Oklahoma City is recognizing the nationwide Arbor Week next week, and a good way to celebrate would be to check out the almost-
Arbor Week, promoted by the Arbor Day Foundation, is a celebration of trees around the country. Oklahoma City is a Tree City USA community, a designation by the foundation that helps members get guidance and funding on the use of trees around the area.
The designation and connections it forges helped secure money to the city to recover from the punishing ice storm several years ago, city parks spokeswoman Jennifer McClintock said.
The city also is close to finishing an improvements project to the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum at the Will Rogers Gardens.
“It gives you a sense of the diverse beauty that we have in Oklahoma,” McClintock said. “Trees are an important part of our park lands.”
The arboretum's main entrances are still blocked from the public while crews finish final touches, but they should be open sometime in April.
Ten-foot wide sidewalks, a centerpiece of the improvements, are accessible from parts of the gardens that are already open.
Planners took care to put the sidewalks on the park's natural pathways, and used recycled materials from other parks for accent work that fits the overall design scheme.
The goal was to make the park more inviting while retaining the feel of an arboretum, said Brent Wall, assistant planner for the city Parks and Recreation Department.
“We wanted to do something that was historically appropriate, but also something that was modern with a new twist to it,” Wall said. “We followed the natural land as close as we probably could. The challenge was to look at the way the land naturally flows, and weave the trail within that.”
The arboretum, which dates to Depression-
“It makes it so accessible for people,” Scott said. “These paths are like
If you go
Will Rogers Gardens
Will Rogers Gardens, located on NW 36 east of Portland Avenue, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of March and until 8 p.m. from April through September.