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Plenty to do, plenty to see at Mammoth Spring


August is packed with free activities at Mammoth Spring State Park that will appeal to all ages and a variety of interests, and include an old-fashioned toys and games day, a volunteer highway clean-up session, a history program about Mammoth Spring, nature journaling and a beginner's crochet workshop. The park is located off of south U.S. 63 just across the Arkansas border from Thayer.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, toys and games from the early 1900s will be available to try out at the train depot. A park interpreter will present the program, which is a drop-in event.

From 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 9 there will be an Arkansas State Park Centennial Day of Service, guided by park officials, along both sides of U.S. 63 near the park. Call 870-625-7364 to volunteer.

A nature journaling workshop will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Aug. 12 on the trail behind the hydroelectric plant and just below the dam, with instruction given on how to observe the natural world and describe and record those observations. Journals and drawing and coloring materials will be provided or may be brought, with no experience or artistic ability needed. The program is for all ages.

A "Legacy of the Spring" program will be held 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 19 in the park's welcome center, giving a history of the park and Mammoth Spring, with a flow of 10 million gallons a day. Discussed will be the spring's origins and its importance throughout Mammoth Spring's history.

"Crochet the Day Away: A Beginner's Guide to Crochet" will take place 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 26 at the park pavilion. There is no cost and a free crochet hook and yarn will be provided to take home, but pre-registration is required due to limited space.

The program is intended to teach the popular pastime to beginners, who will be shown how to start a project and up to three basic crochet stitches. A relatively common skill in the Ozarks past, crochet was used to create needed household goods like blankets, rugs, clothing and toys, but has recently resurfaced as a relaxing, inexpensive hobby. Call 870-625-7364 to register.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 2, the Mammoth Spring Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the 39th annual Antique and Classic Car Show near the baseball field. Admission is free and cars will be judged by year and class, beginning at 11 a.m.

Dash plaques will be awarded to the first 50 registrants and classes are as follows: 1894 -1930, 1931 - 1954, 1955 - 1965, 1966 - 1975, 1976 - 2000, RAT Class, Modern Class, Corvette Class, Mustang Madness, All Original, and Truck Class. There will also be awards for furthest distance traveled, best of show and peoples choice.

A wildlife photography program will be presented from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 23 by local wildlife photographer Bob Cunningham, who will show his collection of photos taken around the Ozarks. Cunningham will give tips on locations and the best times of day to take photos. Admission is free, but participants must preregister due to limited space. Call 870-625-7364.

"Birds of Prey" will be the topic of a program to be held 1 to 2 p.m. at the depot museum, giving information about predatory birds of the area.

Mammoth Spring State Park includes a trail around a 10-acre lake fed by one of the nation's largest springs, and historical structures include a dam and the attached former hydro-electric plant, and a train depot. There are a gift shop and visitor center, picnic areas and a playground and an aquarium showcasing local aquatic species.