Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Arkansas State Parks - November 2008

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From: "Arkansas State Parks" <info@arkansasstateparks.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 15:00:54 -0500
To: Mayor James F. Valley<mayorjfvalley@gmail.com>
Subject: Arkansas State Parks - November 2008

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The State Parks of Arkansas - The Natural State: E-Newsletter

Book Online Gift Certificates Calendar of Events Park Finder
Most of the leaves have fallen and now we are all in the sprint for the holiday season. Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle of this wonderful time of year we forget to take some time off for a quiet getaway. Well the State Parks of Arkansas are here to help! What a wonderful time to get out on a cool day and walk down a trail with nothing but the sound of leaves crunching under your feet to accompany you. Maybe an overnight camping trip to listen to the campfire crackling on a cold star filled night. We all need to get away sometimes. Of course there are times that we have to take the chaos with us. Family Time! Get out of the house and into a park. Be entertained and educated by a State Park Interpreter, how many different kinds of leaves can the kids find on a hike down a trail, do you know what kind of trees they came from? Here are some other ideas for the coming weeks.

Eagle Tours

Yes, now that the leaves are out of the way we can start looking for our winter guests, Eagles! Arkansas State Parks offer excellent opportunities to see these majestic birds as they winter over in the Natural State.  Lake Ouachita State Park and DeGray Lake Resort State Park have Eagle Tour boat cruises starting this month and going through the winter. The park staff knows where the nests are and you have a very good chance of see our national symbol in flight or on the hunt.  The tours do have limited capacity so sign up early. Keep watching the Calendar of events for the next couple of months for more Eagle events. We’ll keep you posted on some big ones as they get closer.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Tired of trying to cook for everyone every year? Would you like to get everyone out of the house for a change? How about a place to walk off that big dinner? We have several park restaurants open for Thanksgiving dinner. Many of them have buffets so your finicky eaters will be happy too. And talk about a setting for giving thanks try these on for size.

  • The Skycrest Restaurant in the Lodge at Mount Magazine State Park. With a view of the Petit Jean River Valley from the highest restaurant in the state!
  • The Shoreline Restaurant at DeGray Lake Resort State Park. Look out over beautiful Lake DeGray, Watch the wildlife on the water and watch close, you might see an eagle.
  • The Queen’s Restaurant at Queen Wilhelmina State Park.  With a view that goes on forever of the Ouachita Mountains plus the drive up is one of the most scenic drives in the state.
  • Mather Lodge Restaurant at Petit Jean State Park. Looking out over the Cedar Creek Valley from one of the most historic buildings in the park system. This is where we started.
  • The Skillet Restaurant at Ozark Folk Center State Park.  If you’re dieting you might want to skip this one but then who’s dieting on Thanksgiving. Down home cooking with an Ozark twist.

After dinner, a walk in the woods, a beautiful sunset and no dishes to clean up. Contact the parks for more information. We look forward to sharing dinner with your family.

Meet a Park Employee

We thought it would be fun to introduce you to some of the people you meet in our parks. Some work directly with our guests and some work in the background helping things go smoothly. So here goes our first introduction.

Jay Schneider – Park Interpreter, Lake Fort Smith State Park

We would like to introduce Jay with Congratulations! Jay recently was named Outstanding Arkansas PLT (Project Learning Tree) Educator of the Year! This is what they had to say about him in their news release. 

"Jay sees an average of 5,000 students a year at Lake Fort Smith State Park and by going to area schools.  He also conducts family programs for all ages serving over 10,000 people per year," said Rob Beadel, education director for the AFA Education Foundation. "Jay is a hands-on educator and strives to give that experience to every person he encounters." He has conducted PLT activities and workshops for 11 years in Nebraska, Kansas and Arkansas.

Yes, and he is our guy. Jay is an avid backpacker and outdoors person who lives in the park with his wife and son. You can see him in action in the Arkansas State Parks 75th Anniversary Video where he is featured working with a school group that was visiting Devil's Den State Park.

If you see Jay in a park, on a trail or in a classroom, congratulate him on this wonderful achievement.

Next Month:

Look for Holiday activities and shopping ideas that will continue to take the stress out of the season. Also learn about our hands on approach to history. See you next month!



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  Division of State Parks, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201, 1-888-AT-Parks (V/TT)

Visit these other Arkansas Parks & Tourism Websites:
Arkansas.com | HistoricWashingtonStatePark.com | DeGray.com
PetitJeanStatePark.com | OzarkFolkCenter.com | QueenWilhelmina.com
CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com | MountMagazineStatePark.com
Adventure State Parks | History & Heritage State Parks
Mountain State Parks

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