Special Olympics at Buffalo National River Brings Six Counties Together for a Day of Fun

Tom KrohnBuffalo National River, NPS News Releases

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Caven Clark, Public Information Officer, 365-2790

Special Olympics at Buffalo National River Brings Six Counties Together for a Day of Fun

Baxter, Marion, Searcy, Newton, Boone, and Carroll counties all had teams of excited Special Olympics participants yesterday at Tyler Bend. About 260 participants enjoyed the cool morning activities which included a scavenger hunt, Frisbee golf, bocce ball, and a softball throw, followed by a picnic lunch. The day kicked off at 9:30 am singing “Happy Birthday” to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The teams then dispersed to their activities until time for lunch at 11:30. The day was made extra special by a surprise appearance of Smokey the Bear whose presence brought miles of smiles to the occasion. Many thanks to all the volunteers who assisted in making the day a success, and extra thanks to our participants for all the joy they bring with them.

The park-hosted event is funded through a grant from the National Park Foundation and Coca Cola to encourage the use of our public lands for health and wellness activities. Buffalo National River hosted its first Special Olympics event in May and plans to schedule two similar events per calendar year in the future as a way to facilitate park visits by these and similar groups. Throughout the year the park has hosted hikes and picnics for a variety of special needs groups, working with local organizations such as Growing a Healthy Searcy County, Hometown Health, Assisted Living, and others.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s  national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov


The Bergman High School tennis team assisted with many of the stations, including the standing long jump. (Fondriest/NPS photo)


Mr. Smokey T. Bear makes his introductions. (Fondriest/NPS photo)


Checking off nature observations on the Scavenger Hunt trail. (Fondriest/NPS photo)


Just plain happy. (Fondriest/NPS photo)