Bicentennial Conservation Area, located in southern Newton County, was once part of the old, World War II Camp Crowder Army Base. The U.S. Army selected the Neosho site for the base because of its proximity to water, railroads, and highways. Visitors to the area can still see foundations, fruit trees, open fields and other remnants of many of the hundreds of small farms purchased by the federal government for the 60,000-acre base.
Camp Crowder was named for Judge Advocate General and U.S. Ambassador to Cuba Enoch H. Crowder. Thousands of soldiers went through basic training here before the camp was decommissioned in the mid 1950s, including Mort Walker, who immortalized the Camp as Camp Swampy in his syndicated comic strip, Beetle Bailey.
Bicentennial Conservation Area, encompassing 721 acres, is approximately 90 percent forested. Primary species include white, black, post, blackjack and red oaks, hackberry, elm, black cherry, black walnut, and ash.
The area hosts various wildlife species including large numbers of deer and squirrels. Turkeys have been stocked here.