arkansas regions

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Arkansas, Regions, Agriculture, Historical sites

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Arkansas’s Six Natural Divisions These physiographic regions shape history, nature and life in Arkansas :

Arkansas’s Six Natural Divisions These physiographic regions shape history, nature and life in Arkansas Author: Jennifer Cobb Gravette School District

Ozark Mountain(Plateau) Region:

Ozark Mountain(Plateau) Region Ozark Mountain Some cities found here are: Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Harrision , Mountian Home, Batesville and Clinton.

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Not “true” mountains by definition the Ozarks were created through uplift , lifted to a higher level, and formed a large flat-topped region Over time it has eroded into the slopes and valleys we call mountains. The Ozark Plateau

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The Ozark Plateau as seen from Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

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The Ozark Plateau is rich in natural beauty. It has a variety of state parks and rivers, making it one of the most popular recreation destinations in America. As a result tourism is a big business.

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People hike to the various rock outcrops, crevices, and see scenic wonders in the Ozark Plateau, like Pedestal Rocks in the Ozark National Forest, and…

the Buffalo River, or:

the Buffalo River, or

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Buffalo State Park.

Buffalo and White Rivers, two major rivers of Arkansas, come together at Buffalo City, and this is where many people fish. They also can fish at:

Buffalo and White Rivers, two major rivers of Arkansas, come together at Buffalo City, and this is where many people fish. They also can fish at

Mammoth Spring. This is the source of the Spring River found at Mammoth Spring State Park in Fulton County.:

Mammoth Spring. This is the source of the Spring River found at Mammoth Spring State Park in Fulton County.

They can also visit the Ozark Plateau’s prairies, like Baker Prairie, located near Harrison.:

They can also visit the Ozark Plateau’s prairies, like Baker Prairie, located near Harrison .

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And, finally, one can visit our caves, such as Devil’s Den or Blanchard Springs Caverns (BSC). This is a magnificent limestone cave system starting more than 200 feet underground . This is a “living” or “active” cave, because it is constantly being changed by dripping water. The circle is a person sitting next to a stalagmite. The circle is the size of the person

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More wonderful pictures of Blanchard Springs Caverns.

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Boston Mountains The Boston Mountains form the southwestern part of the Ozark plateau where they are the highest and most rugged portion of the Ozarks. They are the source of rivers and streams that flow out from the mountains in all directions, like the White River, Buffalo River and the Illinois River.

Arkansas River Valley Region:

Arkansas River Valley Region Arkansas River Valley -pinkish in color Some cities found here are Fort Smith ,Clarksville, Russellville, Morrilton , and part of Conway .

This is what part of the Arkansas River Valley looks like.:

This is what part of the Arkansas River Valley looks like.

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The Arkansas River Valley lies between the Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains. It was shaped over millions of years by a flowing river. Today, with an interstate highway, railroad and river travel, it is one of the most important economic areas in mid-America. The Arkansas River Valley– Petit Jean State Park

The Arkansas River is one of the main rivers in Arkansas used to transport, move, goods from the Mississippi River to many places in the western United States.:

The Arkansas River is one of the main rivers in Arkansas used to transport, move, goods from the Mississippi River to many places in the western United States. This picture shows a river barge moving goods up the river.

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The Fourche Creek Watershed is the most important urban watershed in the state of Arkansas. The watershed drains and filters runoff from Little Rock, Arkansas’s capital. http://www.fourchecreek.org/ Information_maps.html

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Even though people have hurt Fourche Creek by littering and not taking care of it, it continues to grow many different plants and flowers and an 1,800 acre wetland. Little Rock Area Tupelo on Rock Creek Fourche Creek under I-440

The River Valley has several great state parks :

The River Valley has several great state parks For the history of Petit Jean http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com/history/history_of_petit_jean_mountain.aspx

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Petit Jean State Park

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and Mt. Magazine State Park are a couple of them.

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Arkansas’s highest point lies in the Arkansas River Valley region at Mount Magazine State Park. This is a survey marker proving that Mt. Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas.

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The River Valley also contains the Cherokee Prairie Natural Area which is one of the largest remaining areas of tall grass prairie in Arkansas.

Ouachita Mountain Region:

Ouachita Mountain Region Ouachita Mountains Some cities found here are: Little Rock, Mena, Mt. Ida, Hot Springs and Waldron

This is a view of the rolling hills of Ouachita Mountains:

This is a view of the rolling hills of Ouachita Mountains

The Ouachitas are true mountains, formed by the collision of tectonic plates that caused massive folding and faulting creating one of the most unique places on Earth. :

The Ouachitas are true mountains, formed by the collision of tectonic plates that caused massive folding and faulting creating one of the most unique places on Earth. Geologists come from around the world to study the ‘Pinnacle Chaotic Zone’ at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

Pinnacle Mountain, located near Little Rock marks the point that the various geographic regions of Arkansas collide. It rises more than a thousand feet above the Arkansas River Valley. The mountain's cone-shaped peak has long been a central Arkansas landmark.:

Pinnacle Mountain, located near Little Rock marks the point that the various geographic regions of Arkansas collide. It rises more than a thousand feet above the Arkansas River Valley. The mountain's cone-shaped peak has long been a central Arkansas landmark.

