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School Fieldtrips

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How To Schedule A Fieldtrip at Oxley Nature Center

When is a good time to visit?

Fieldtrips can be scheduled year-round. Each season offers different lessons and experiences. If a guided field trip is not available, you are welcome to use our facility for your own self-guided programs. Please call and let us know you are coming.

Guided fieldtrips may be scheduled up to 13 months in advance by calling (918) 596-9054 during regular office hours: Monday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday Noon - 4:30 p.m. The Nature Center is closed most City holidays, and occasionally for furlough days.

The reservation calendar rolls forward one month at a time on the first Tuesday of each month. Starting on that date, a fieldtrip may be scheduled one year in advance through the end of that particular month. For example, starting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, any open field trip date through September 30, 2013 may be scheduled.

Starting in 2012, all tours and programs will cost $2 per participant. Some have an additional materials fee. For the remainder of 2011, weekday tours for Tulsa Public Schools are free.

Programs available

Many first-time visitors choose to go on a General Discovery Tour. Whatever the students and their leaders discover along the trail (animal homes, evidence of wildlife activity, plant growth, seed dispersal, predator-prey interactions, etc.) will be the topics of discussion. Discovery Tours run for one to two hours (depending on the age of the students.) On weekdays, all tours must end by 12:00 p.m.

Any Discovery Tour may also have a Special Topic added to the program, especially for older students or repeat visitors. They may choose to work on forest ecology, seasonal change, habitats, tracking, aquatic analysis, map skills, pollution studies, etc.

The Pathfinder Tour is a little more structured than a General Discovery Tour. As part of their discoveries, pathfinders earn a badge by learning to identify five plants (one being poison ivy) and finding five tracks or signs of wild animals, and becoming able to discuss five wild animals that live at the Nature Center. Allow an hour for the Pathfinder Tour. Each 1 1/4" blue and white sew-on badge costs $0.75, tax included.


The following programs are available weekdays only, Spring or Autumn (Tuesday-Friday)

The award-winning Riddle of the Woods Tour is designed for 3rd-5th grade students.The Riddle is revealed to students a week or two before the fieldtrip, as a mystery to be solved. A series of preparatory materials covers basic vocabulary and background information. With the students prepared to search for clues, the fieldtrip itself puts discoveries into the framework of energy flow from the sun to green plants to herbivores to carnivores and omnivores to decomposers. 

The fieldtrip begins at 10:00 a.m. and breaks for lunch around noon. After lunch, all clues and discoveries are put together, and the Riddle of the Woods is solved. The handbooks include follow-up materials and activities. 

BioF.A.D., which stands for Biologist For A Day, is designed to allow middle school students a chance to find out what it is like to be a field biologist as they rotate among 4 stations gathering data as citizen scientists.  One station teaches students to use a simple dichotomous key to identify trees. Another station uses hula hoops tossed out into Meadowlark Prairie to create random sampling areas. A third station may use art or writing or both as the citizen scientists record their field observations, learning to describe what is actually there, rather than what they think is there. The fourth station involves finding out about biodiversity at one of Oxley Nature Centerís wetland areas, where the biologists use nets to get a closer look at the macroinvertebrates (and a few vertebrates, as well.) They will use their finds to rate the water quality with a biotic index.

Biologists may share their data with other Biologists on a non-searchable Google site. Data may be uploaded in a variety of formats, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and jpeg photos. The information gathered actually helps the Oxley Nature Center staff with the management plan for Meadowlark Prairie, as we compare burned areas to unburned areas. This program is helping us develop a better biotic index for a pond habitat, too.