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 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

Upcoming events

    • Sat, March 06, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    This is a volunteer event for University High Student Government members. There is no regular volunteer hours scheduled for today.

    Currently, many of our volunteer activities involves actively participating in habitat restoration as we move towards our goal of restoring the area’s native longleaf pine and sand hill habitats, as well as general preserve maintenance. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks including but not limited to clerical and office work.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability. Parental consent for any minor is assumed by providing the Emergency Contact.

    • Mon, March 08, 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Currently, many of our volunteer activities involves actively participating in habitat restoration as we move towards our goal of restoring the area’s native longleaf pine and sand hill habitats, as well as general preserve maintenance. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks including but not limited to clerical and office work.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    We have limited spots available for volunteers. If registration is not available, we have reached our limit for the day.

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability.

    • Thu, March 11, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
    • ONP
    • 8
    Register


    • Sat, March 13, 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Currently, many of our volunteer activities involves actively participating in habitat restoration as we move towards our goal of restoring the area’s native longleaf pine and sand hill habitats, as well as general preserve maintenance. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks including but not limited to clerical and office work.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    For your first shift, please arrive at 7:45 for a quick orientation. Subsequent times please arrive for 8am.

    We have limited spots available for volunteers. If registration is not available, we have reached our limit for the day. We have a waitlist available, you must register for the waitlist for each shift you'd like to be waitlisted on. Waitlists do not carry over.

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability.

    • Sat, March 20, 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • 0
    Registration is closed

    Currently, many of our volunteer activities involves actively participating in habitat restoration as we move towards our goal of restoring the area’s native longleaf pine and sand hill habitats, as well as general preserve maintenance. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks including but not limited to clerical and office work.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    For your first shift, please arrive at 7:45 for a quick orientation. Subsequent times please arrive for 8am.

    We have limited spots available for volunteers. If registration is not available, we have reached our limit for the day. We have a waitlist available, you must register for the waitlist for each shift you'd like to be waitlisted on. Waitlists do not carry over.

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability.

    • Sat, March 20, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Montverde
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Montverde

    Meet at Montverde boat ramp.  Paddle to Smith's Island to see buffalo and Ferndale Preserve then return.

    Need to rent a kayak? Kayaks are limited so please visit www.oaklandnaturepreserve.org/blue-hike to rent kayak before you register for hike.

     

    • Sat, March 20, 2021
    • 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    During this shift, volunteers will be assisting with our Plant Sale.

    Currently, many of our volunteer activities involves actively participating in habitat restoration as we move towards our goal of restoring the area’s native longleaf pine and sand hill habitats, as well as general preserve maintenance. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks including but not limited to clerical and office work.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    For your first shift, please arrive at 7:45 for a quick orientation. Subsequent times please arrive for 8am.

    We have limited spots available for volunteers. If registration is not available, we have reached our limit for the day. We have a waitlist available, you must register for the waitlist for each shift you'd like to be waitlisted on. Waitlists do not carry over.

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability.

    • Mon, March 22, 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Currently, many of our volunteer activities involves actively participating in habitat restoration as we move towards our goal of restoring the area’s native longleaf pine and sand hill habitats, as well as general preserve maintenance. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks including but not limited to clerical and office work.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    We have limited spots available for volunteers. If registration is not available, we have reached our limit for the day.

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability.

    • Mon, March 22, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 2
    Register

    Trees, getting to the root of things.

    Learn about tree structure, identifying characteristics, and the importance of trees in an ecosystem!

    • Sat, March 27, 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Currently, many of our volunteer activities involves actively participating in habitat restoration as we move towards our goal of restoring the area’s native longleaf pine and sand hill habitats, as well as general preserve maintenance. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks including but not limited to clerical and office work.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    For your first shift, please arrive at 7:45 for a quick orientation. Subsequent times please arrive for 8am.

    We have limited spots available for volunteers. If registration is not available, we have reached our limit for the day. We have a waitlist available, you must register for the waitlist for each shift you'd like to be waitlisted on. Waitlists do not carry over.

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability.

    • Mon, April 05, 2021
    • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 7
    Register


    • Thu, April 08, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 8
    Register


    • Sat, April 17, 2021
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • 12
    Register

    This is a volunteer event for Winter Garden Rotary members. There is no regular volunteer hours scheduled for today.

    We will be planting 5000 wiregrass into the area we are currently working to restore.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability. Parental consent for any minor is assumed by providing the Emergency Contact.

    • Sat, April 17, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Crooked River
    • 12
    Register

    Crooked River

    Meet at Crooked River Preserve.

    Need to rent a kayak? Kayaks are limited so please visit www.oaklandnaturepreserve.org/blue-hike to rent kayak before you register for hike.

     

    • Mon, April 19, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 8
    Register

    Incredible Invertebrates

    Learn to classify and identify some of the small critters all around us, in the classroom as well as capturing in the field!
    • Sat, April 24, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • 15

    This is a volunteer event for Windermere High Key Club members. There is no regular volunteer hours scheduled for today.

    Currently, many of our volunteer activities involves actively participating in habitat restoration as we move towards our goal of restoring the area’s native longleaf pine and sand hill habitats, as well as general preserve maintenance. Volunteer duties may include but are not limited to removing invasive plants on many of our trails, trimming plants along our boardwalk, leaf-blowing the parking lot, boardwalk, and pavilion, and various other tasks including but not limited to clerical and office work.

