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  April 17, 2015  
Best PracticesBrowsePrograms-EventsAquatic Conservation Experience Camp   



Aquatic Conservation Experience Camp

Lake Dardanelle is an urban/rural park on the shore of the largest lake on the Arkansas River Navigation System. Nearby, National Wild and Scenic Rivers flow from the Ozark Plateau into the lake. Water resources here are diverse and important. This summer camp engages participants in water resource experience and science from many perspectives.

Aquatic Conservation Experience Camp is three, fun-filled days and one night of nonstop adventure within the aquatic environment at Lake Dardanelle State Park. Throughout the three days participants will develop an understanding and appreciation for the unique aquatic environment at Lake Dardanelle through outdoor adventures and activities.

Friday evening we introduce ACE campers to the inner workings of the park aquariums with behind-the-scenes tours. We also get acquainted through games, activities, and dinner around a campfire.

Saturday we take to the water in kayaks to assist with shoreline cleanup during the annual National Public Lands Day Celebration and Great Arkansas Community Cleanup. After lunch participants learn about tournament fishing as they assist with an actual tournament weigh-in and the park's award-winning, one-of-a-kind, fish-saving catch and release tanks and program. Then it is off for an afternoon exploration of habitat, camouflage, predator/prey and we'll catch some fish of our own. After cooking up our catch we retire into the visitor center to "sleep with the fish."

Camp wraps up on Sunday with a Dutch oven breakfast, a unique aquatic obstacle course, and our grand finale slide show and awards ceremony.

This camp is unlike any camp offered at Lake Dardanelle State Park. Cost is $50 per camper and includes all meals, activities and an ACE T-shirt. The camp is open to ages 10-13.

Participants interact with the water resources here as they never have before, and they see water resources from the sides of both management and users.

Science, management, and resource concepts are skillfully woven into the activities by our park interpreters. We teach the value of wetlands by demonstrating how wetlands filter the water and thus protect larger bodies of water. Participants learn about hiking, cooking over a fire with a Dutch oven, kayaking, fishing, and birding. We use our state-of-the-art Tournament Weigh-In Pavilion and catch and release boat and tanks to demonstrate our very successful bass conservation efforts.


Sasha Bowles, Park Interpreter 479-967-5516

Arkansas State Parks
Lake Dardanelle State Park
100 State Park Drive
Russellville, AR 72802

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