The Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville offers an exciting schedule of events for January 2015…
Tuesdays & Saturdays at 1:30p.m. – What’s for Lunch? –The Lake Dardanelle State Park has 8,000 gallons of aquariums, filled with many of the fish species found in Lake Dardanelle. Join park staff in the visitor center as they feed the fish live food. See for yourself, what’s for lunch?
Saturdays at 1:45p.m. – Critter Crunch – Lake Dardanelle’s diverse habitats provide homes for many creatures large and small. Join a park interpreter in the kid’s corner of the visitor center as she tells you about some of the smaller creatures. She will also be feeding these creatures; so come discover the small native wonders we have around us.
Eagle Tours – Lake Dardanelle State Park is proud to offer free winter lake cruises for the best chance of seeing our national symbol, the American Bald Eagle. Many other spectacular birds will be in the area for viewing including American White Pelicans, ducks, and Snow Geese. Please dress warmly as temperatures and winds are more severe on the lake. In an effort to accommodate as many people as possible for our tours, the park will be taking reservations this year. You will need to call the visitor center at 479-967-5516 to reserve your seat. Boarding will begin 15 minutes before the tour at the boat dock near the Tournament Weigh-In Facility. Also, in case of inclement weather, call 1 hour before tour time for possible cancellations.
Thursday, January 1st
10a.m. – First Day Hike– The Lake Dardanelle State Park is joining forces with hikers across the nation to celebrate 2015 with a “First Day Hike”! Let’s start the New Year off with a healthy lifestyle for the whole family. You can explore nature and engage in physical activity while taking a family friendly excursion through Lake Dardanelle State Park. Please dress for the weather and bring water with you. Our trek will be just short of a mile. Join us at the Meadowbrook Trailhead, as we take an invigorating hike while enjoying nature with family and friends.
3p.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
Friday, January 2nd
10a.m. – Fashion a Fish – Learn about the wide variety of shapes and sizes of fish the live in Lake Dardanelle, due to its health and diversity. After you discover the reasons for their shapes you can create a fish of your own, in the Lakeview Room of the visitor center.
2p.m. – Wearable Water Cycle – As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle it continually shapes the land and creates opportunities for people like you. Discover the many stops a drop of water makes on its journey through the water cycle. The possibilities are endless. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and dive into this incredible journey.
3:30p.m. – Call of the Wild – Some animal calls are very familiar while others are rather vague and when they’re all mixed together, it can be difficult to pick them out. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to learn the difference between many of the animal calls you hear in Arkansas.
Saturday, January 3rd
10a.m. – Nosey Nelly – Learning no to use our eyes and rely on our other senses is difficult for some. It can be a very rewarding experience if we give it a chance. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and discover some new ways to explore nature.
11a.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
1p.m. – Black Bears – Today Arkansas has a healthy bear population, that wasn’t always the case. Bears have had some trying times throughout their history. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and learn some of the things that make these large mammals so unique.
3p.m.– Winter Wildlife Hike– Deer, rabbits, squirrels and various winter birds are just a few of the animals that live at Lake Dardanelle State Park. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater for an easy walk and discover the signs left behind from winter wildlife at Lake Dardanelle.
Sunday, January 4th
10a.m. – Animals Play Too! – Animal children like to play. Their games teach them how to take care of themselves in the tough world they live in. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to discover some of these playful animals and how you can get a better glimpse of animal playtime.
1p.m. – Nature’s FBI – Our forest is full of wonderful wildlife that help us every day in our environment Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater as we take a stroll down the trail to look for some of our critters that help clean our forest.
3p.m. – Little Armored One – Diverse habitats, such as the Lake Dardanelle area, have many different kinds of animals. Some are cute and cuddly looking, while others are simply odd. One of these truly unique looking creatures is the armadillo. Meet a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center to learn about why they look like they do.
Tuesday, January 6th
11a.m. – The Trail Where They Cried –We will learn about the Trail of Tears and explore the role of Lake Dardanelle State Park and its surrounding area in this dark era of American history, the Trail of Tears. Native Americans, removed from their homes, made decisions here that changed their lives. Join a park interpreter in the Orientation room in the visitor center to learn some of the history that happened in this place.
Wednesday, January 7th
10a.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
Thursday, January 8th
3p.m. – Marsh Mystery – As the Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle, it continually shapes the land and creates opportunities for people like you. We have to be careful when enjoying these opportunities that we don’t affect others. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and help her solve a marsh mystery. Discover how you can help protect our natural areas.