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Rocky Valley Trail is one of the trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park where many people come to hike.

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Lake Ouachita is a man-made lake found in the Ouachita Mountain Region it is used for flood control and electricity

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In the Ouachita Mountains, people can find rocks and minerals like natural magnets, quality quartz crystals, and fine novaculite .

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Hot Springs National Park is one of the few places in the United State with hot springs bubbling out naturally. Hot Springs County

Mississippi Alluvial Plain Region:

Mississippi Alluvial Plain Region Mississippi Alluvial Plain Region Some cities found here are: Blytheville, Dumas, North Little Rock, and W. Memphis

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The Delta , or Mississippi Alluvial Plain , covers the eastern portion of Arkansas. Here the Mississippi and numerous other rivers have deposited rich soils over millions of years. This area has swamps, prairies, and rich farmland where the soil is very deep. Today this region is the primary farming area of Arkansas.

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The Delta wetlands are important wildlife habitats. One example is Lake Chicot State Park.

At one time, the lowlands of eastern Arkansas were an incredible habitat for wildlife, filled with bright green parakeets, passenger pigeons, elk and buffalo. Those species are gone, but a few areas of wild habitat are bring protected, including the important ‘Big Woods’ of eastern Arkansas and federal and state wildlife management areas. :

Bois d'Arc Lake At one time, the lowlands of eastern Arkansas were an incredible habitat for wildlife, filled with bright green parakeets, passenger pigeons, elk and buffalo. Those species are gone, but a few areas of wild habitat are bring protected, including the important ‘Big Woods’ of eastern Arkansas and federal and state wildlife management areas.

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Bayou Metro Lakes are examples of the swamps in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain created by years of flooding of the Mississippi River. Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area, managed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

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Arkansas grows cotton , The Mississippi River Alluvial Plain, or ‘the Delta,’ is one of the richest agricultural areas in North America. soybeans,

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and rice. Arkansas produces more rice than any state in the nation.

Farmers also grow milo crop to feed their animals. These are a few of examples of crops grown in Arkansas. What other foods does Arkansas grow?:

Farmers also grow milo crop to feed their animals. These are a few of examples of crops grown in Arkansas. What other foods does Arkansas grow?

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This region contains a floodways, drainage ditches, levees, lakes and streams, and some of the most fertile farmland in the country. Much of the forest that was here has been removed for agriculture.

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Arkansas Post Museum State Park It also is home to some of Arkansas's most important historical sites. Like the Arkansas Post Museum State Park,

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Parkin Archeological State Park where 500 years ago Hernando DeSoto stayed with Native Americans here,

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And other mounds by the Toltec Indians are also found in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain

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The swamp surrounding the marker is called a "headwater swamp." Headwater swamps maintain more constant water levels than riparian swamps due to reduced drainage of the area. The swamp is about 6 miles long and less than a mile wide. Swamps, such as these, have all but vanished from the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. The headwater swamp at Louisiana Purchase is the largest remaining in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. And the Louisiana Purchase Natural Area

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Oxbow lakes are formed when a river changes its course. These lakes are used for fishing, boating and swimming. North America’s largest ox-bow lake, Lake Chicot is found in this region -Lake Chicot State Park

Crowley’s Ridge is the smallest geographical region in the lowlands. :

Crowley’s Ridge is the smallest geographical region in the lowlands. Crowley’sRidge Some cities found here are: Forrest City, Jonesboro, and Wynne

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Notice that Crowley’s ridge, outlined in brown, is in a higher elevation then the surrounding Mississippi Alluvial Plain Mississippi Alluvial Plain It was created by years and years of river erosion and wind-blown dust piling up to create a long ridge slicing through the flat Delta land. It is rises up to 200 feet higher than the Delta and can be seen for miles around in the flat fields of eastern Arkansas.

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Crowley’s Ridge is capped with many feet of dust blown in from the Mississippi River that forms a rich but very erodible soil. This rich soil grows a plant community that is unlike anything else in Arkansas.

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At Village Creek state park you can enjoy the unique land of Crowley's Ridge. This the ridge is covered with a lush hardwood forest featuring oak, sugar maple, beech, butternut, and tulip poplar.

