written in October 2007 by Jimmy
updated in 2010 by Jane Cunningham
I wanted to pass along
information on a relatively new place to bird. Bridgestone/Firestone is
allowing access to a nature preserve at the corner of SW15th and Council
Road which is just north of the now vacant Dayton Tire Plant owned by
Bridgestone. This land was recently donated to Oklahoma City for use as
a nature preserve and the adjacent area for a new school.
There is a nice wide trail along a tree lined creek from a
grassy parking area at the corner of SW 15th. It generally runs
east-west and goes about 2/3 to 3/4 of a mile east to the sand company
on the east end. There are several footbridge crossings and several
picnic tables along the trail. About a half mile in there is a trail
that heads south up a small embankment. There is a fair size pond with
small willows and cottonwoods around it.
There is a two-track road
heading east and one heading south across an open field. I didn't
explore either of these to see how far they went.
I was there in early
October in the afternoon so birding wasn't great but I found Cardinal,
Blue Jay, Robin, Carolina Wren, Red-tail Hawk near a nest, Brown
Thrasher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Little Blue, Green-wing Teal, Coot,
Pied-billed Grebe and Song Sparrow in about 30 minutes.
I also had a large number
of butterflies flying around in the understory and open areas along the
trail. Most were Monarchs.
There is another slightly
larger parking area on the east end of SW 15th just before the sand
companies. Be aware that there is a pipe gate at both ends and neither
were open. There is room for two cars to pull off the road at the west
end and room for several cars to pull into a field on the east end. You
walk thru the open field on the east end along the fence to a concrete
bridge to access the trail from that end. Also, if you visit during the
week, there will be considerable truck traffic heading into the sand
company and trash trucks heading into the dump.
Update from Jane
Cummingham, June 2010
area has been donated by Oklahoma City to the Western Heights School
system. The school district will be building an elementary school
adjacent to it, probably in 2011. The goal is to make it easy for
classes and the public to enter the area and enjoy the 40 acres,
learning about wildlife.
The Audubon Society of
Central Oklahoma recently got a 10K grant from Chesapeake Energy to help
develop it into a nice wildlife and educational area and is working with
the school district and Land Legacy. We will be moving boulders in for
sitting areas for classes, and resting locations. Red Cedars are in the
process of being removed. The trail has been mulched most of the way,
and kept up by a wildlife area Project Manager from the school district
and his helper. They will clean up the stream that runs along and
through the area. The pond is not always full since it is only filled by
a nearby well and the city has removed the power that went to the pumps
to fill the pond. We also have talked about making a wildlife viewing