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Natural News

Foothills Arkansas Master Naturalists Build Bridges

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Tuesday, November 17, 2020
by Leslie Patrick

The Foothills Arkansas Master Naturalists (FAMN), one of ANHC’s Adopt a Natural Area Program (ANAP) partners, recently built and installed two new footbridges along the trail at Cove Creek Natural Area (NA). The previous bridges, almost a decade old, were in disrepair and had become unsafe, so the FAMN chapter stepped up to replace them.

The old bridges were constructed of cedars cut from the natural area and lumber salvaged from old natural area entrance signs. The new bridges were pre-constructed off-site by FAMN member Michael Gambill, who donated the labor after ANHC purchased the materials. During a workday on October 24, FAMN members and other community volunteers spent about six hours hauling materials by hand down the primitive trail, removing the old bridges, and installing the new ones. The sturdy and attractive new bridges should last for years to come.

Located in the Arkansas Valley, Cove Creek is comprised of sandstone cedar glades, and upland and bottomland hardwood forests along about a mile of the course of Cove Creek near its confluence with Cadron Creek. The easy-to-moderate, 1.5-mile loop trail provides access to some of the area’s most interesting features, including views of Cadron Creek and surrounding bluffs. For descriptions, directions, photos, and maps of the natural area, visit

The ANAP encourages individuals and groups to sign up to adopt a local natural area as stewards, assisting ANHC staff with trail maintenance, invasive species removal, native seed collection events, research projects, and more. If you or a group you belong to would like to volunteer or adopt an area, contact ANHC Land Management Specialist Ryan Spotts, .


Top — Members of the Foothills Arkansas Master Naturalists, an ANHC ANAP partner, and ANHC staff installed two new footbridges at Cove Creek NA. Photo by Ryan Spotts.

Middle — One of the old footbridges (left) that was replaced by a newly constructed footbridge (right) at Cove Creek NA. Members of the Foothills Arkansas Master Naturalists, an ANHC ANAP partner, recently installed the newly constructed footbridges at the natural area. Photos by Leslie Patrick.

Bottom right — The inscription on one of the newly installed footbridges at Cove Creek NA. The footbridges were built off-site by Michael Gambill, a member of the Foothills Arkansas Master Naturalists, an ANHC ANAP partner. Photo by Leslie Patrick.

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