Tag Archives: Hot Springs National Park

Interrupt the Cycle


Today, Monday, February 27th at 3 P.M. members of the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission met with a significant item on their agenda. That task was to fill the vacant seat that Tom Daniel’s death created in 2016. Mr. Daniel had served on the Commission for as much as 15 years.

Three candidates vied for the position by submitting applications along with their Curricula Vitae (CVs) and offering their voluntary service. The candidates were: Robert Raines, owner of The Gangster Museum of America; Michael Pettey, owner of The Ohio Club; Tom Wilkins, owner of The Five-Star Dinner Theatre. See below for the submitted information:


Additionally, two city residents spoke on behalf of Mr. Wilkins, who was the only candidate in attendance.  He was also the only candidate who submitted more that just the two-page nomination application.

We often hear that “the good ol’ boy network is alive and well in Hot Springs”. Is it? We question if candidates are selected based on their qualifications, how well they are liked, how much property they own, etc. We also question if there are term limits for service.

Once the Commission takes their vote for a candidate, they must present the recommendation to the Hot Springs Board of Directors for confirmation.

Is it time to offer an opportunity for others to serve? Is it time to select persons based on their qualifications and the contributions that their experience could make?  Is it time to “interrupt the cycle” of the same ol’-same ol’ in this city?


BioBlitz is coming to Hot Springs National Park!

Grab your magnifying glass and explore nature in Hot Springs National Park like never before! On May 20-21, national parks across the country, including Hot Springs National Park, will participate in the National Parks BioBlitz. BioBlitz is a fun, fast-paced biological survey of a park’s creepers and crawlers, plants and pollinators, mammals and more! The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday with more than 100 BioBlitzes across the country.

During this free, two-day event, teams of scientists, naturalists, students and volunteers will discover and document the living creatures in the park. The focus of National Parks BioBlitz – Hot Springs is to bring National Park Service (NPS) staff, professional scientists, teachers, students, and citizen scientists together to find and identify as many different species of reptiles and fungi within the park as possible using scientific methods.

In addition to species inventories and hands-on science activities, a biodiversity festival will be held at the Ozark Bathhouse.  The festival, free and open to the public, will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

American Express is the national sponsor of the 2016 National Parks BioBlitz.

Explorers of all ages are needed. All events are free and open to the public. Whether you have a couple of hours or a full day, there are activities to engage the whole family.

For volunteer opportunities at National Parks BioBlitz – Hot Springs, go to www.volunteer.gov and search “Hot Springs.” To learn more about the National Parks BioBlitz and activities go to:


Hot Springs National Park to lead May “First Saturday Hike” as part of 2016 NPS Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge

As part of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial celebration and the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge, park rangers at Hot Springs National Park will lead a “First Saturday Hike” this Saturday, May 7 at 9:00 a.m.  This moderately strenuous six-mile hike will include spectacular viewscapes within the 5,500 acre national park. No pre-registration is necessary. Hikers will be met at 9:00 a.m. by a park ranger in the day use area of Gulpha Gorge Campground (305 Gorge Road) for a pre-hike safety briefing.

Every month in 2016, Hot Springs National Park will offer free public programs that encourage visitors to “Find Your Park” and improve their health and wellness by completing 100 miles of physical activity for the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge. Participants may choose to hike, bike, paddle, walk, run, or roll 100 miles in any of the seven national park units in Arkansas. Visitors who complete 100 miles of activity will receive a certificate and a commemorative patch to recognize their accomplishment, but the real reward will be experiencing these national parks and the many benefits of physical recreation.

Other participating Arkansas national park sites include: Arkansas Post National Memorial, Buffalo National River, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Pea Ridge National Military Park, and President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site.
“Did you know that Hot Springs National Park is America’s Health and Wellness Park,” said Josie Fernandez, Park Superintendent.  “Children and adults can participate in fun and healthy activities throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you.”
For more information on this hike, please contact Park Ranger Brian Schwieger by email at brian_schwieger@nps.gov, visit www.nps.gov/hosp or go to the park’s Facebook page, HotSpringsNPS.  To register for the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge, go to www.ironranger2016ar.org.

Hot Springs National Park to host National Park Rx Day on Arlington Lawn April 24

Hot Springs National Park will present activities on Sunday, April 24 at 1:00 p.m. in conjunction with National Park Rx Day, a day celebrated across the United States to promote the growing movement of prescribing parks and nature to patients to improve human health.


National Park Rx Day encourages everyone to start seeing visits to parks and public lands as very important parts of their health.
The program will provide free games, relay races, hula hoops, Indian clubs, sack races and more that also promote Hot Springs National Park’s Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative. Arlington Lawn will be this year’s site of the first National Park Rx Day at Hot Springs National Park.

National Park Rx Day was created to amplify the visibility and viability of the nation-wide Park Rx movement in parks and communities across the nation; to celebrate existing Park Rx programs and practitioners across the country; to serve as a catalyst to bring together local health providers, park agencies, community leaders, and nonprofits to begin dialogue and momentum to develop their own Park Rx programs for improvement of their communities; and to increase the relevance of parks for all people; how people can connect with parks daily for their improved physical, mental, and spiritual health and create a new generation of park stewards.

“Nature is good for us, it is a great antidote to a variety of ailments, including obesity, heart disease, and depression,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “A growing number of public health officials now prescribe time in parks for the well-being of their patients. It is becoming a standard medical practice to tell patients to take a hike.”

– National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis


For more information, contact Brian Schwieger at 501.620.6703 or brian_schwieger@nps.gov.

Hot Springs National Park is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission to the park is free.  Activities are ongoing unless noted.  For more information about upcoming events, please call the park at (501) 620-6715-6701 or e-mail hosp_interpretation@nps.gov.  Visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/hosp or on Facebook and Instagram @HotSpringsNPS for additional information about the park and up-to-date news about park events.

Hot Springs National Park Hosts ‘Research in the Park’

On Tuesday, April 19, Hot Springs National Park will host a public session featuring the research projects of local students from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA). These projects, exploring a variety of interesting aspects of Hot Springs National Park including its geology, thermal waters, plants and history, are the culmination of the students’ exploration and examination through Research in the Park.
Research in the Park is a collaborative partnership between ASMSA and Hot Springs National Park that facilitates the involvement of students in research relating to the natural and cultural resources of the park through the Volunteers-in- Parks Program of the National Park Service.
The program, beginning at 3:00 p.m. in the Fordyce Bathhouse (369 Central Avenue), is open to the public and part of the National Park Service celebration of National Park Week. National Park Week (April 16 to 24, 2016) is America’s largest celebration of national heritage. It’s about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks!
For more information, please contact Shelley Todd, Natural Resource Program Manager at Hot Springs National Park, at (501) 620-6751.
Hot Springs National Park is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the park is free. Activities are ongoing unless noted. For more information about upcoming events, please call the park at (501) 620-6715 or e-mail hosp_interpretation@nps.gov. Visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/hosp and follow on Facebook and Instagram @HotSpringsNPS for additional information about the park and up-to-date news about park events.