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Wildlife and Nature Attractions in Oklahoma

 


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Oklahoma is a state filled with natural wonders and attractions. In fact, it has the most diverse terrain in the United States on a mile-per-mile basis, according to the EPA.

The state has four main mountain ranges (Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas, and the Kiamichis). It also has over 200 man-made lakes, giving it more than any other state. The largest lake in the state is Lake Eufaula, which covers 102,000 surface acres of water.

The EPA also recognizes Oklahoma as having 11 distinct ecoregions. These include: Western High Plains, Cypress Swamps and Forests, Ouachita Mountains, Hardwood Forest, Ozark Forest, Ozark Highlands, Caves and Prairie, Cross Timbers, Tall Grass Prairie, Central Great Plains, and Southwestern Tablelands.

The state is also filled with various natural museums and conservation centers which are open to the public. Below, I have attempted to detail of few of these sites. Be sure and check them out if you find yourself in Oklahoma.

Tonkawa, Oklahoma - Located in Kay County along the Salt Fork Arkansas River, Tonkawa is home to the North Oklahoma Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

This facility is located on the campus of Northern Oklahoma College (1220 East Grand Street). It is open daily to the public and there is no price for admission. The gardens were established in 1901 and include an arboretum, butterfly display, herb, perennial, rose, and sensory gardens. There is also a greenhouse, and 4,000 to 6,000 bedding plants are added each spring. The annual Redbud Festival also sees the mass planting of over 150 redbuds each year.

Lawton, Oklahoma - Located in Comanche County, Lawton is a city of 92,757 people. It is home to large granite deposits and cotton fields. It is also home to The Percussive Arts Society Museum, Museum of the Great Plains, Medicine Park Village, Mount Scott, and Fort Sill (which includes Geronimo's gravesite). Lawton is also home to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Herds of buffalo, elk, longhorn, and deer are visible as they roam the open plains.

Jenks, Oklahoma - A suburb of Tulsa, Jenks is home to over 13,000 residents. One of the most popular tourist sites is the Oklahoma Aquarium, which is the state's only freestanding aquarium.

It is located on the banks for the Arkansas River. The 72,000 square foot facility was built in 2002 and brings 500,000 annually to the Tulsa area. Exotic marine life are on display, as well as fish and freshwater animals native to Oklahoma. A huge shark tank is the most popular exhibit, and the facility also has the largest collection of fishing tackles in the world.

Grove, Oklahoma - Grove is home to the Lendonwood Gardens, a botanical garden which is free to the public. Founded in 1995, the gardens feature a blend of American and Japanese gardening techniques.

There are over 500 varieties of daylilies, 25 types of dogwood, over 50 bonsai, 75 kinds of Garden Maples, 70 varieties of hostas, as well as a koi pond and much, much more.

In addition to the natural beauty of Oklahoma, the above towns and cites each have Indian casinos and bingo halls within close proximity. After enjoying the beauty of God's creation, why not stop in and risk a little of your hard-earned money?

Tonkawa, OK Bingo
Lawton, Oklahoma Bingo
Jenks, OK Bingo

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