Oakland Nature Preserve

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Photo Pileated Woodpecker 

Open Year-round

 

West of Orlando,  just 30 minutes from the attractions and nestled between Winter Garden and Clermont in the beautiful Town of Oakland, lies a "hidden gem."  A 128-acre preserve offering environmental education and ecotourism activities for visitors of all ages.

 

Photo Gopher Tortoise 

How It Began

In the late 1880s and early 1900s Lake Apopka was the 2nd largest lake in Florida and a popular spot for recreational fishing tournaments. Much of the land around the lake was being farmed and used for agricultural purposes, and there were numerous fishing camps around the area.

In the early 1920s the city of Winter Garden began discharging sewage into the lake, and by the 1940s the farms along the north shore were discharging nutrients into the lake.  In the early 1950s a lake stabilization program was started, but the quality and quantity of game fish had already begun to deteriorate. Learn more...

Plan Your Day 

Enjoy hiking the upland trails or the boardwalk to lake Apopka, visit the Jim Thomas Environmental Education Center and Museum or just sit and relax with a good book on the Serenity Porch.

Check out the events calendar for special opportunities while you are visiting. 

Read more

Photo Oakland Nature Preserve Boarwalk 

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events

    • Mon, September 23, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Mon, September 30, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Sat, October 05, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Sat, October 05, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     Led by entomologist Christy LeDuc, this is a fun, family suitable program where attendees will learn about different native insects of Florida. A different topic is featured each month. 

    What you can expect: The Program will start with a brief classroom presentation, following by a guided hike on the Preserve, where attendees have the opportunity to see bugs up close and personal!

    What to bring: Participants are advised to bring a reusable water bottle, wear closed toed shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Bug nets and containers will be provided. 

    Where to meet: In the classroom of the Education Center at 10am. 

    Members are free and $5 donations from non-members help support our programs. We have limited classroom space, so we ask visitors to please register in advance. Please check your email and the Facebook page for last-minute weather cancellations. 

    • Mon, October 07, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Tue, October 08, 2019
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Classroom
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Creatures of the Night

    Ever wonder how an owl can see in the dark? How a bobcat stalks and finds its prey under the cover of darkness? How a bat locates a moth as it twists and weaves? In this program, students learn about the amazing adaptations nocturnal animals have to help them survive in low light. 

    • Sat, October 12, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Mon, October 14, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Sat, October 19, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Sat, October 19, 2019
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Lake Apopka South Shore
    • 15
    Register


    • Sat, October 19, 2019
    • 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM
    • ONP Overflow Parking Lot

    Registration Not Required 

    • Mon, October 21, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Sat, October 26, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Register

    This year’s Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., activities will include historical, cultural, and wildlife presentations, a silent auction, musical entertainment, children’s activities, numerous vendors, and much more.

    Multiple time slots and activities are available to work with your schedule. 

     

    • Sat, October 26, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

    This year’s Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., activities will include historical, cultural, and wildlife presentations, a silent auction, musical entertainment, children’s activities, numerous vendors, and much more.

    No registration is required to attend. 

    • Mon, October 28, 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     

    • Sat, November 02, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     Led by entomologist Christy LeDuc, this is a fun, family suitable program where attendees will learn about different native insects of Florida. A different topic is featured each month. 

    What you can expect: The Program will start with a brief classroom presentation, following by a guided hike on the Preserve, where attendees have the opportunity to see bugs up close and personal!

    What to bring: Participants are advised to bring a reusable water bottle, wear closed toed shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Bug nets and containers will be provided. 

    Where to meet: In the classroom of the Education Center at 10am. 

    Members are free and $5 donations from non-members help support our programs. We have limited classroom space, so we ask visitors to please register in advance. Please check your email and the Facebook page for last-minute weather cancellations. 

    • Sat, November 09, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • Classroom
    Register

     

    • Tue, November 12, 2019
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Classroom
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Radical Reptilia

    Meet the coolest creatures in the Kingdom! From lounging lizards to sssensational snakes, there’s nothing to fear from the cold-blooded critters of ONP. Join us as we “croc” open the hidden worlds of reptiles.   

    • Wed, November 13, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • ONP Museum
    Register

    Story TBD 

    • Sat, December 07, 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Register

     Led by entomologist Christy LeDuc, this is a fun, family suitable program where attendees will learn about different native insects of Florida. A different topic is featured each month. 

    What you can expect: The Program will start with a brief classroom presentation, following by a guided hike on the Preserve, where attendees have the opportunity to see bugs up close and personal!

    What to bring: Participants are advised to bring a reusable water bottle, wear closed toed shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Bug nets and containers will be provided. 

    Where to meet: In the classroom of the Education Center at 10am. 

    Members are free and $5 donations from non-members help support our programs. We have limited classroom space, so we ask visitors to please register in advance. Please check your email and the Facebook page for last-minute weather cancellations. 

    • Wed, February 12, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • ONP Museum
    Register

    Story TBD 

    • Wed, April 08, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • ONP Museum
    Register

    Story TBD 

Past events

Sat, September 21, 2019 Community Volunteer Day
Mon, September 16, 2019 Restoration Work Day
Sat, September 14, 2019 Community Volunteer Day
Tue, September 10, 2019 Homeschool Class Series
Mon, September 09, 2019 Restoration Work Day
Sat, September 07, 2019 Insect Safari
Sat, September 07, 2019 Community Volunteer Day
Sat, August 31, 2019 Community Volunteer Day
Mon, August 26, 2019 Restoration Work Day
Sat, August 24, 2019 Community Volunteer Day
Mon, August 19, 2019 Restoration Work Day
Sat, August 17, 2019 Community Volunteer Day
Mon, August 12, 2019 Restoration Work Day
Sat, August 03, 2019 Insect Safari
Mon, June 17, 2019 Summer Camp
Wed, June 12, 2019 Story Time

Get Involved 

Restoration 

Our goal is to restore the Preserve upland property back to the way it was before explorers arrived to the Americas, to its original Sandhill habitat, we cannot accomplish this without dedicated volunteers . Habitat Restoration is a long, hard process involving: Removing invasive plants, preparing the soil, growing native plants, maintaining restored areas, and monitoring wildlife. More information...

 

Museum and Office  

You do not have to be a Master Naturalist or scientist to be a great tour guide, museum docent, environmental interpreter or greeter.  If you enjoy the outdoors and talking with people, and have an outgoing and friendly demeanor we welcome you to consider joining our program, we have something for everyone. More information...

 

Youth 

ONP Eco-Interpreters (EI) main priority is engaging with ONP guests at activity stations on the porch of our Education Center. These include animal bio-facts and interactive games to help guests learn more about wildlife and the ecosystems where they live.

The Leader in Training (LIT) program is for youth who want to gain knowledge in programming events, working with kids and gain leadership skills. More information..

Membership 

An annual membership to the Oakland Nature Preserve helps us to provide resources to support the restoration efforts, education programs, and mission to educate the public about the natural history and ecology of the Lake Apopka basin.

 Become a Member Now

 

 

Upcoming events

Our mission: 

To promote an understanding of the fragile balance between mankind and the environment by educating visitors about Lake Apopka basin's ecosystems and cultural history, and by restoring and conserving the lands within the Preserve. 

 

Photo Environmental Education Center 

Florida Communities Trust Logo

Funding for the acquisition of this site was provided by the Florida Communities Trust using Preservation 2000 funds.

 

  

Call:
Office: +1 407-905-0054

Address:
P O Box 841

747 Machete Trail

Oakland, FL 34760

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