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Coler Welcomes First Firefly Sanctuary in Arkansas

NWA Master Naturalists and Peel Compton Foundation designate portion of Coler Mountain Bike Preserve as a firefly sanctuary.

BENTONVILLE, AR (March 25th , 2024) – In partnership with NWA Master Naturalists, a portion of Coler Mountain Bike Preserve in Bentonville has officially been designated a firefly sanctuary. The Coler Firefly Sanctuary will be the first firefly sanctuary in Arkansas and likely the first one west of the Mississippi river according to Candace Fallon, Senior Conservation Biologist, at the Xerces Society.

Pam Morgan, an NWA Master Naturalist and part of the “firefly team,” said, “Coler is the perfect spot for a Firefly Sanctuary. The habitat is full of long grass and native plants, there’s plenty of leaf litter for the firefly larvae, and the site is managed without pesticides.”

Care Butler, Interpretation programs lead for the NWA Master Naturalist Chapter, said, “We are really excited about sharing fascinating firefly behavior with people at the Coler Firefly Sanctuary. Several evenings in June, volunteer Master Naturalists will be leading Firefly Walks, which should be fun and educational for people of all ages.”

Jerry Hembd, President of the NWA Master Naturalist Chapter, said, “Our chapter is proud to be partnering with the Peel Compton Foundation on this project. Both organizations strive to preserve our natural spaces and educate the public about nature, and the Firefly Sanctuary achieves both goals.”

Coler is thrilled to begin hosting Firefly Educational Walks led by NWA Master Naturalists. The walks will be held on June 21st, 22nd, 28th, and 29th. Participants are encouraged to pre-register for this free event in order to get an accurate headcount prior to the walks. The Bentonville Garden Club will be donating red LED flashlights for visitors to utilize on the guided walks.

NWA Master Naturalists is a chapter of Arkansas Master Naturalists, whose mission is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

Coler Mountain Bike Preserve is a community space provided by Peel Compton Foundation, whose mission is to connect the community through nature, education, recreation, and preservation. For more information visit www.peelcompton.org and follow us at @colermountainbikepreserve on Facebook and Instagram.