Growing Green: Lower Scissortail Adds 700 Trees


Wednesday, September 21st 2022, 8:53 pm

By: News 9, Dana Hertneky


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Right in the middle of bustling downtown, the lower Scissortail Park is designed to be a place of respite. 

“It's a place for them to come and be at peace and recreate and enjoy wildlife,” explained Lance Swearengin, the director of Horticulture for both the upper and lower park. 

To make that happen they planted 700 new trees in the lower park. In addition, they were able to save 50 trees that were already established. 

“We saved all the trees that we could that were healthy and viable,” said Swearengin. “Trees that would last us into the next century.”     

All the trees in the park are native to Oklahoma. So, they can survive the state's sometimes brutal weather. On the east side of the park is a collection of native Oklahoma pine trees planted in a field of wildflowers. Because of all that, Scissortail ark is now an internationally accredited arboretum. one of only 200 in the world. 

“We have a collection of trees and woody plants here at the park that consists of 155 plant species that are Oklahoma natives,” said Swearengin. “And we're adding more species to the collection every year when we get to plant in spring and fall.” 

In addition, the park features thousands of different types of native grasses and wildflowers. 

“The park is a really good place to come and see what can thrive in your residential landscaping.” 

Along the so-called hot walk, where the park borders I-40, are plants resistant to heat. The aquatic gardens collect rainwater that eventually will sink in and help irrigate the rest of the park. 

“We're using a plant pallet that will keep the park green and beautiful and also helps us lower the maintenance inputs that we use to maintain the park.” 

Green in every way. Although Swearengin promises plenty of beautiful fall color in the coming months. 


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