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The Ouachita Ridges 311

arkansas, mountains, people and south

THE OUACHITA RIDGES 311. The Arkansas Valley.—South of the Ozarks is the narrow valley of the Arkansas River. This rich, warm lowland can and does grow cotton. It is, therefore, really a narrow strip of the Cotton Belt, merely because it is fifteen hundred feet lower than the Ozark hills immediately to the north of it and the Ouachita Mountains imme diately south of it.

312. Mountains with few south of the Arkansas River the Ouachita Mountains cover several counties in Arkansas and Oklahoma. These ridges with valleys between them are very much like the narrow ridges and valleys of the Appalachians in West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. (Sec. 282.) Most of the poor and sandy sur face of the Ouachita Mountains is still cov ered with forest, part of which is a national forest. Few people live here, but at the edge of the mountains is the famous health resort, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Visitors from many distant places go there to receive the benefits of the spring water and of the sanitariums.

313. Future of the Ozark and Ouachita pleasant, healthful climate of this region and its great natural beauty should encourage man to make better use of it. It is far enough south to have winters that are not severe. The summers have plenty of rain and the weather is not so unpleasantly hot as in the prairies to the north or the humid Cotton Belt to the south.

Since there are no swamps in which mos quitoes may live, the upland does not have the malaria that afflicts some parts of the Cotton Belt.

As we learn to know our continent better, progressive people from other regions should make their homes in the Ozarks. America is such a big country, and land has been so cheap in the past, that we have used only the best, the part that is level and easy to culti vate with machinery. With the increase in the price of food and land, new kinds of farming are needed in order to develop such regions as these central highlands. We may expect many new things, now that there is an agricultural experiment station and an agricultural college in every state. There is such a college at Fayetteville, Arkansas, in the Ozarks. Agriculture is being taught now in many of the high schools. In Arkansas, as in many other states, there are clubs of boys who are growing corn, pigs, and other valuable things; and of girls who are growing tomatoes and canning them. When we have a nation of trained people, the Ozarks and the Appalachians can become delightful places in which to live, and the people can have health, good roads, produc tive farms (Sec.292), good schools, and pretty towns and villages in the midst of beautiful green hills and blue mountains.