|The event kicks off at 8:45
p.m. Friday, June 13, at the park amphitheater when Park Interpreter
Harry Harnish, also known as Batman Harry, will present "The Truth
The first topic of the day on Saturday is bat houses, which will
begin at 10 a.m. at the visitor center's audio/visual room.
Participants will first watch a video by Bat Conservation
International on bat houses, and then Harnish will discuss different
styles of houses and demonstrate how to build them.
At 1 p.m. in the visitor center, Harnish will show "Kids Discover
Bats," a video for children ages 4 to 8. After the video, Harnish
will discuss the park's expanding colony of big brown bats, their
biology, roosting habits and life history.
Visitors can take time out for a softball game at 4 p.m. in
Campground E before a special program at the amphitheater featuring
Dr. Stephen Bennett begins at 8:45 p.m. Bennett, a professor at
Clayton College near Atlanta, Georgia, specializes in bat
echolocation, which was the focus of his doctorate.
"He'll bring different types of bat detectors from handheld devices
to computers," Harnish said. Those attending can also view a live bat
up close and hear its echolocation calls.
Bat-O-Rama weekend wraps up Sunday with two programs. At 9 a.m.
Harnish will guide a crevice exploration hike through the heart of
the park's unique sandstone crevice area. "It's a very special area
of caves where bats hibernate," explained Harnish. "It's the biggest
sandstone crevice area in the country."
Harnish said many of the crevices open for exploration lie off of the
park's main trails and are therefore often overlooked. "They are
twice as deep as those [crevices] on the trail," he said. "It's a
chance to see this special area and explore it." The hike is
moderately strenuous and begins at the visitors center.
The last program of the weekend begins at 1:30 p.m. at the visitor
center. Harnish will lead a tour to the many places bats roost
throughout the park.
"Bat-O-Rama is always the most attended special event in the park,"
said Harnish. Last year 285 people attended the Saturday evening
program. Harnish added that he knows of one family that has attended
the event all 13 years.
During the weekend bat-related items at the store and visitors center
will sell for 10 percent less, and those that attend the event will
receive a free collector's button.
For more information on Bat-O-Rama, phone the park at (479) 761-3325.
To reach Devil's Den, travel eight miles south of Fayetteville on
Interstate 540 to exit 53 at West Fork, then proceed 17 miles
southwest on Ark. 170; or take I-540 to exit 45 at Winslow and go
seven miles west on Ark. 74. Note, trailers longer than 26 feet
should use exit 53. For more information, phone (479) 761-3325 or