Friday, January 9th
2p.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
Saturday, January 10th
10a.m. – Morning Bird Walk – Join a park interpreter at the visitor center to take a walk through the area in search of our visiting birds. Even if you’ve never birded before, you can enjoy these creatures in a whole new way!
1p.m. – Arkansas Animals – Arkansas has wonderful wildlife for you to discover, whether you are in the forest or out on the water, you will be amazed at the animals you can see. Join a park volunteer at the amphitheater and discover a few of the critters you can see.
3p.m. – Game Scene Investigation: G.S.I. – When you walk around in nature and you see a track, do you take the track at face value as just a foot print, or do you look around to see what the big picture holds? Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and see what you can determine about the game scene in the area.
Sunday, January 11th
1:30p.m. – Wildlife Bingo –You can explore nature at this park because Lake Dardanelle’s diverse habitats sustain many living creatures. Join a park volunteer in the Lakeview Room of the visitor center and discover some of the creatures that call this area home.
3p.m. – What’s in the Woods? – Often we walk through the woods hoping to see something big in the forest, but we miss the amazing life found beneath our feet. Join a park volunteer at the amphitheater as we discover some of the unique wonders you can find here in the forest at Lake Dardanelle State Park.
Tuesday, January 13th
10a.m. – Eagle Measure Up– The winter months give us the opportunity to see more eagles than normal, as we get migrating eagles in from the north. These amazing birds are incredible not only for their beauty and speed but for their size as well. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and discover how you measure up to an eagle.
Wednesday, January 14th
1p.m. – Bird Beak Buffet – You can learn a lot about a bird by just looking at their beaks. Meet a park interpreter in the visitor center Orientation Room to see the different ways birds use their beaks to eat.
Thursday, January 15th
2p.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
Friday, January 16th
9a.m. – Dawn’s Chorus –Lake Dardanelle’s diverse habitats sustain many living creatures; a large number of these are birds. Have you ever heard a bird call and wondered what bird it is? Join a park interpreter at the visitor center to learn some tricks for identifying those bird calls.
1p.m. – Fire for housekeeping –Exploring nature is one of the best ways to discover how everything is connected. There are many human and nature induced causes of change in any given area. Fire is just one of these; it usually gets a bad rap. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and learn how fire can be beneficial to an area. How this tool is used to improve your visits to our park.
Saturday, January 17th
11a.m. – Home is Where the Forest is – Lake Dardanelle has diverse habitat to support many creatures. Have you ever thought of how your decisions affect these creatures? How can you help animals? Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and discover some of our local birds and how we can help them.
12p.m. – Corn Husk Figures – Exploration, opportunity, and progress forged the culture that you find here today. Join a park interpreter in the Lakeview room of the visitor center to learn about an early toy that was made by the early children and make one of your own.
3p.m. – Fish Prints – Lake Dardanelle’s fishery is healthy and diverse. We’ll be using the fishery as inspiration to make some beautiful creations. Meet a park interpreter in the Lakeview room of the visitor center to create some fishy art.
4p.m. – Spider Hider –What has eight legs and eats bugs? Discover some of the fascinating things spiders do. How they make their homes, find food, and even which ones are dangerous to us. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and learn about these amazing creatures.
Sunday, January 18th
9a.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
2p.m. – Plant Defenses – When you think of plants, smart and fierce, are not usually words you think of. Plants have evolved over the years to be very good at defense. They have many tactics they use to defend themselves. We will explore those defense mechanisms and learn how amazing plants are. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and discover a whole new side of plants.
3p.m. – Un-Nature Hike – The diverse habitats at Lake Dardanelle provide opportunities to explore nature. However, sometimes you find things in nature that simply aren’t natural. Meet a park interpreter at the visitor center to take a walk down the Meadowbrook Trail to see just how many un-natural things you can find.
4p.m. – Wetland Metaphors – Wetlands are a vital part of the ecosystem. They are beneficial to wildlife and humans alike. Join a park interpreter in the grassy area across from the visitor center and discover what these benefits are.
Tuesday, January 20th
11a.m.–Hidden Creatures–We humans wear camouflage on a daily basis to blend in while hunting, and sometimes just for style. But, animals have to use camouflage to survive in the wild. Meet a park interpreter in the visitor center Orientation Room to see some pictures of these animals doing what they do best, blending in with nature, and see if you can spot all the hidden creatures in the pictures!
Wednesday, January 21st
1p.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
Thursday, January 22nd
12p.m. – The Great Migration Challenge – Each year, over 350 bird species travel hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to find the food they need to survive. Lake Dardanelle State Park makes a perfect place for them to find this food and rest due to its diverse habitats. Can you take on that challenge? Meet a park interpreter in the Weigh-In Pavilion to try your luck!