    General info: Because these are outdoor activities, it’s important to wear weather appropriate clothing, closed-toed shoes, and sunscreen. Bug spray is also recommended. Please bring a reusable water bottle and gardening/work gloves if you have them!

    Liability Waiver: I, my heirs and successors, do hereby voluntarily hold harmless and indemnify, release, waive and forever discharge Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc, its officers, board members, staff, representatives, successors, and assigns, from any and all liability. Parental consent for any minor is assumed by providing the Emergency Contact.

    • Sat, April 24, 2021
    • 9:30 AM - 10:00 AM (EDT)
    • 10
    Register

    Celebrate Mother Earth and find Connection in this nature inspired Earth Day Yoga class. This gentle Hatha yoga sequence is perfect for beginners and all levels Today is all about slowing down, easing into the pose, and feeling connected with the world around us.


    Be sure to bring a mat or towel as well as bug spray just in case.


    Waiver:

    It is your responsibility to inform the instructor of your limitations before class begins.


    I represent and warrant that I am in good physical health and do not suffer from any medical condition which would limit my participation in the classes offered with Barefoot Goddess Yoga and/or Sandra Turner. I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with a physician prior to and regarding my participation in any of the Barefoot Goddess Yoga classes, programs, or workshops. I understand the risks associated with the activities offered by Barefoot Goddess Yoga and I agree to follow all instructions so that I may safely participate in classes, workshops, or other activities.


    I hereby WAIVE AND RELEASE Barefoot Goddess Yoga, its owners, officers, employees, and instructors from any claim, demand, cause of action of any kind resulting from or related to my participation in the programs offered. In taking part in the yoga classes, workshops, or other activities with Barefoot Goddess Yoga, I understand and acknowledge that I am fully responsible for any and all risks, injuries, or damages, known or unknown, which might occur as a result of my participation in the classes, workshops, or other activities.


    I have read the above release and waiver of liability and fully understand its content. I am legally competent to sign and voluntarily agree to the terms and conditions stated above.


    Please practice mindfully and enjoy the many benefits of practicing yoga with Barefoot Goddess Yoga.

    • Thu, May 06, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 8
    Register


    • Mon, May 10, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 8
    Register

    What's up with the water?

    Water quality and Lake Apopka – Learn what the indicators are for a healthy habitat, then walk to Lake Apopka to practice sampling with dip netting!

    • Thu, May 13, 2021
    • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 7
    Register


    • Thu, May 20, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 8
    Register


    • Sat, May 22, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Lake Norris
    • 14
    Register

    Lake Norris

    Need to rent a kayak? Kayaks are limited so please visit www.oaklandnaturepreserve.org/blue-hike to rent kayak before you register for hike.

     

    • Mon, June 14, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 4
    Register

    Incredible Invertebrates!                                                          

    Get to know ambassadors of this amazingly diverse group of animals that wiggle, hop, swim, crawl, and fly!

     Ages 6-9

     

    • Wed, June 16, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 4
    Register

    Incredible Invertebrates!                                                          

    Get to know ambassadors of this amazingly diverse group of animals that wiggle, hop, swim, crawl, and fly!

     Ages 9-13

     

    • Fri, June 18, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 7
    Register

    Incredible Invertebrates!                                                          

    Get to know ambassadors of this amazingly diverse group of animals that wiggle, hop, swim, crawl, and fly!

     Ages 6-12

     

    • Mon, June 21, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 2
    Register

    Animal Adventures!                                                       

    Bobcats and snakes and bears, oh my! Explore the variety of animals that call ONP home!

     Ages 6-9

    • Wed, June 23, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 6
    Register

    Animal Adventures!                                                       

    Bobcats and snakes and bears, oh my! Explore the variety of animals that call ONP home!

     Ages 9-13

     

    • Fri, June 25, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 4
    Register

    Animal Adventures!                                                       

    Bobcats and snakes and bears, oh my! Explore the variety of animals that call ONP home!

     Ages 6-12

     

    • Mon, June 28, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 5
    Register

    Who Goes There?                                                        

    Watch your step and be careful of the poo! Learn about tracks, scat, and identifying animals based on the clues they leave behind!

     Ages 6-9

     

    • Wed, June 30, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 5
    Register

    Who Goes There?                                                        

    Watch your step and be careful of the poo! Learn about tracks, scat, and identifying animals based on the clues they leave behind!

     Ages 9-13

     

    • Fri, July 02, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 7
    Register

    Who Goes There?                                                        

    Watch your step and be careful of the poo! Learn about tracks, scat, and identifying animals based on the clues they leave behind!

     Ages 6-12

     

    • Mon, July 12, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 4
    Register

    Night Alive!                                                      

    Whoooo is making that sound? Learn about animals that are active when the sun goes down and the moon comes out!

     Ages 6-9

     

    • Wed, July 14, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 7
    Register

    Night Alive!                                                      

    Whoooo is making that sound? Learn about animals that are active when the sun goes down and the moon comes out!

     Ages 9-13

     

    • Fri, July 16, 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • ONP
    • 4
    Register

    Night Alive!                                                      

    Whoooo is making that sound? Learn about animals that are active when the sun goes down and the moon comes out!

     Ages 6-12

     

    • Mon, July 19, 2021