Outdoor Classroom Offers 'Live Science' And Wildlife Lessons For Oklahoma Kids

Tuesday, May 12th 2020, 8:48 am
By: Tess Maune


If you're running out of things to at home with your kids, there’s a new option to get outside and learn about Oklahoma wildlife and the outdoors.

It's an outdoor classroom at Heyburn Lake in Creek County, which is about 25 miles southwest of Tulsa.

Heyburn is one of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s wildlife management areas with about 6,000 acres to explore.

There are nine information stations mapped out around the lake with signs that give information about the different things you might see on the WMA. Everything from tadpoles and frogs, to pollinators, wildflowers, nest boxes, wetlands and wildlife tracks.

It will also help folks better understand some of the Wildlife Department's management strategies, like prescribed burns and the importance of clearing out eastern red cedar trees.

There's also a scenic stop with a 10-foot waterfall that is complete with an ODWC selfie station.            

Matt Mattioda is the wildlife biologist came up with the idea (he’s also husband to News On 6’s Tess Maune). 

“At the end of the school year every year kids get to go on field trips to different places. I feel like some kids might miss out on that this year, so here’s an opportunity for parents to bring them out here and get to see all sorts of things,” Mattioda said. 

He said he wanted to give kids a fun, interactive, hands-on learning experience in the Oklahoma outdoors. 

"It's just a great opportunity to break up to monotony of sitting at home and learning get out here and do some live sciences,” said Mattioda. “You can be as loud as you want, play as much as you want, burn off some energy and learn a little bit."

If you have a fishing license, you can bring your fishing pole because the outdoor classroom also maps out several fishing holes.             

Visiting the sites doesn't cost anything, but it is a driving trail, so you'll want save the map attached to this story that shows you where each station is located.