SCOTT, Ark. – As Arkansas State Parks celebrates their centennial, visitors are able to take part in the Club 52 passport program, a mission to visit every state park with the opportunity to win free merch and prizes.
Non-native Arkansan Caitrin Assaf of KARK 4 has made it her mission to visit all 52 state parks, and after collecting her first stamp at Petit Jean State Park, she set her sights on the next one: the Plantation Agriculture Museum in Scott, Arkansas.
Located just 20 minutes away from downtown Little Rock, this collection of exhibits details the agricultural history of Arkansas. The main building, once a general store, is where visitors can get their stamp and sign the guest book – and where their journey will begin.
Around the walls are interactive plaques, artifacts, and recreations showcasing everything from the planting process to harvest, and even what life was like for farmers in the early days of agriculture.
A special focus is on cotton, a plant that can be seen growing as you head in to the museum parking lot. With cotton bales and a wheelbarrow full of cotton kids and adults can feel for themselves, this exhibit is interactive enough for the whole family to enjoy and learn from.
Then, with a new background on what it takes to grow, the tour continues outside with two more buildings on campus.
Stop #2 is the Dortch Gin Exhibit, home to a 1916 cotton gin. The machine is so large it takes up two stories, and markers along the way explain each piece of equipment and what it’s used for. For those who can’t use the stairs, there’s also an elevator available so everyone can see the gin from all angles.
Next door and the last building is seed warehouse #5, listed on the national register of historic places.
Entering through railcars that were once used to transport cotton, this warehouse is all about seeds and the business behind them, from the technology involved to their journey to farmers.
Just like the two previous buildings, seed warehouse #5 is full of interactive exhibits and items, and offers a cool and quiet place to escape to.
Other features in the park include a newly installed historic tractor exhibit and interactive events held by museum staff.
To take part in the Club 52 passport program, ask for a passport at any state park visitors center.
Explorers then can get their stamps at visitors centers when they stop by the park, or take a stamp rubbing from parks without visitors centers. Just make sure to bring a crayon or pencil to do so.
More information on the Arkansas State Parks centennial can be found on their website.