The Edmond Sun

Local News

December 29, 2012

Opposition mounts to changes at Martin Nature Park

Reconstruction would revamp park, increase disabled access

EDMOND — EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was modified Dec. 31, 2012, to remove a reference to any public funding source. Wildnerness Matters Executive Director Jack McMahan said his organization will be seeking private funding for the proposed park renovation. The Edmond Sun regrets the error and any inconvenience to our readers.

Adding new trails and structures at Martin Park Nature Center could have serious consequences for the area’s wildlife, trees and rare plants, according to The Friends of Martin Nature Park, a civic group that supports the Martin Park Nature Center.

A proposal made by the Wilderness Matters Inc. group would mean a $1.2 million to $2 million project to improve access for the disabled at the park.

“Everyone supports increased accessibility,” Friends spokeswoman Janna Gau said. “Accessibility isn’t the issue. The issue is the unintended consequences of this particular proposal. A major problem is the building of a new trail into an area of the park that has been designated as a wildlife sanctuary since 1978.

“The proposal seeks to change that designation, which will create irreversible and detrimental effects to the park and its use as an educational facility. Their proposal impacts the entire park property.”

The Friends of Martin Park Nature Center recently asked the OKC City Council to postpone consideration of the new development and appoint a joint committee to resolve problems with the proposal.

Friends of Martin Park Nature Center are raising opposition stemming from a proposal by nonprofit group Wilderness Matters Inc., which wants to add new handicapped-accessible trails, a tree house, a boardwalk across the lake and a sensory garden.

Friends members say the projects would require a large amount of construction and could destroy trees and rare plants, disturb the nesting seasons of migratory birds and scare away wildlife that have long been part of the city park at 5000 W. Memorial.

“These proposed changes were going to cause problems and, in my opinion, had not been thoroughly vetted,” Gau said.

The Oklahoma City Parks Commission conducted an additional review of the plan during a Dec. 19 meeting and voted to send the proposal to the City Council for consideration during the Jan. meeting.

 

Volunteers say ‘Do Not Disturb’

“The new trail will alter the healthy natural ecosystem in the southeastern portion of the park,” said Cathy Christensen, president of the Oklahoma Bar Association and representative of the nearby Val Verde homeowners. “It is home to deer, owls, foxes, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, muskrat, beaver and a variety of nesting birds, and it is an important habitat for migrating ducks, geese and songbirds. Remove those animals and you lose the opportunity to educate thousands of children and park visitors.”

Christensen also said that disruption to the natural ecosystem could reduce the number of predators, such as owls, which keep populations of rodents, skunks and other animals from overpopulating and becoming pests to nearby neighborhoods and the park itself.

Construction at any level, Gau said, could destroy some of the park’s rarest plants and prevent migratory birds from nesting there. Construction could force wildlife, such as bobcats and wolves, to move into surrounding neighborhoods.

“We have four rare species of plants you can’t find anywhere else in Oklahoma, and then we have birds like the ruby-throated hummingbirds that migrate here in the spring,” Gau said. “That’s just one of 30 migratory birds we have. The issue is we have migratory birds coming in all year, so it makes it difficult to make changes to the park. This type of construction could prevent them from coming here if the area is altered.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Sheriffs accuse state of ducking out on prisoner promises

    State efforts to save time and money by shuffling prisoners more swiftly through the system are riling local sheriffs who are losing money because of the efficiency program.
    A change in Department of Corrections practice is landing a “significant hit” on two-thirds of Oklahoma counties, which depend on reimbursements to house state inmates locally, said Ken McNair, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association.
    “The sheriffs are now in a position where they have to make adjustments to their budgets,” he said.
    Sheriffs converged on the Capitol on Tuesday, filling the Senate gallery, in part to protest efforts to remove inmates from their custody. The change will cost the sheriffs — but save the state — millions each year.

    April 24, 2014

  • OK officials account for disaster spending

    Nearly a year after deadly tornadoes hit central Oklahoma, officials announced that they have spent close to $9.4 million in private donations on relief efforts.

    April 24, 2014

  • north 1.jpg U.S. News ranks city high schools in state’s Top 10

    All three Edmond high schools are ranked among the Top 10 in the state in a prestigious national list.
    U.S. News & World Report, which publishes annual rankings, ranked Edmond North No. 3 in Oklahoma and No. 437 nationwide. Memorial ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma and No. 847 nationwide. Santa Fe ranked No. 8 in Oklahoma and No. 1,075 nationwide.
    “This recognition serves as validation for our students, parents and staff members at all levels who work together relentlessly in pursuit of academic excellence, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • OC expands to 5 academic colleges

    Oklahoma Christian University will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
    OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
    “Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”

    April 23, 2014

  • N Front Door 3.jpg FBI seeks suspect in robbery of local bank

    Police and FBI agents are investigating the robbery of a local bank by a suspect wearing a fake mustache and goatee, a spokesman said.
    FBI Special Agent Martinus McConnell said the robbery occurred Tuesday morning at the Arvest Bank, 2025 Sonoma Park, Edmond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ekso 1.jpg Deer Creek students see bionic suit in action

    In 2010, a car accident left Guthrie resident Mary Beth Davis paralyzed from the waist down.
    In a few weeks, thanks to INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, determination and an Ekso Bionics suit, she will be walking across a stage to receive a college diploma from Oklahoma State University.
    Wednesday afternoon, Davis was at Deer Creek Middle School where students of teacher Jamie Brehm got to see Davis and the suit in action and learn about how it helps people live a fuller life.
    Brehm said the opportunity to have the demonstration fit perfectly with the testing schedule. Brehm said a bonus was having Davis with her inspirational story come to the school. In addition to graduating soon, Davis lives an independent life and she was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • clock edit.jpg Antique clock collection on display at Edmond Library

    In a world that’s often hurried and brief, the Sooner Time Collectors have nothing but time. Oklahoma chapter members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors have provided antique pieces from personal collections to display at the Edmond Library until the end of April.
    Since the 1950s, Sooner Time Collectors have gathered to learn about the inner workings of clocks and to admire one-of-a-kind finds. Of interest to the community is their involvement with repairs for the Cowboy Hall of Fame clock and the UCO tower. They now have 35 members who meet monthly as a chapter of the 16,000-member NAWCC community across America and the world.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Be on the lookout for termites

    Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
    Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.

    April 23, 2014

  • Betz handprint.jpg Central students organize ‘Take Back the Night’ to end sexual violence

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s National Organization for Women (UCO-NOW), Institute of Hope and the Violence Prevention Project will host a Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and rally to end violence, beginning 7 p.m. May 1 in Pegasus Theater in Central’s Liberal Arts building.
    TBTN events date back to the early 1970s and focus on eliminating sexual violence in all forms. Thousands of colleges, universities, women’s centers and rape crisis centers have sponsored TBTN marches throughout the country.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • suspect 1 Police investigate more home burglaries in Edmond

    Residents have reported an additional seven home burglaries to the Edmond Police Department the day after an equal number occurred, according to city records.
    Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said a detective is investigating the new incidents reported during the day on Tuesday. Monroe said similarities in them lead the agency to believe they are connected.
    Tuesday’s reported burglaries occurred in different areas including near the Covell-Coltrane intersection and south of 15th Street along Santa Fe. According to city records, they were reported at:

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results