Springtime News from Petit Jean State Park
Visitors to Petit Jean State Park are invited to check out the offerings at Mather Lodge Restaurant. During the warmer months, the restaurant is open from 7:00 am till 8:00 pm, seven days per week. Breakfast and lunch buffets and other specials are offered on selected dates – and there’s always a scenic view of Cedar Creek Canyon just outside the big windows!
For more information, you may call Mather Lodge at (501) 727-5431. To make a lodge or cabin reservation, you may call toll free at 1-800-264-2462. For more information about Petit Jean State Park, you may call the park at (501) 727-5441 or contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit the park’s website at http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com.
To inquire about renting a yurt, or for more information about Petit Jean State Park, please contact the park by phone at (501) 727-5441 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Or visit our website at http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com.
This split-log design bridge was made from cement and sculpted by Mexican-born artisan Dionicio Rodríguez. Rodríguez created many sculptures that imitated the natural forms and textures of trees and rocks. He worked in eight different US states over a period of about twenty years. Most of his sculptures were created for landscape settings such as parks, gardens, and cemeteries. He practiced a technique called faux bois (imitation wood) and trabajo rústico (rustic work) in which he used rods, mesh screen wire, and rubble as underpinnings and then applied the surface coat of smooth concrete, or pure Portland cement. To design the varied textures to look like natural wood or rock, he used his hands, forks, spoons, or handmade tools. He also used secret coloring agents to form natural color on his cement sculptures. This secret mixture was often mixed inside a tent or in the trunk of his car, and he was so secretive that he would slam the trunk lid if anyone came near. After he was done with the chemical containers used for dye, he removed the labels and broke the bottles. During the 1930s, when Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Company V-1781 made their encampment here, this bridge arched above a goldfish pond and small flower garden.
Dionicio Rodríguez also sculpted the flower basket that now lies in rubble on the north side of the CCC Hike/Bike Trail in a grove of trees and irises a few feet toward Highway 154. This basket and the small cement bridge are but a small example of his unique work. Perhaps his most famous work in Arkansas is the Old Mill located at the T.R. Pugh Memorial Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The Old Mill and surrounding areas were used for the opening scenes of the 1939 movie Gone with the Wind.
The park is very fortunate to have a small piece of work done by this brilliant artisan. Visit Petit Jean State Park to see this astonishing cement sculpted art that adds just a little more character and sense of wonder to such a special place that is Petit Jean. For more information about Petit Jean State Park please contact the park at (501)727-5441 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.petitjeanstatepark.com.
This event is free of charge and open to the public. For more information on Wildflower Week, see our website at http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com under “Things to Do” or contact the park at (501)727-5441 or by email at email@example.com. Complete schedules of activities may also be picked up at the park’s Visitor Center or at Mather Lodge.
“Arkansas Heritage Day” at Petit Jean State Park will be held on May 18, 2013. May is Arkansas Heritage Month, and the public is invited to spend a Saturday celebrating the state’s rich heritage in Arkansas’s first state park. Plans are to include programming that commemorates the Civil War Sesquicentennial, as well as programs which feature Petit Jean State Park’s historic structures. Admission is free.
“National Trails Day” is June 1, 2013. Visitors of all ages are invited to explore and enjoy Petit Jean’s eight trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty. This event will be filled with hikes and hiking related programs, and it corresponds with American Hiking Society programs nationwide. Admission is free.
Petit Jean’s “Mountain Fishin' Derby” for kids will be on June 8, 2013. This derby will be open to children ages 15 and under. Parents are welcome to help, but the kids must do the fishing. Bring your own bait and tackle. Fish are stocked and prizes provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Admission is free.
For more information on Petit Jean State Park’s programs and activities, see our website at http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com under “Things to Do” or contact the park at (501)727-5441 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complete schedules of activities may also be picked up at the park’s Visitor Center or at Mather Lodge.