Lorance Creek Natural Area in an example of various wetland communities occurring at the transition of the West Gulf Coastal Plain and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (Delta). It is primarily a swamp that spreads out along both sides of Lorance Creek. The Natural Area is a special place primarily for three reasons:
1. An example of “tree-sensitive” Eco-friendly Construction – Painstaking measures were taken to preserve the area during construction, including the use of steel platforms to support the boardwalk. Chemicals from treated lumber could seep into the swamp. The trail is surfaced with a natural tree resin, instead of asphalt. A basin was constructed to prevent parking lot runoff water from washing impurities into the swamp. It is the first development of this type for the Natural Heritage Commission and the first site (according to State Building Authority) that incorporates these construction techniques.
2. A mosaic of communities – The Natural Area offers an opportunity to all visitors to explore along a trail through an upland forest down to a boardwalk reaching out into the swamp. The entire system is a mosaic of open water, cypress-tupelo gum, and sandy washes overlain with groves of swamp blackgum (rare in Arkansas).
3. Accessibility – The Natural Area is located in Central Arkansas, within 20 minutes Little Rock. The development is universally accessible. Information plaques inform visitors about the functions of wetlands.
This Natural Area provides an unique Wildlife Habitat as a vital habitat for the limited colony of the bird-voiced tree frog as well as the various bird species who use the fly zone in the Delta which are supported by the habitat.
Location: Lorance Creek Natural Area, Little Rock
Registration: February 11, 2004
Species: Cypress, water tupelo, swamp blackgum