Hobbs State Park- Conservation Area Named Winner of the 2010-2011 Outstanding Volunteer Program and Interpretive Program Awards

NEWS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               
Contact: Greg Butts
(501) 682-7743

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State Parks Division

Department of Parks and Tourism

            Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area (HSP-CA) near Rogers was named the winner of the 2010-2011 Outstanding Volunteer Program Award and the Outstanding Interpretive Program Award by Arkansas State Parks, according to State Parks Director Greg Butts.

            The State Parks Division presents awards annually for park excellence within Arkansas’s state parks system. The awards were announced at the annual business meeting of the park superintendents. This year’s meeting was held September 27-29 at DeGray Lake Resort State Park near Bismarck.

            The 2010-2011 awards honor the Park of the Year, Region I-IV winners, and awards for outstanding park maintenance, hospitality, volunteer program, resource management, interpretive program, and special event.

            In making the awards to HSPCA, Director Butts noted for many years now Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area has set the bar on volunteerism and they have set it high.

            This year saw a 140% increase in the number of volunteer hours. The total number of volunteers increased from 347 to over 1400. The end result saw an increase of 4,868 in total hours donated and value of volunteers and materials donated. As examples, volunteers worked with park interpreters to help develop, plan and implement boat cruises and interpretive programs, completed regular trail maintenance and surveys, and they provided a variety of educational programs too.

            Interpretive programs grew 30% over FY10. 977 programs were implemented in FY11 with more than 23,800 visitors attending. The Monitor Elementary School solicited help from Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area interpreters to increase five fifth grade science class test scores. Teachers and students visited Hobbs once a month during the Fall of 2010 and Spring of 2011. During the seven month program approximately 130 fifth graders received science instruction during interpreter led field trips and test scores increased 19% as a result of the state park experience. This program is expanding to second and third grade classrooms with fourth and fifth grades coming to Hobbs. Other schools involved in this programming include Eastside, Rogers, and Springdale.

            Butts noted the park staff gave a variety of creative programs connecting visitors and students alike, connecting them to the state park’s unique and diverse natural and historical resources. Over 43,402 people participated in programs reflecting an 18.4% increase over FY11.

            Arkansas State Parks Park of the Year Award winners for 2010-2011 are: Overall Park of the Year and Region II Park of the Year—Ozark Folk Center

State Park at Mountain View; Region I Park of the Year—Lake Ouachita State Park near Mountain Pine; Region III Park of the Year – Davidsonville Historic State Park near Paragould; and Region IV Park of the Year—DeGray Lake Resort State Park near Bismarck.

            Other award winners are: Outstanding Hospitality –Lake Ouachita State Park near Mountain Pine, Outstanding Park Maintenance- Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro; Resource Management—Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources State Park at Smackover; and Outstanding Special Event—Ozark Folk Center State Park’s “Bushwhackers and Scallywags – Civil War on the Sylamore”.

For further information, contact Greg Butts, Director, Arkansas State Parks, One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 / Phone: (501) 682-7743 / E-mail: greg.butts@arkansas.gov. For those interested in volunteering at HSP-CA, contact park superintendent Mark Clippinger at 479-789-5000 or mark.clippinger@arkansas.gov .

 

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