Make a Difference Day
November 3, 2018
Help make a difference in the Beaver Lake watershed by removing invasive bush honeysuckle along an urban stream for a community center!
The Beaver Watershed Alliance (BWA), in partnership with the City of Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Volunteer Action Committee, National Fish and Wildlife and PackRat will engage volunteers in efforts to remove invasive species along a stream on the Yvonne Richardson Center property in Fayetteville as part of the national Make a Difference Day campaign. The event will be held on Saturday, November 3 from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. and volunteers will meet at the Yvonne Richardson Center, located at 240 E Rock St, Fayetteville, AR to receive supplies, hands on training and site assignments.
Volunteers will help remove honeysuckle using hand loppers and hand tools. Volunteers can also help make “seed balls” – a creative project to help increase native plants. This will be an outdoor activity, wear outdoor shoes (closed-toe) and comfortable clothing. Drinks and snacks will be provided to volunteers.
Spout Spring Branch, an urban waterway, stretches through the city property and has long been a favorite place for kids and families to enjoy, from Yvonne Richardson Center and the neighboring community, however, the banks are overgrown with honeysuckle, blocking users from accessing the waterway and enjoying the space in a safe way. Bush honeysuckle chokes out native plants and reduces biodiversity of streambanks, causing degradation in water quality. The invasive plants have shallow root systems, and do not help with rain runoff as well as native plants. This project aims to remove the targeted invasive species and the next phase will be to plant native vegetation for streambank and water quality improvement.
BWA is working with the City of Fayetteville and community partners to conduct on the ground restoration activities that will improve the water quality of Beaver Lake, the region's drinking water supply. The project site lies within the Town Branch watershed, a sub-watershed of the West Fork-White River watershed. Spout Spring Branch flows through the city property, and joins Town Branch, which flows into the West Fork of the White River (WFWR) and eventually reaches Beaver Lake. The WFWR is an impaired river impacted by sediment and nutrients, and has lost one-third of aquatic species on record since 1894 (Brown et al., 2003). In October 2017, the Alliance was awarded a grant to conduct education and restoration in the Town Branch watershed as part of a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Five-Star Urban Watershed grant program.
This project is also part of the national Make a Difference Day campaign, which aims to improve the lives of others through a united day of community service. Partners and sponsors for this event include the University of Arkansas Volunteer Action Center, City of Fayetteville, Pack Rat Outdoor Center, Patagonia, Cargill, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The Beaver Watershed Alliance is a non-profit organization focused on maintaining high quality drinking water in Beaver Lake and improving water quality within the Beaver Lake Watershed by working with a diverse stakeholder group representing agricultural, recreation, conservation, water utility, business, and private landowner perspectives who all work together for the benefit of Beaver Lake and its watershed. To learn more about BWA, best management practices for water quality, or how you can become involved in voluntary watershed protection go to www.beaverwatershedalliance.org or contact BWA at 479-750-8007.