Sunny Skies Welcome Mansfield Nature Park
Add mild sunny weather on Saturday to the grand opening of 80 acres of trails, prairies, forests, ponds, and native plants and it adds up to a great housewarming for the $3M first phase of Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park on Matlock Road along the northern edge of Walnut Creek. About 4,000 (some were cut out of the snapshot by the giant scissors) ventured out to the City of Mansfield’s ribbon-cutting.
With 10 years in the making, the park (at the intersection of the eastern Cross Timbers and the northern Blackland Prairies ecoregions) features a treehouse overlook, a rocky ford, a natural amphitheater, a wildflower area, a windmill, pond life, and a flood plain boardwalk (pictured). This is the first of three phases of the project. The second phase will link this park with the Walnut Creek Linear Park trail system and take the trail 2.6 miles from Oliver Nature Park to Joe Pool Lake. That is expected to be completed in the next 18 months. The third phase is a learning lab and nature center, set to open in 2018.