Friday, January 23rd
1p.m. – Sing me a Story – Have you ever wondered how a Cardinal can find another Cardinal in the forest with a lot of other birds calling out? Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater as we discover how birds communicate to each other in our forest and why some birds do silly little dances on the forest floor and in the trees. We will then take a nice stroll along the trail to watch our flying friends.
Saturday, January 24th
10a.m. – “Little Brother” – Have you ever thought about how people survived before there were stores to buy what they needed? Come to the visitor center Orientation Room to learn about how the Cherokee used parts of a deer to get what they needed to survive.
12p.m. – What’s your cover? – Sometimes it’s hard to see why some animals are feathered, while others are furry. Why some are scaled, while others are skinned. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater to learn about some of the body coverings you and I see when living in Arkansas. Get ready to touch and feel to learn!
3p.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
4p.m. – The Lorax – One of the greatest children’s book authors of all time, Dr. Seuss, wrote this thought provoking book, “The Lorax” over forty years ago. With quotes like, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” this book has spurred many people into action. Meet a park interpreter in the visitor center Orientation room to hear the book and become a part of The Lorax Project.
Sunday, January 25th
11a.m. – Ship Shape – All things in nature are made of certain basic shapes. Join a park interpreter at the amphitheater and hike around the park and discover just how many shapes are out there.
1:30p.m. – Testing the Waters – The Arkansas River journeys through Lake Dardanelle’s diverse fishery. What lives in the Lake is determined by its health. Join a park interpreter at the front desk and then venture to the basement and help as we test the waters of Lake Dardanelle to determine how healthy our lake is and what type of diversity we can find in the fishery.
3:30p.m. – Beautiful Birds –With winter here we have a lot of visitors, looking for a warmer climate. We will explore what makes some of these fascinating feathered friends so interesting. We will make our very own beautiful birds for you to take home. Join a park interpreter on the visitor center back porch to discover what beautiful birds we have.
Tuesday, January 27th
10a.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
Wednesday, January 28th
12p.m. – Grab Bag Adventures– The diverse habitats around Lake Dardanelle create many opportunities for discovery and exploration. Meet a park interpreter in the visitor center Orientation Room to find out what is in her magic bag! We’ll play a little game to let you touch and feel your way around. Hints will be given, but you’ll be testing your sense of wildlife!
Thursday, January 29th
11a.m. – Focus on Fish – Why does Lake Dardanelle have such a healthy bass population? The health of this fishery is partially, due to the good conservation practices of the staff at Lake Dardanelle State Park. Join a park interpreter visitor center Lakeview Room, she will talk about fish and how we can better care for them by learning about and understanding their habits.
Friday, January 30th
10a.m. – History in a bag – Exploration, opportunity, and progress forged the culture you find here today. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater to play a game that will take you on a journey through the history of Arkansas.
1p.m. – Noticing Nature Scavenger Hunt – There is great diversity in habitat and animals at Lake Dardanelle, making it easy to explore and enjoy nature here. We will see how many of the nature items on our list you can find. There will be some interesting things on her list, so bring your thinking cap, be ready to get creative with your answers, and let’s go nature hunting. We will meet at the front desk of the visitor center.
Saturday, January 31st
10a.m. – Pioneer Play –You will discover what pioneer kids did to pass the time while the exploration and progress of their parents forged the culture you find here today. We will meet in the grassy area across from the visitor center.
11:30a.m. – Arkansas Razorbacks – Known for being ruthless and dangerous when backed into a corner, it is no wonder that the razorback hog was chosen to be Arkansas’ sports mascot. Meet a park interpreter in the grassy area in front of the visitor center to learn about their unique role in the history of Arkansas as well as where they fit in today.
2p.m. – Eagle Tour – See above Description
3p.m. – Creature Features – The animals that call Arkansas home have many amazing adaptations to help them survive. Meet a park interpreter at the amphitheater for a chance to dress up like a few of our local animals and see what it is like to be our forest friends.
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Borrow a Park Adventure & Creativity Kit – (P.A.C.K.) you get all the tools you need for adventure and creativity neatly packaged in a backpack along with an adventure guide full of ideas on what to do with all the items. The park’s P.A.C.K.’s can be checked out at the visitor center for a $ 10 fee. You keep the pack for 24 hours and get to keep many of the items for future adventures.
Remember that all our programs count toward earning your State Park Explorer Certificate. If you would like more information on this program ask one of the park’s Interpreters.