By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation will have several fun events for people of all ages this month. The Oklahoma City metro has over a hundred city parks with a variety of features from basketball courts and soccer fields to gyms and picnic shelters.
On Saturday, July 18, come celebrate World Snake Day at Martin Park Nature Center at 5000 W. Memorial Road. Local herpetologists will give an up-close look at rare and exotic species and demonstrate how these snakes exist in the wild.
Young adventurers can take part in a herp hike, create snake-themed crafts and enjoy a snake painting demo demonstration with the park’s education animals. For information, call 405-297-1429
Kids ages 5-15 can get “Hooked on Fishing” during the Summer 2015 program. Join volunteer instructors and Parks & Recreation staff as they teach young anglers how to tie knots, cast a line, catch a fish and identify what they caught, as well as other Oklahoma fish species.
The free classes will begin at 8 a.m. on July 18 at Metro Tech Springlake, NE 36th & Springlake Drive and July 25 at Crystal Lake, 6625 SW 15 Street. Permits are not required during class time and equipment is provided.
Reserve your space by calling the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery at 405-297-1426.
Also on Saturday, July 18, children 6 and up can trek through the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum at Will Rogers Gardens, 3400 NW 36th from 10 a.m. to noon. It’s an opportunity to see the park’s wide variety of trees. Afterwards, kids will head inside to make their own tree-inspired mask. Cost is $10 per mask and materials are supplied. Advanced registration required. Register in advance.
On Thursday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. adults ages 18 and older can join Martin Nature Park staff for an evening of hiking, archery, nature-inspired games, art exhibits and more during this twice-monthly series that’s just for adults. Cost varies per program. Call 405-297-1429 for more information.
On Saturday, July 25 from 8 – 10 p.m., kids ages 6 and up can join Martin Nature Park staff for a special night time Fire Fly Hike in search of nature’s flickering fireworks. We’ll turn out the light and scour the woods for these flying phosphorescent creatures. Cost is $5 per person. Call 405-297-1429 for more information.
On Saturday, July 25 from 12 – 2 p.m. children 6 and up can learn the basics of gardening in miniature with the Will Rogers Gardens’ monthly Fairy Gardening workshops. Learn to make fairie paths, gnome homes, willow fences and more in a container you can take home with you. Materials supplied. This is a great project for the entire family. Fore more information call 405-297-1392.
On Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m., children ages 6 and up can join park staff for Critter Crunch, an exclusive demonstration of what the snakes, lizards and other reptiles like to eat for lunch. Learn about each animal’s feeding habits and what whets their appetites in the wild. This event takes place each Sunday at 2 p.m. Cost is $2 per participant. Limited space is available.
On Friday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m., come to Martin Nature Park to hear Dr. Leslie Hannah from Northeastern State University share nature stories from his native Cherokee tradition. Grab a blanket and head to the park visitors’ center for an extraordinary evening of native myths and legends. It’s a free event.
Register for these events and more at www.okc.gov/active.