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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy photo Drone expert Drew Shoptaw will be at Hobbs State Park, Sunday, Aug. 12, to answer questions about drones. He really knows his subject well and welcomes all to come and learn the ins and outs of drones.

Let's snorkel

Chelsea Porter, Hobbs State Park interpreter, loves to snorkel. She will be the instructor for the Hobbs August snorkeling tours on Beaver Lake. Porter said, "Snorkeling on Beaver Lake is a great time outside, an incredible underwater learning experience, and 100 percent fun. You're going to want to be wet during the hottest months of the year. What better way to do that than to snorkel?"

Please note the different days of the week for the remaining tours shown below:

• Friday, Aug. 10, 1-4 p.m.

• Wednesday, Aug. 15, 1-4 p.m.

• Friday, Aug. 24, 1-4 p.m.

Wear appropriate clothing for swimming, including water shoes and sunscreen. Participants must wear a life jacket. All participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and the adult must be in the water. Life jackets, masks and snorkels will be provided.

All participants will meet at Rocky Branch Marina, 8872 Rocky Branch Marina Road, Rogers (Ark. Highway 12 to Ark. Highway 303 north to Rocky Branch Marina Road). The cost is a $20 per adult (13 and up) and $10 per child (up through age 12). Preregistration and payment are required. To register, call the park at 479-789-5000.

Operating dronesdo's and don'ts

The FAA has allowed drones, also known as unmanned aerial systems, to be used domestically for years for environmental monitoring, firefighting, disaster relief, and search and rescue. The Department of Homeland Security uses them to monitor borders and ports. Drones can be equipped with high-powered cameras, microphones, infrared devices and other high-tech tools. Federal law has streamlined the process for public agencies, including police departments, to get drone licenses, and paved the way for commercial use. About 7,500 small, commercially operated drones -- not including drones flown by public bodies -- are now active according to the Federal Aviation Administration. As domestic drone use has grown, so have concerns about privacy, safety, regulation and the potential for abuse, including fears of unwarranted spying on people by police agencies or even by other citizens. Lawmakers in several states are weighing rules to regulate the use of drones.

A technically advanced cousin of the remote-controlled model plane, the commercial and hobbyist versions of drones range in price from less than $100 to thousands of dollars, depending on their size and sophistication. Drones for the hobbyist are available for purchase online, or in "brick and mortar" stores. They range in size from about 5 inches wide up to 3 or 4 feet. What is a hobbyist drone? Where can I fly it legally? What are the Federal Aviation Administration regulations? What are the Arkansas state, city and county laws regarding drones? There is much to learn.

Drone expert, Drew Shoptaw, will be at Hobbs State Park to answer such questions. Drew even wears a T-shirt that reads, "Talk Nerdy to Me." He really knows his subject well. You will not want to miss this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of drones.

Come and see Drew and get the facts at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Park Visitor Center. There is no charge and everyone is welcome.

Park Visitor Center

The Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area Visitor Center contact phone number is 479-789-5000. The visitor center is located on Arkansas Highway 12 just east of the War Eagle Road intersection. To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to and

Fall Festival

A host of free and fun family-orientated events will take place at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area Sunday, Oct. 7. Activities will take place at both the Historical Van Winkle Hollow and the Park's Visitor Center. Bring the entire family to learn how some things were done in the past.

Historic Van Winkle Hollow events from 1 to 4 p.m. will include:

• Blacksmith Demonstration (You will love his beard);

• Early Food Preservation (How did they do it?);

• Old Timey Games (Are you any good walking on stilts?);

• Music (Tap that foot);

• Stone Toolmaking Demonstration (Amazing -- and kids do it);

• Van Winkle Historical Presentation (Great history);

• Apothecary Shoppe (Strange recipes and leaches);

• Dutch Oven Demonstration (Holy yum);

• Pearling (The hard way to make buttons);

• Dowsing Demonstration (It really works);

• Mountain Woman (Ask her about hunting wild turkeys);

• "Snake Oil" Salesman (Don't let him sell anything to you);

• Pioneer Homesteader (Want to make some butter?);

• Tall Tales Tellers (Would they lie to you?).

Visitor Center demonstrations from 1 to 4 p.m. will include:

• Demonstrations happening for weavers, smockers, lace makers, spinners, music, "Table Top" programs, kids' crafts and free ice cream!

Free Shuttle

Please park at the visitor center parking lot on Highway 12 (just east of the Arkansas Highway 12 and War Eagle Road intersection). The free shuttle will run continuously from 1 to 4 p.m., between the visitor center and Historic Van Winkle Hollow.

All of these family fun activities are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, contact the park office.

Three Loon Migration Cruises

By popular demand -- Hobbs State Park has teamed up with the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society to offer three memorable loon migration cruises on Beaver Lake. Each cruise will be led by guides well experienced with waterfowl migration.

Beginning the end of October to mid-November, the waterfowl migration will be in full swing. There will be many bird species to see and identify on these cruises. Besides common loons, those participating could see red-throated loons, pied-billed and horned grebes and, possibly, western and eared grebes. These trips fall right in the middle of waterfowl migration and the possibility of seeing 10 or more species of ducks, one to three gull species, and even bald eagles. The cruises will explore a loop that starts at Rocky Branch, goes down the lake towards Twin Cove, crosses to Lost Bridge-Glade and a little further west, then returns to Rocky Branch.

The three cruises will leave Rocky Branch Marina at 10 a.m. each of the three days scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27; Saturday, Nov. 3; and Sunday, Nov. 11. These are adult only cruises with a cost of $10 plus tax per adult (13 years and up). Reservations are necessary. For more information and to make reservations, call the park at 479-789-5000.

Mother Nature Reading Times

Mother Nature herself has become a permanent fixture at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area lobby in the visitor center. Every second Saturday at 10:30 a.m. she visits the park to excite the imaginations of all the children around her. There is no cost for this activity and the length is one hour. Storytime will be followed by "hands-on" nature-craft activities. Children of all ages are welcome, however, most stories will target children 3-6 years of age. For more information, contact the park office.

Upcoming Mother Nature visit dates and reading topics are:

• Aug. 11 -- Caterpillar to Butterfly;

• Sept. 8 -- Trees;

• Oct. 13 -- Spiders;

• Nov. 10 -- Stories the Osage Nation Tells;

• Dec. 8 -- Squirrels: Busy All Year 'Round.

General News on 08/08/2018

Print Headline: Hobbs State Park-Conservation Center Events

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