Don Culwell will give a public talk at the Van Buren County Library on Saturday, April 28, 9 AM, showcasing the Herbarium, the collection and its use. Representative specimens housed in the cabinet will be on display. Immediately following the presentation, we’ll leave the library and meet at SFNC at the 100 year old Riddle Cabin on the grounds for coffee and refreshments prior to the spring nature walk along the trails. Dr. Culwell will lead a public walk at South Fork Nature Center where many spring flowers and newly leafed-out plants of the spring flora will be seen along the trails through the woods and glades.

What’s in the Herbarium Cabinet at the Van Buren County Library?

It is a collection of dried, pressed plants, each labeled with data including its name, habitat, collector, and date. These 837 plants represent all the vascular plants found growing at South Fork Nature Center that were collected during 2005. The scientific study was undertaken by professional botanists Theo Witsell and Brent Baker at the direction SFNC and the Gates Rogers Foundation. The botanists visited the site every two weeks of the growing season that year. They collected and recorded a representative specimen of each species they encountered.This created a scientific documentation of all plant populations in the ecosystems of the approximate 120 acre peninsula known as SFNC. These findings of Witsell and Baker were presented before a meeting of the Arkansas Academy of Science (Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science, Vol. 60, 2006); they included a summary of the floristic diversity and descriptions of the plant communities in the study area. At the time of this study, Witselland Baker’s findings were the most extensive for any piece of land its size found in the state.

Browse our website for more about our educational programs, facilities, and click the map for directions to the nature center!