Repainting the Marker Stones

Admiring the beautiful work of these Master Naturalists!

Many of the tree ID stones at South Fork Nature Center had weathered to the extent that they were unreadable. This team from FAMN (Foothills of AR Master Naturalists) collected & cleaned them & repainted the information before replacing them on the South Fork trails.

Look for these marvelous markers on your next hike along our trails!

We’re Open for Hiking!

We’re happy to announce that our hiking trails are once again OPEN to the public!

As of May 1, 2022, visitors can now hike and explore our nature trails on Greers Ferry Lake. Please remember to take only photos, and leave nothing but footprints. Pets are allowed on a leash.

Please contact us to request access for group activities.

Happy Trails!

“Tune Up Your Ears”

The Earth’s rich mosaic of life has a complex and gorgeous voice.”

Hank Lentfer


It’s evening now, and this time of year the melodious up and down buzz of locusts fills the air in my neighborhood…must be a hundred of those large, nearly 2 inch long, fat, green insects rubbing their legs as if they are bows on fiddles…the orchestral piece is stunning! Can you hear it in the trees outside…the buzz up and down the musical scale, on and on?

The purr of the hummingbird wings (90 beats or more per second) as the tiny feathered friend with its throat decked out in ruby red scarf…then in zips an angry hummer intruder, fast, with its shirring, purring hum as it darts after the one feeding on the red sugar water that hangs on my porch. Now both hummers have quickly darted off, only to have one of them return shortly. Can you hear those beating wings with an occasional “chip, chip” of its tiny voice?

Then out back from the deep woods comes the raucous call of the pileated woodpecker…I can see it in the tree as it flies near me, its large red crest standing as if it is all butched…its raucous call breaks the silence of the morning as the sun rises and the day slowly reached full speed.

Or maybe you are sitting at the base of a large oak soaking up all the nature around you in the cool of the day. Hear the wind in the trees…the pines over there almost seem to whistle so softly in the breeze…leaves of the red maple twitch and turn a bit.

Not uncommonly this time of year a silent moment reveals the pelting of tiny bits of insect droppings from vast armies of walking sticks, caterpillars, or some other ravenous insects as they defoliate the trees…droppings resounding on the brown leaves of the forest floor like so much sleet in the winter woods.

Many are the sounds, some so quiet and soft, almost unnoticed (not the crashing, thunderous storm)… quiet moments, sweet songs, a scampering here and there, the snort of a doe warning her fawn…check out the biodiversity as Hank Lentfer so ably puts it, “The Earth’s rich mosaic of life has a complex and gorgeous voice.”

Dr. Don Culwell, Programs Director
Gates Rogers Foundation

South Fork Closed Temporarily

Due to the continued precautions surrounding COVID-19 and the importance of social distancing in public spaces, our board has decided to keep the South Fork trails closed until further notice. Please watch our website and social media for updates on re-opening, and other exciting news. As summer approaches, we hope that you will keep safety in mind and enjoy outdoor spaces responsibly.

Remember, you can continue your support of South Fork and the Gates Rogers Foundation from home! Leave reviews online or donate to our conservation efforts with a tax-deductible contribution!

On behalf of the Gates Rogers Foundation board, thank you & be well!

Board Member: Bob Verboon

We are honored to welcome the talented Bob Verboon to our Gates Rogers Foundation board! Mr. Verboon has contributed to our educational outreach for years as a docent educator.

Taxidermist Bob Verboon with an extensive collection of animal skulls
for students to learn to identify.
  • Member of Arkansas Master Naturalists since 2013
  • President – Foothills Chapter Master Naturalists
  • Avid Fly Fisher
  • Amateur Taxidermist

Graduated with B.S. 1968 Fresno State University. Major: Animal Science; Minor: Biological Sciences

M.A. 1976 San Jose State University-Vocational Education

Graduate work at U of A and Oklahoma State University

45 years in Vocational Education; California as a Vocational Agriculture teacher; State Departments of Vocational Education in Arkansas and Oklahoma State Department of Career and Technical Education.

Retired in 2000 and worked several educational positions, including Executive Director of the Arkansas Association of Technical Educators, teaching at an Alternative School and driving a school bus until finally retiring in 2015.


Spring Family Scavenger Hunt

Bring the family and hike our trails. Print a copy of our Scavenger Hunt list here, or shoot a picture of it on your phone when you reach the kiosk, and head out for a fun day of Social Distancing Outdoors!

Remember to pack out any trash you bring in and don’t remove items from our trails. Just check them off the list!

Parking available across from the Gate. Hike into our nature center using the trail head located to the right of the gate. Bring a water bottle and wear comfortable shoes.

(Click the image for Printable PDF)

Visiting South Fork for the first time?

We’re a short drive off Hwy 65, on Greers Ferry Lake. Click here for easy directions!