|Named a regional "Ten Best" Parks and Playgrounds in
National Geographic's "The Best of Everything for Families: An Ultimate Guide for Families." - 2009
Open 51 weeks a year, Oklahoma City's Martin Park Nature Center provides outdoor adventure right in the heart of Oklahoma City. Nestled on 144 acres in the city's northwest side, the park is home to many species of animals, including birds, butterflies, squirrels, fox and reptiles.
Fortunate visitors may catch a glimpse of a deer, coyote, owl or armadillo. Your powers of observation, the season of the year and luck contribute to observing these animals in their natural habitat.
For the adventurous, 2.5 miles of gentle hiking trails curl
through woods and grasslands of the park. Other trails are made of gravel and packed soil,
and contain short stretches of
moderate slopes and occasional steps. The trails make the perfect get-away
for the casual nature observer or exerciser. Visitors in wheelchairs can
access the park's playground and nature education center on supported gravel
Trail maps and signs are available for visitors who wish to explore the trails on their own during park hours.
Martin Park offers several amenities for visitors of all ages. Near the main park entrance, young visitors will be enchanted by our Pollinators' Playground. This traditional playground, set in a shady grove near the main park creek, educates as well as entertains.
Guided hikes and group tours often get started in our Story Circle, where visitors can sit with rapt attention to an outdoor discussion or story, or enjoy an outdoor picnic. Next to it, a shady picnic pavilion provides ample room for a large outdoor gathering or party. The pavilion is available for rent through the Parks Business Office (see information at bottom of page).
In addition to the outdoor grounds, Martin Park Nature Center houses a hands-on education center showcasing a variety of reptile and insect species, as well as an nature education library. School, home school and scout groups are welcome to visit the center for their meetings and classes.
The education center also boasts the city's first observation bee hive. Built by Canadian County 4-H Club members, with assistance of the Central Oklahoma Bee Keepers Association, the hive boasts over 8,000 active bees. The bees have open access to and from the park grounds, where they can gather pollen and nectar to take back to the hive to produce honey.
FOR TEACHERS AND GROUP LEADERS:
If you are bringing a student group to the park, please download our Teachers Resource Guide, with pertinent information on group tour scheduling and instruction.
Martin Park offers a variety of nature education programs throughout the year. Topics include anything from animal habitats and behavior, to more practical themes such as "best hiking practices," and "edible plants." Most programs are FREE to the public and open to all ages.
See our PROGRAMS PAGE for a list of our monthly programs and events.
NATURE STORY TIME
Let your imagination run wild as we explore nature through literature. Sit back, relax and enjoy stories new and old as read by our park naturalists. In this "learn through reading" program, we'll choose books to help children discover the world of nature, and then engage in an activity or outdoor hike that relates to what we've read. Nature Story Time takes place each Saturday at 10 a.m. and is FREE to the public. See our StoryTime schedule here. For ages 2-6.
Register in advance.
GREEN EARTH GANG and GREEN EARTH RANGERS
The Green Earth Gang is a nature appreciation program geared toward 9 to 13-year-olds. The "Gang" works on conservation projects in Martin Park throughout the year under the supervision of a park naturalist. Projects include litter pick-ups, maintaining trails, restoring native plants and monitoring and repairing nest boxes. It's a great way to teach kids about the role conservation plays in our environment. The "gang" meets every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Beginning September 1st the meetings will be from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Register in advance.
The Green Earth Rangers, geared toward teens aged 13-18, is designed to follow up where Green Earth Rangers leaves off. Participants will assist the park with conservation efforts that are more complex and leadership-driven. The Rangers will learn about habitat requirements while designing specific projects to benefit the park and its wildlife. Rangers meet every Sunday from 2 - 4 p.m. Register in advance.
There are no fees to participate. Old clothing and closed toe shoes are recommended. Call the park at 297-1429 for specific times.
Flex your muscles and your nature know-how as a volunteer guide or education leader. Volunteers are needed to assist with nature programming and group hikes. Are you an avid bird-watcher? Share your love for all things avian by leading a group hike or discussion. Expert on trees? Come lead a group hike on an expedition through the Martin Park woods. Great opportunity for nature enthusiasts or students. For more information, call 297-1429.
Group projects are available throughout the year for school, scout, home school and other community teams. Activities can range from basic park maintenance to special infrastructure projects suitable for Eagle Scout, Girl Scout Silver or Gold Awards, Adventure Scouts or 4-H Clubs. Scouts seeking to earn rankings or awards must start their project a year before their 18th birthday. To learn more about special volunteer programs, call the park naturalist at 297-1429.
our Picnic Pavilion. The picnic pavilion at Martin Nature Park is
available for birthday parties, group meetings and other outings. Nestled
near the front of the park, near the meadow, story circle and main
parking area, this shady shelter provides the perfect spot for any kind of
outdoor event. Available during park hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 9:00 a.m. -
Call the OKC Parks & Recreation Department business office to reserve: 297-3882.
#Tables: 8 (can seat up to 60-70 comfortably)
Rate: $45 per hour for first two hours (minimum 2-hour rental); $10 per hour for each addtl hour.
Rules and amenities: Outdoor cooking is not allowed at the pavilion. There is no electricity or water hook-up. Restrooms are nearby at the Nature Education Center.
Park Location: Martin Park Nature Center is in far northwest Oklahoma City at 5000 West Memorial Road, on the south side of Memorial between N MacArthur Boulevard and N Meridian Avenue. We're just west of Mercy Hospital.
Since Martin Park is a protected wildlife sanctuary, pets, fishing, hunting, bicycles, swimming, camp fires and other activities that might be destructive to the habitat are not allowed.
For more information, call 405 297-1429 or email Emily Hiatt, Naturalist