Beginning in 1989, a small group of individuals guided by Ken and RuAnn Ewing of Rogers started meeting with the single purpose of developing a concept plan for a residential field science center in the Arkansas Ozarks. Those early planning sessions resulted in The Ozark Natural Science Center incorporation in 1990 and subsequent non-profit, 501 (c)(3) status in 1993.
In 1992, the Center hosted its first residential program: a two-week Wet’n Wild camp, part of the Arkansas Enrichment for the Gifted in Summer (AEGIS) program of the Arkansas Department of Education. Since the science center was under construction, campers stayed in platform tents and dined in a partially completed dining room. By 1994, the Ewing Centre was complete and housed administrative offices and the kitchen and dining hall. That same year, ONSC began offering residential school-based programming for 700 Rogers and Bentonville fifth grade students.
Currently, the central campus includes three lodges, an education building, guest housing, faculty housing, the Stewart Springfield Memorial Outdoor Classroom, an observation deck, and almost eight miles of maintained hiking trails. ONSC’s school-based programming now offers hands-on, experiential field science opportunities to more than 3,000 students from northwest and central Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma.