The South Arkansas Arboretum in El Dorado is an Arkansas State Park run by South Arkansas Community College. It's a Timberlands oasis in a growing city once known as Boomtown. Here's a walk through the park I'd like to share.
|It was an absolutely perfect day to visit... with a temperature of 74 degrees and|
almost cloudless skies.
|The Arboretum was originally opened in 1965. The 12 acre park, located|
around part of the old El Dorado High School campus, was the 50th Arkansas
State Park, and it's the only one within a city.
|These artworks are part of the ARTboretum Arts in Education program with|
students at Washington Middle School. There's also a display at the SouthArkansas Arts Center.
|We found camillias blooming in a couple of different places in the Active Use|
section of the park. This is the section close to the main entrance where the
gazebo and restrooms are located.
|You have to stop and smell the flowers.|
|We also saw clusters of berries. There were a few daffodils as well.|
|Throughout the park, small interpretive signs indicate the sort of tree you're|
looking at, along with its characteristics.
|The Timberlands are covered with smallbark and Loblolly pine trees, and they are|
well represented here. Pines tend to grow tall rather than wide, and that allows
for some pretty impressive views.
|There's a small pooling brook that separates the Active Use area from the|
Transitional Area of the park. Here, you'll find paths on either side with benches
|Hunter was really excited to cross this bridge, until she saw the snake|
habitat sign on it. That was about the point where I spotted an actual snake.
|This Broad-Banded Watersnake was maybe half a foot long, but it was enough|
to unnerve Hunter.
|The sign clearly told us this was a non-venemous snake, which was good.|
We also saw frog eggs in this little pool.
|In the transitional areas, trees and shrubs are encouraged|
to grow more freely, while paths are still nicely maintained.
|This map is located at the edge of the Natural Area, where the plants are allowed|
to grow freely. This area is particularly popular with walkers and joggers, who enjoy
the natural setting while exercising.
|This particular shortleaf pine twists a bit on its way|
reaching up towards the sky.
|Pink camellias in bloom in the Active Use Area.|
|There's a small butterfly garden at the entrance to the park. That's |
where we found this lilac in bloom.
|Hunter loved the fountain by the gazebo.|