From the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission
-- At its July meeting, the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission celebrated the dedication of its newest facility with a shot from the bow of two-time National Archery in the Schools Champion Meredith Noland of Chickasha.
Noland's well-placed arrow is only one of many that will be released in the future on the grounds of the Arcadia Conservation Education Area, where the Commission celebrated the opening of its new Outdoor Training and Education Center, an indoor facility on the Edmond property that will be used for outdoor education purposes.
The Arcadia Conservation Education Area is a 700-acre property on Lake Arcadia that Oklahoma anglers have been enjoying for years by way of walk-in access, but with the completion and dedication of the area's new indoor facility comes even more outdoor opportunities. The area can be used for hunter education and aquatic education classes, wetland learning opportunities, bird watching, and field trips for area schools.
Additionally, conservation-based curriculum is being developed for educators to provide students with outdoor learning opportunities on the property. Complete with a wetland walking trail, fishing access, and birding opportunities, the area represents the Department's goal to engage youth in the outdoors and to instill appreciation for conservation.
In other donations, the Commission accepted $36,200 from NatureWorks and $7,500 from the Oklahoma Station Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) to fund a range of Wildlife Department projects.
The $36,200 donation from Tulsa-based conservation group NatureWorks will be used to fund five projects, including $15,000 for fireguards and ridge top clearings at Osage Wildlife Management Area in northeast Oklahoma, $10,000 to fund subscriptions to the Wildlife Department's Outdoor Oklahoma magazine for every public school and library in the state, $5,000 for the Department's Hunters Against Hunger program, $5,000 to fund awareness and equipment for the Department's aquatic nuisance species program, and a $1,200 prize for the winner of the state duck stamp design contest. NatureWorks generates its funds through its annual wildlife art show in Tulsa.
The donation from the Oklahoma Station Chapter of SCI will be used to support the Department's Hunters Against Hunger program, fund bear research in Oklahoma, and to purchase a youth deer license for one participant in each of the Department's 350 hunter education classes throughout the year. The organization is also working to make SCI membership discounts available for one adult from each hunter education class throughout the year.