Discovering Nature in Downtown Little Rock
The Central Arkansas Nature Center is a treasure-trove of nature found in Arkansas. It’s a sensory delight for both the eyes and the ears: from a wall of watery living habitat displays to the common sounds of the area, including elk bugling, turkeys gobbling, and squirrels barking, accompanied by calls of whip-poor-wills and wood thrushes are heard.
A large fishing lures collection plus standing displays highlighting “Settling the Wilderness 1803-1819,” “Becoming the Bear State 1820-1836,” and “End of the Frontier 1837-1809” are other exhibits. The story of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s three major divisions — law enforcement, wildlife management and fisheries — are on the reverse side.
A watchable wildlife area allows visitors views of the Arkansas River and the possibility of seeing some of 90 documented species of birds found on the Arkansas River Trail between the center and the Clinton Presidential Library. There is also a 10-foot-by-12-foot interactive Arkansas map station highlighting the state’s six natural regions, along with three-dimensional pieces of art, photos and art panels.
If the weather is agreeable, there are extra attractions outside the center. In addition to the Arkansas River Trail, the Clinton Presidential Park Wetlands are nearby. Thirteen acres are explorable by pedestrian walkways, an elevated walkway and two bridges offering views of the Arkansas River, the channel streams and habitats.