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Equally important, Chalk Bluffs was a major site for the Civil War This is a picture are of spindly trees and thick layers of leaves lines the remains of the trenches that were created by Union troops prior to the battle of Chalk Bluff. Chalk bluffs Chalk Bluffs, named for white clay that looks like chalk, this bluff is an important landmark in Arkansas . Here the St. Francis River cuts through Crowley’s Ridge east to west and forms the boundary of Arkansas and Missouri. Also, in 1857 the first land survey of Arkansas began here.

Crowley’s Ridge State Park is a beautiful area to hike and enjoy Crowley Ridge’s natural beauty:

Crowley’s Ridge State Park is a beautiful area to hike and enjoy Crowley Ridge’s natural beauty Road through the beautiful Crowley’s Ridge forest

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West Gulf Coastal Plain Region West Gulf Coastal Plain Some cities found here are: Arkadelphia, Hope, and Newport

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The Gulf Coastal Plain begins just south of Little Rock and reaches to the Gulf from Texas to Florida. This is an area of rolling hills, sandy soil, and tall trees, mainly pine, oak and hickory and beech. Trees grow large here and this is lumber country. This is also oil and diamond country. The Ouachita River at Moro Bay State Park in the Gulf Coastal Plain region.

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The Gulf Coastal Plain has 200-year-old pines that are part of the old growth forest protected in in Logoly State Park north of Magnolia. Logoly State Park.

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Look how tall a pine tree can become!

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The large, shallow Millwood Lake is not a natural feature of the Gulf Coastal Plain, but was made by damming the Little Missouri River. It is rapidly filling in. As it changes from marsh to lake i t is creating new wildlife habitat. The lake has been designated an Arkansas Important Bird Area. Millwood Lake is used for boating, fishing and bird watching.

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The Gulf Coastal Plain is the only place in the world where you can find and keep REAL diamonds. Crater of Diamonds State Park

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quickly fading prairies like Terre Noire Natural Area is one of the highest-quality blackland prairies remaining in the state. The Blackland Prairie is a special mixture of soil and mineral deposits that makes it different from other prairie and woodland areas. The soil is deep, dark, and has much calcium which is known to grow many crops.

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and Coffee Prairie Natural Area preserves some of the last remaining examples of a type of grassland called "lowland sand prairie." This type of prairie is known to occur only in extreme southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana in the bottomlands of the Ouachita River and is unlike any other prairie in Arkansas in plants and soil.

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What a state we live in! As you can see, Arkansas is full of historic, natural and agricultural beauty. This creates a wonderful place to live and play.

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Jay S. Miller, CIP, CIT Administrator of Program Services Arkansas State Parks The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commi ssion Coffee Prairie- http://www.naturalheritage.com/natural-area/detail.aspx?map_num=42 Cherokee Prairie- http://www.naturalheritage.com/natural-area/detail.aspx?map_num=15 Lousiana Purchase- http://www.naturalheritage.com/natural-area/detail.aspx?map_num=51 Baker Prairie- http://www.naturalheritage.com/natural-area/detail.aspx?map_num=9 Terre Noire- http://www.naturalheritage.com/natural-area/detail.aspx?map_num=37 Special Thanks to All that Help Contribute

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National Scenic Byways Program http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/2588/places/15870/index.html Photo Credits © 2000 R.C.G.A. Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest http://www.springcreekforest.org/Blackland%20Prairie.htm Trip Advisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g31756-d274438-Reviews-Mammoth_Spring_State_Park-Mammoth_Spring_Arkansas.html The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net Pinnacle Mountain- http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=1248 USDA Forest Service – Blanchard Springs Caverns http://www.fs.fed.us/oonf/ozark/recreation/caverns1.html

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Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan http://www.wildlifearkansas.com/boston.html Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page Boston Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Mountains Google Maps- Cherokee Prairie http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=35.33579%C2%B0,-94.03882%C2%B0+%28Cherokee%20Prairie%20Natural%20Area%29&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1&iwloc=addr&safe=active Lake Ouachita http://www.lakeouachita.org/ Terry Smith Images http://www.terrysmithimages.com/photos/arkansas-pictures.aspx Cathy Mackey Science Specialist Arkansas Department of Education Audubon Arkansas http://www.fourchecreek.org http://ar.audubon.org

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Arkansas: The World Around Us. Tom Greer and Lavell Cole Macmillan/McGraw-Hill School Publishing Company 1991 Crowley’s Ridge photo p. 35 Lake Chicot Photo and information p. 14 Mississippi Alluvial Plain p. 32-34 U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency Western Ecology Division Ecoregions of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain http://www.epa.gov/wed/pages/ecoregions/map_eco.htm

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