Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Take a walk on the wildlife's side on April 18, 2010

Take a walk on the wildlife's side
OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology along with Town Branch Neighborhood and Friends of the World Peace Wetland Prairie invite the public to kick off the Earth Day week with a fun-filled family Earth Day Celebration from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 18, 2010, at World Peace Wetland Prairie in south Fayetteville. 
This event promises to be a terrific way to start off a week-long observance of the worldwide 40th anniversary of Earth Day, specifically designated as April 22 in 1970. 

Sing, play, get down and dirty at Mother Nature's knee. Stop and listen to the bird songs and watch the butterfly dances along the way.
Join the celebration of five years of being enriched by this special neighborhood park and public sanctuary for people and other living things in the Town Branch Watershed.

Music by Emily Kaitz, Still on the Hill and friends, seeds to spread and share, family fun and games, painting on the giant doodle pad, earth games and more will be offered.

The World Peace Wetland Prairie is a unique, neighborhood-developed and maintained, city-owned nature park at 1121 S. Duncan Avenue, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Dedicated on Earth Day 2005, WPWP is a 2.5-acre parcel, a small remnant of the rich, dark prairie soil that historically existed in abundance on the the Ozark Plateau of Northwest Arkansas, nestled in an ecosystem transition zone between the Southern Great Plains and the Eastern Deciduous Forest. 
A piece of oak savannah north of the original peace prairie has been added to the city park system and is accessible from the intersection of Duncan Avenue, Bacardi Avenue and 11th Street. On the west is a new stretch of paved city trail through Pinnacle Wet Prairie, which provides a spectacular display of native tall grass and wildflowers from May through October.  
All three wetland areas are based on a depressed area that is a critical groundwater recharge area above a bedrock fault. Protecting such places is what low-impact development is all about.
Very few of these natural wet prairies exist today. They are disappearing to make room for urban developments that bring impervious surfaces and a foreign soil base, and an associated increase in stormwater runoff and needless siltation that destroys the native life in our streams and pollutes our water supply.

The bees responsible for the pollination of our food supply are being stressed by lack of habitat. WPWP and the Pinnacle Prairie provide a wide array of native plants on which they depend.

The unique Monarch butterflies must lay their eggs on the several species of milkweed on WPWP and Pinnacle Prairie and similar areas as they stop to reproduce new generations on their heroic annual journey from Mexico to Canada and back. If the milkweed disappears, monarch caterpillars will not grow, reproduction will stop and monarchs will no longer will exist.
Practically every species of beneficial insect depends on one or a few species for survival. The monarchs are simply the most dramatic example because of the long, multi-generational migration.

The acquisition of the World Peace Wetland Prairie was made possible by a partnership of the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology, the City of Fayetteville, Audubon Arkansas, Tyson Foods, James Mathias Rentals, the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association and the Town Branch Neighborhood Association. Its values demonstrate that every neighborhood and every home's yard should have a little nature garden of its own. 

From MLK Blvd. — Turn south on Hill Avenue, west on 11th Street, and curve south on South Duncan Avenue. WPWP is about 100 feet on the right.
From 15th Street — Turn north on South Duncan Avenue and travel past 12th St.  WPWP is on the left.

All are welcome to this valuable opportunity to encounter Mother Nature's splendor and help make a difference in our shared environmental happiness, comfort and survival.

Please be aware of the presence of native, but hazardous and aptly named, poison ivy.  It's suggested to bring gloves, clippers, green thumb, lawn chair, picnic, song or poem to share, hat, sunscreen and smiles. We are hoping for no need for umbrellas!

For more info contact the Friends of World Peace Wetland Prairie at:
or email:
or by phone at 479-444-6072
News updates appear at

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