cancelled because of rain. You must contact the park if you wish to cancel and reschedule. Many alternate indoor activities can be planned for your visit.

    FLW
    We will not cancel your reservation if it is raining. It is up to you to contact the park if you prefer to cancel and reschedule due to rain. Many alternate activities can be planned inside. Groups with more than 60 people should contact the park to discuss programming options since smaller groups are easily accommodated within the nature center building itself. All groups should contact the park to discuss options prior to the day of your arrival if you would like alternate programming.

  • Accessibility for People with Disabilities

    JH
    The nature center is designed to be as accessible as possible. The Wells Lake Trail (0.7 miles long) and the Beaver Creek Trail (0.3 miles) meet all Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The trail hub for these areas is accessible from either the nature center or the parking area. Doors and hallways meet ADA standards. Please let us know if any members of your group have special physical or behavioral needs. This will enable our staff to plan the best experience.

    FLW
    The nature center is designed to be as accessible as possible. An elevator provides access to all three levels inside. The ¼ mile long Habitats Trail is universally accessible from either the main level or lower level of the building. Doors and hallways meet ADA standards. Crowley’s Ridge, a 16-minute feature film with special effects, can be shown with or without captions. Exhibits in the main hall feature touch and audio exhibits as well as much to see.

    Please let us know if your group has anyone with special physical or behavioral needs. This will enable our staff to plan the best experience for your group.

  • Discipline of Your Group

    JH
    Teachers and chaperones are responsible for maintaining discipline in the group. One adult chaperone for every 10 to 15 children is recommended. Chaperones are expected to aid in supervision of the group, and should be dispersed throughout the group. Please explain to your students that appropriate, orderly behavior is expected during their visit. Remind the students to have respect for the natural resources and courtesy toward each other. Keep in mind that other people may be visiting the nature center at the same time.

    FLW
    Teachers and adult chaperones are responsible for the discipline of your group. This allows staff to spend their energy providing quality programs and responding to questions from the group. We suggest that your group have one adult chaperone for every 10 to 15 children. Chaperones are expected to aid in supervision of the group. Therefore, please have chaperones dispersed throughout the group to prevent discipline problems. Please make chaperones aware of their discipline responsibilities. Staff may request that visitors who continually break rules or who are disrespectful to staff or other members of the group leave the program immediately. Staff may end a program or guided tour at their discretion if the problem has not been corrected.

  • Rules and Regulations

    JH
    To help protect your group and your nature center, please make sure all members of your group follow the following rules:

    • All plants, animals, minerals, artifacts and other features on the center’s grounds are protected. Please leave them for the next person to enjoy.
    • Please dispose of trash properly. Trash containers are near picnic tables and inside the building.
    • While touring the center, all members of the group should remain with the group.
    • A staff member will be your hiking guide. Groups must stay behind the staff member on the interpretive trails unless instructed otherwise.

    FLW
    To help protect your group and your nature center, please make sure every member of your group follows the rules of the center:

    • All plants, animals, minerals, artifacts and other features on the center’s grounds are protected. Please leave them for the next person to enjoy.
    • Please dispose of trash properly. Trash containers are located near picnic tables and inside the building.
    • While on tour, all members of the group should remain with the group unless they are instructed by staff or a chaperone to leave the group for some reason.
    • The group will be asked to stay behind the staff member on the interpretive trails unless instructed otherwise.
    • Fishing is not permitted on the grounds unless part of a planned instructional activity.
    • Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet and attended to at all times. Pets are not allowed in the building. Controlled, leashed pets may be taken on guided hikes, but understand that this may reduce the chance of seeing wild animals.

  • Student Preparation

    Research shows students retain more information from field trips if they have some knowledge about what they will see, hear and experience prior to their visit. Please share information with your students before their visit to the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center. A trip to the nature center is an excellent way to reward students for completing a lesson plan about natural resources or biology.

  • What Will We Do There?

    When you arrive please have your group wait outside or on the bus while you check in. We will meet you with the day’s itinerary. Please inform us how many children and adults are with you. Also at that time, staff will give you instructions on how to divide your group and the order of your programming. If your group arrives late, your programs may have to be shortened.

  • Onsite Visit

    Your onsite visit can include the following, as listed below, provided you have the time. Classes should be broken up into groups of approximately 25.

    • Animal Programs
    • Trail Tour

    Program Menu
    This is designed to inform educators and group leaders about the variety of programs offered from the nature center. We are located in Pine Bluff’s Regional Park and have 130 acres situated between the river and bayou for your exploration and enjoyment. All programs are available here at the nature center and some are available to bring to your location. If you have a program in mind that you don’t see here please contact us about putting something together for you, with advance notice our staff can put together a fun and educational experience that goes along with your classroom goals. We look forward to seeing you; please see the information at the end about scheduling your programs.

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