|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.
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 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.
Get a printable May-June, 2013 events calendar HERE.
May 11, 3-4 p.m.
Nature Learning Resources
Come learn about the best bets to engage your children with nature. In this hour-long workshop created for parents, our staff will share their favorite go-to nature education sources, including books, magazines and online, interactive sites and applications. FREE
May 12, 3-4 p.m.
Mother's Day Tea
Bring your mom to help us celebrate the greatest mother of all, Mother Nature. Don your big hats, bring a blanket and join us for a Mother's Day tea in the meadow as we sit down with Oklahoma State Wildlife Biologist Jena Donnel to talk about careers for women in nature. Pre-registration required. Cost: $5 per person.
May 18, 3-5 p.m.
"Cache In" on this popular outdoor adventure hobby that's fun for the whole family. Our staff will go over caching basics, including GPS tracking and mapping, and teach you how to make your own cache to stash. We'll also have tips for hiding your treasures. Participants may bring their own GPS units, but a few will be available. FREE
25, 3-4 p.m.
Day Hiking as a Family
Learn how to take an enjoyable - and stress-free - family hike! We're bringing in an expert from Backwoods Outdoor Outfitters who will share his essential know-how tips on creating a fun and successful family hike (hint: it's all in the planning!) We'll cover hike basics, equipment, first aid, and how to keep younger children engaged to make it fun for everyone. FREE
We're starting the summer by focusing our programming on our favorite plant-eating animals, herbivores. Come learn about the different characteristics of these wild creatures, many of which live right here in Central Oklahoma. FREE
June 8: Bison
June 15: Prairie Dogs
June 22: Moles, Voles, Grasshoppers, etc.
June 29: Porcupine
Sunday, June 2 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.
Trooper's Troops Tortoises
Learn about tortoises with Trooper's Troops Tortoises. These giant herbivores - all rescue Sulcata tortoises - can tell us a lot about the tortoise world, including their habitats, lifecycle and characteristics. Don't miss this hands-on experience. FREE
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 755-0676.
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 badges or 4-H clubs. To learn more about special volunteer programs, call the park naturalist at 755-0676.
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 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. The program design will be as follows:
1st Sunday of the month: Review
materials from the 4H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program
2nd Sunday of the month: Conduct additional research and design a project based upon the habitat concept learned;
3rd and 4th Sundays: implement the project
There are no fees to participate, and old clothing is recommended. The "Gang" meets 2 - 5 p.m. each Saturday during the school year, and each Saturday from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. during the summer months. The Rangers meet each Sunday. Call the park at 755-0676 for specific times.
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 near the main
parking area, this shady shelter provides the perfect spot for any kind of
Call the OKC Parks & Recreation Department business office to reserve: 297-3882.
#Tables: 8 (can seat up to 60-70 comfortably)
Rate: #30 per hour for first two hours (minimum 2-hour rental); $10 per hour for each addtl hour.
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 405 755-0676 or email Emily Hiatt, Naturalist