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Bridgestone Preserve

Oklahoma County

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This account written in October 2007 by Jimmy Woodard,
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

That Bridgestone/Firestone 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 area.

 

 

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Copyright 2009 Tulsa Audubon Society
Last modified: September 21, 2009

 

 

 

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