Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center
aka: Delta Rivers Nature Center
The Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) is Arkansas’s first nature center. Located in Regional Park, it opened on July 28, 2001. It is run by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Education Division.
The construction of the center, originally known as the Delta Rivers Nature Center, was funded by a conservation sales tax passed in 1996. The center consists of a 13,000-square-foot main building with exhibits highlighting Delta wildlife and history; it also includes a large meeting facility, a working laboratory, and a nature store. Located outside the main building are two aquariums totaling 22,000 gallons in volume. They display fish and other aquatic species native to the region in a natural setting. The center exhibits many other live native species both inside and outside the main building. Plants native to the region such as Toothache Trees (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), and various prairie grasses are also highlighted.
The center sits on 130 acres next to Lake Langhoffer, a spur of the Arkansas River, which provides an ideal setting to teach visitors about the dynamic ecosystem relating to river bottom environments. The area is covered by many trails open to the public for hiking and wildlife observation. Compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, main trails are asphalt and elevated boardwalks with little to no slope. Primitive trails lead to more remote areas for those who want to avoid the main visitor traffic. These primitive trails are subject to flooding due to the proximity to the river and its variable elevation. The center underwent a ten-week, $300,000 cosmetic and structural renovation in 2011.
The center is open year-round to the public. Its main goal is to educate residents and visitors about the outdoor opportunities available to them in the Delta region and to inform them about the Delta’s natural history, hunting and fishing possibilities, and other outdoor recreational activities.
For additional information:
Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center. http://www.deltarivers.com/ (accessed September 16, 2015).
Delta Rivers Nature Center
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