While the glory of the past is reflected in Tucker Tower, the vision of the present is evident at the new park Nature Center located at the base of the tower. The recently completed structure blends in with the theme of Lake Murray and the existing park buildings.
“It's a very interesting shape, not an outrageous modern-type structure,” Teders said about the nature center's architecture. “There's a lot of glass that gives us natural light and the sense of being outside, not in a building. Plus, our focus is all about the water, the quality and conservation of water. You can see the lake from almost every side.”
The solid interior walls also offer a picturesque canvas that includes a diorama of the layers of rock found in the region and species of trees in the surrounding forests. The hallway walls feature a three-dimensional, colorful mural with fish, turtles and underwater inhabitants.
Educational stations are prominently located throughout the center and offer visitors a hands-on, self-guided opportunity to explore. However, specific classes that focus on nature and the environment are available for groups of all ages, with instruction by Teders and his assistant. In addition to the educational aspect, the nature center was built with energy efficient and eco-friendly amenities in mind.
“We have solar panels (mounted on the roof) and they are wonderful,” Teders said. “Our electric bills have been at a minimum and we have actually seen our meter running backwards.”
On this 80th anniversary, Oklahoma's first and largest state park is not just older, it's also better.
For more information about Oklahoma State Parks, Lodges and Golf Courses, visit TravelOK.com