Martin Park Nature Center
Martin Park Nature Center is one of Oklahoma City's most beloved parks. Thousands of visitors enjoy the serenity of nature in this park every year. However, the park suffered from a lack of visibility from the road. The creation of a new entry feature has made the park clearly visible to those looking for this gem.
Inspiration for the entry design came from the rough cut stone building materials found in frontier towns such as Guthrie, OK. In contrast, large cor-ten steel panels were hung vertically to add a naturalistic color and feel to the entry feature. Finally, cedar framing timber was added to connect the entry to the wooded areas around it.
Plantings of native grasses and butterfly attractors were conceived to root the entry, add color and visually remind visitors of the mission of the park as a place to enter into urban nature.
Designed to connect kids to nature the playground was constructed as close as possible to the Martin Park Lake. From the protection of the observation deck, children can view the wildlife and nature through a built-in telescope. The playground is designed for active play and has a treehouse theme that helps it blend into the natural surroundings.
There are two distinct play areas for different age groups: a toddler area for 2-5 years, and a larger play area for kids 5-12 years. Parents have clear views into the playground from the perimeter. The entry with rustic log detailing is ADA compliant. The paths are designed to encourage wandering into adjacent wooded and grassy areas for exploration of nature. Discreet fencing protects the edges of the playground, allowing children safe exploration, even along the water’s edge.
Size: 1 acre
Completed while Brent Wall was at OKC Parks & Recreation