By Abigail Chow
As many students drive on F street to park in the Building 5 parking lot, they might not notice the secret garden hiding right in front of their eyes. Flycatcher Trail is a partnership between the Tulsa Audubon Society, a group that focuses on conservation with birds, and Jenks High School. It’s full of lush gardens of flowers and native plants, and even a waterfall. It came together with a goal of creating a space that students and the community could use to learn about wildlife and be able to interact and get a hands-on experience with nature. Today, that’s really what the trail does; it serves as an outdoor classroom space as well as a learning center for the community to come and get ideas for their own backyards to help benefit wildlife.
Jessie Wright is the coordinator on the school’s side. She works with the Tulsa Audubon Society in coordinating the big projects out on the trail. Recently, they had an expansion project, adding a new fence and new garden area with additional water elements. She gets student volunteers from Key Club to help with Flycatcher Trail.
“Flycatcher Trail isn’t just something that students use that is a benefit. If you go out to help, it’s something that other students are getting to use and learn from. On a bigger scale, it’s something the community uses,” said Wright. “When I work out there on different weekends and workdays, it’s not uncommon to see different people from the neighborhoods nearby come in and thank us for the kind of work we’re doing out there. They love having an outdoor space that they can enjoy. Some will sit out there and drink their coffee every morning, so it’s always neat to see that.”
One of the main goals of Flycatcher Trail is to benefit wildlife and provide a space with native plants that some of the wildlife we have around Jenks can enjoy and come visit. Their last event was last Saturday, October 23rd from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and as always, was come-and-go as needed. Volunteers planted new flowers and mulched the garden, helping keep the space looking beautiful through the fall season for the community, school and wildlife to use.
“We do appreciate those students that come out and volunteer here. In the end, Flycatcher Trail is only possible because of the students that we have,” said Wright. “The garden wouldn’t be nearly as useful or as pretty or beautiful as it is without all of those volunteers and all that they do and the time that they give us.”