Posted on 06 Sep 2012
A special edition of "Exploring Arkansas" will air Monday, Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. to feature and celebrate the Buffalo National River's 40th anniversary of its dedication as America's first National River. Segments featured include a float trip along the middle river, exploration of the unique rock formation found in areas known as the Narrows or "Nars" and Skull Bluff, and a trek along Goat Trail, near the 500 ft. Big Bluff.
I am not an Arkansas native, but upon my arrival my education of the Natural State (emphasis on the Natural) was apparently high on my need to know' list. And one of the first lovelies I heard about was this thing called the Buffalo River. I had no idea the very cool history behind it or the size of this thing or the fight for it or that it was America's first national anything… I just loved the fact that it was an absolute brilliant, beautiful, sacred, peaceful giant in my backyard that my kids ADORE. And that I adore. It has become, in our few years here, a destination for every season, particularly the spring and summer. I can't count the number of peanut butter and honey sandwiches I have eaten there (carrying out my trash mind you leave no trace!) and all the vitamin D my kids produced from swimming in its clear waters… and collecting rocks to skip (and determine what states they look like)… and "Mommy remember that black snake we saw!" and their raw introduction to and appreciative awe of something absolutely organic and natural and unspoiled. The silence and sounds of nature is deafening and therapeudic literally melting stress and inner junk away. The gift that the river has given my family is immeasurable. It has given my kids and me MEMORIES. That is not a small thing. I taught my son how to skip rocks here. Etched. In. My. Brain.
So, I now do my duty (as was done to me, the AR newbie) to pass on thishistory nugget about the treasure in our Natural State: The Buffalo National River was established by an act of Congress and signed by President Nixon on March 1, 1972 to conserve the area's unique scenic and scientific features, and to preserve a free-flowing stream for future generations. In addition to the 135-mile river, surrounding parklands include more than 95,000 acres in addition to three separate designated wilderness areas encompassing a total of 36,000 acres.
The Buffalo River National Park and Arkansas Parks and Tourism encourages all park visitors to be good stewards by conserving our state's national treasure while they experience the Buffalo's many offerings many think mainly about enjoying the water with a float trip or a swim, but elk watching, birding and photography, trail hiking, horseback riding and camping are all great ways to enjoy our national treasure that sits waiting in our backyard.
Love it, visit it, share it… take care of it.
"Exploring Arkansas" Buffalo National River special edition airs Monday, Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. This episode will repeat Sunday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, at 8:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 8, at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 14, at 5 p.m.