Morrilton - May 3-5, 2024


The 2024 Spring Convention of the Arkansas Audubon Society will be held May 3-5 at beautiful Petit Jean State Park in Morrilton. We’re excited to be offering some outstanding speakers, field trips, and activities!

Several types of lodging have been reserved for us. Cabins are available—some are duplexes—ranging from $100 to $132 per night. Rooms in historic Mather Lodge are available at rates of $89 or $95 per night. Four campsites are available for $25 or $40 per night. For information about specific room and cabin types, click here. To reserve your room, call Petit Jean's Mather Lodge at 501-727-5431 and indicate you are part of the Arkansas Audubon Society convention. You will need the group number, which is 756497. The cut off date for our reserved block of rooms is April 3, but don’t procrastinate! Reserve your room now. (Prices above do not include tax.) Lodgings are also available in nearby Morrilton.

Register for the convention here by April 3 to qualify for Early Bird registration rates: $20 for AAS members and $30 for non-members. Student registration is $10. Save money by registering early! Also, please note the cutoff date for registration with meals is one week before the meeting: April 26.

On Friday night Dr. Ray Fisher will be our speaker. His topic will be “Reshape Your Worldview with a Blue Jay: Mites, Evolution, and You.” Here’s his description: “A bird isn’t itself—it’s an assemblage of selves. Birds act as hosts to countless other organisms. And these others have lives and habits that would astound those of us who are more familiar with the bird than the others. For example, various mites call birds their home, and each one has a vibrant story and evolutionary history. Mostly untold. In fact, much of the bird’s own history goes untold as well. After investigating these other creatures, their histories, and the history of the bird itself, our perception of a given bird won’t be “just” a bird any longer. Mites, small as they are, have the power to reshape our perspectives.”

Park interpreters will lead an Owl Prowl after Dr. Fisher’s presentation!

The Saturday afternoon symposium will feature Uta Meyer, Director of the Little Rock Audubon Center, who will present "The Audubon Migration Explorer" and also "eBird 101." Lynn Foster, Vice President of the Arkansas Audubon Society, will speak on “Cranes and Craniacs at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary.”

On Saturday night, Jake Curry, Petit Jean Park Interpreter, will be our speaker. His topic is  “Saving an American Treasure.” He will tell us the details of how Arkansas State Parks are working with the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation to restore this important tree—Castanea ozarkensis, the Ozark Chinquapin—to its native range. This presentation will cover the history, benefits to wildlife, and even medicinal purposes of this once prolific tree species.

Field Trip Coordinator Karen Holliday has done her usual terrific job of planning field trips for us, with 11 guided field trips and two "on your own" walks you can take at Petit Jean. Friday/Saturday highlights include a “Bug Walk" field trip led by Ray Fisher, and trips on the Cedar Creek, Cedar Falls, Rock House, CCC, and Bear Cave trails. Sunday morning, the park interpreters will offer a sunrise birding event at the Petit Jean gravesite, and there will be a final trip at Holla Bend for those who want to stop on their way home. We hope you can join us for an action-packed, educational, and enjoyable weekend!