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Proposed Indian Springs Audubon Center


Tulsa Audubon announces formation of a committee to develop a master plan for a new   Nature Center, located in southern Tulsa County at Indian Springs, Broken Arrow, as proposed in the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan.


Proposed nature center from the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan


Note from John Kennington
Tulsa Audubon president

Tulsa Audubon, Broken Arrow Parks, and many local citizens feel that the creation of a nature center on the land immediately east of the Indian Springs Sports Complex in Broken Arrow, as suggested in the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan, would be a very worthwhile venture, and a great asset to the community.

While the city of Broken Arrow would likely include this project in a future bond issue, it could be many years before any action is taken. The Tulsa Audubon Society feels there is an immediate need for such a facility in southern Tulsa County. Thirty years ago, Tulsa Audubon facilitated the formation of Oxley Nature Center in Tulsa, and it has become a resounding success. When Oxley begins booking school groups, they fill their calendar for the year in  a matter of days. So there is a definite need for another similar facility.

From the Arkansas River Corridor
Master Plan

Another major feature of the proposed plan for Broken Arrow’s riverfront is the development of a nature center for the forested area east of the sports complex. This scenic property, located south of the Indian Springs Country Club Golf Course, extends east for three-quarters of a mile beyond the sports complex. A new interpretive center is proposed in a clearing at the west end of the nature center. Vehicular access is provided by a new drive that connects with existing parking at the Pee Wee baseball fields. The new curved entry road crosses a creek to provide a linkage to new parking and a drop-off area that accommodates bus circulation. An existing parking lot north of the Wayne Bennet Fields is also shown as a trailhead for adjacent neighborhoods, with a walkway that connects to the nature center. Throughout the nature center, looped walking paths are proposed for pedestrian access. A large island at the east end of the nature center is also accessed by a new pedestrian bridge and trails. In addition to the center’s forested land, the riparian habitat along the river’s edge adds diversity for environmental education.

Click here to view the entire Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan on the INCOG web site.
 

I have discussed this concept with the city of Broken Arrow Parks Department, and they are extremely supportive of this project. We feel the first step to making this a reality is to create a master plan for a proposed nature center. Tulsa Audubon is taking the lead in forming a committee to conduct fund-raising to finance the creation of this master plan. The committee would also provide input on a proposed design. This committee would be composed of Tulsa Audubon members, representatives of Broken Arrow Parks, and any other interested citizens. A very “ball park” figure for such a plan is $20,000.I have discussed this concept with the city of Broken Arrow Parks Department, and they are extremely supportive of this project. We feel the first step to making this a reality is to create a master plan for a proposed nature center. Tulsa Audubon is taking the lead in forming a committee to conduct fund-raising to finance the creation of this master plan. The committee would also provide input on a proposed design. This committee would be composed of Tulsa Audubon members, representatives of Broken Arrow Parks, and any other interested citizens. A very “ball park” figure for such a plan is $20,000.

This master plan could then be used for gaining community support for construction of the center and for fund raising. Exactly how we would go forward with financing, construction and operation of the center is still an unknown. One model is Oxley Nature Center, operated by the Tulsa Parks Department, with support of a friends group. Another model is a joint venture with the Nation Audubon Society.

In recent years National Audubon has organized itself on a state basis, and has created Audubon Centers across the country. There are currently no Audubon Centers in Oklahoma, so this could be a prime opportunity to establish the first such center right in Broken Arrow. One possible arrangement would have the city provide the infrastructure, and Audubon provide the management and operation, drawing on Audubon’s expertise in this area. This general model is already used in several other areas of the parks department. 

Whatever the final arrangement may be, we all share the goal of creating this new nature center as soon as possible, working together to make it a reality.


Do you want to be involved?

Please email John Kennington and I will notify you of our first meeting,
which I anticipate will be held in mid-August.


Click on the thumbnails below for full-sized images

 
Aerial photo of Indian Springs area

Close-up of nature center area

Broken Arrow riverfront proposal from Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan (PDF File, 2.3 MB)

 

 

 

Send mail to johnkennington@cox.net with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2013 Tulsa Audubon Society
Last modified: January 28, 2014

 

 

 

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