Oakland Nature Preserve

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ONP has been offered a $15,000 challenge match grant by a local foundation. This foundation will match up to $15,000 collected between September 1st and December 31st. Please help us meet the $15,000 challenge!
Goal: $15,000.00
Collected: $3,889.00

The Preserve will remain closed until deemed safe for visitors. Follow us on social media for updates.

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 150-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 Healthy West Orange 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


Upcoming Events

Get Involved 


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. Habitat Restoration volunteers: Remove invasive plants, prepare the soil, growing native plants, maintain restored areas, and monitor wildlife. More information...

Museum and Office

You do not have to be a Master Naturalist or scientist to be a great volunteer 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.  More information...



ONP Eco-Interpreter (EI) volunteer's main priority is engaging with ONP guests at activity stations on the porch of our Education Center. 

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..


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


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



Office: +1 407-905-0054

P O Box 841

747 Machete Trail

Oakland, FL 34760

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