Environment Archive

Living the Deliberate Life: The Larger Story Behind Billy Reeder’s Cabin

  This piece was originally published in the November 2013 issue of ABOUT the River Valley magazine. Learn more about ABOUT the River Valley magazine here.    Hand sewn from local pine and oak, Billy Reeder’s 880 square foot log cabin took four years to build. Located on the family farm in rural Perry County, the home sits
Category: Arkansas

Creation of Hot Springs Public Lands

Hot Springs, a small city located in the Zigzag mountains—a range within the larger Ouachita Mountains—is home to numerous hot springs that emerge on the west side of Hot Springs mountain. Rain soaks through the ground cover, continuing downward through chert and novaculite, dissolving minerals as it goes and becoming increasingly hot as it sinks
Category: Arkansas

“What Could be the Meaning or Use of Such Love?”: Berry’s “A Native Hill.”

I recently reread Wendell Berry’s essay, “A Native Hill,” a winding exploration of home, the importance of knowing a place deeply, and our collective responsibilities to the land.  Born in 1934, Berry is a novelist, cultural critic, and a farmer who lives on his family’s land in Kentucky. Best known for his direct and eloquent
Category: Connection to Land/Place

Low Impact Design: How Can We Implement It and Why Does It Matter?

This past week I had the chance to speak with Jeffrey Huber of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, an outreach program of the School of Architecture. I contacted the Center to learn more about how everyday people can utilize principles of low impact design and, specifically, what we can do at the McElroy
Category: Arkansas

Summer Reading Series: Arkansas Butterflies and Moths by Lori Spencer

Last week I caught sight of a beautiful black and blue butterfly on the clothesline.  Thanks to Lori A. Spencer’s 2006 guidebook, Arkansas Butterflies and Moths, I was able to search through multiple photos of the butterflies and moths that frequent the state and concluded that the creature was a spicebush swallowtail, a common butterfly
Category: Arkansas

Equality, Hoover’s Idea for Land Reform, and the Flood of 1927

As part of a continuing partnership with the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, this week’s column is a follow up to a recent piece on one of the state’s worst natural disasters, the Flood of 1927. The flood resulted in hundreds of deaths, destroyed crops, and left around 750,000 southerners without food, water, clothing,
Category: African American

Fallen Limbs and Fighting Drought: Using Hugelkultur in the Garden

It reached over ninety degrees this week and it looks like the summer drought season will soon be here. If you’re a gardener and/or enjoy local food and flowers, you know how quickly a drought can wither a previously prolific garden. We can’t increase the rainfall, but there are several low-cost, environmentally sound ways we
Category: Arkansas

High Waters and Social Change: The Flood of 1927

This week’s Seed and the Story column is part of an ongoing partnership with the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.  Be sure and check out this great online resource here.  Flash floods have wrecked havoc on the state in recent weeks, causing damage to roads and bridges and, in a few cases, leading to
Category: African American History

Friday Video: Wild Horses of the Ozarks

Filmmaker David Abberton of Missouri is working on a film about bands of free-roaming horses that make their homes about halfway between Little Rock and St. Louis. Wild Horses of the Ozarks will feature footage of these horses in the wild combined with research and “oral histories of the Ozarkers along the Current and Jack’s Fork
Category: Animals

Living Out the Land Ethic: The Campbells in Pope County

This week’s Seed and the Story column is part of the McElroy House: Organization for Folklife, Oral History, and Community Action’s ongoing series featuring the stories of local growers in the Yell and Pope County regions of central Arkansas. To learn more about the Garden Book project, go here.  Interested in supporting this work? Click
Category: a. Slider