STATE PARK AWARD: Mammoth Spring State Park Superintendent Dave Jackson, third from left, accepts the Outstanding Resource Management Award. From left are Director of Arkansas State Parks Greg Butts; Tony Perrin, Arkansas State Parks supervisor; Jackson; and Richard Davies Arkansas State Parks executive director.
MAMMOTH SPRING -- Mammoth Spring State Park was named winner of the 2005-06 Resource Management Award by Arkansas State Parks.
The award was announced and presented by Arkansas State Parks Director Greg Butts at this year's annual meeting Sept. 26-28 at Mt. Magazine State Park.
Butts said, "Mammoth Spring State Park is designated as a Natural Landmark due to it being the 10th largest spring in the world and the largest in Arkansas."
He said because of this and its impact to the Spring River, the park must coordinate a wide variety of state and national agencies for the protection of the valuable resource.
"Since the park was established, many agencies have relied on staff monitoring and protection of this special Ozark water resource," Butts said. He said the park staff has worked closely with the Missouri Department of Environmental Protection for almost a decade monitoring water quality data.
Butts said the staff has also worked with various environmental groups including Save Our Spring River club and the Spring River Sportsman's Club, participating in a river cleanup twice a year.
The park offers a wide variety of activities for those who come to the park. The 1886 Frisco Railroad Depot, which is one of the few remaining depots in the state, was restored several year ago. "The park has done an outstanding job maintaining this valuable historic resource," Butts said.
The park is home to a historic cemetery. Butts said this past year the park staff recorded each surviving headstone or fragment and replaced those that needed to be replaced. The Arkansas Archeological Survey Department conducted surface explorations to determine boundaries, and park personnel installed protective fencing around the cemetery.
"It is nice to be recognized for the work we do at the park," said Mammoth Spring State Park Superintendent Dave Jackson. He said the award was presented to the park mostly because of the cooperation the park has with other natural resource agencies.
There are 52 state parks in Arkansas and all were eligible for the award.
This is not the first award Mammoth Spring State Park has won. They have been named State Park of the Year four times -- in 1980, 1981, 1996 and 2000. "It is an asset to have Mammoth Spring State Park in our town," said Mammoth Spring Mayor Jean Pace."It promotes tourism and brings many tourist to not only our town but the entire area."
She added that the park staff is friendly and courteous not only to the local citizens but to the tourists who visit the park, and that helps promote the city of Mammoth Spring.