Wildlife, Parks, and Recreation
The Wildlife, Parks, and Recreation Dept. of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma supports the goal of service to the community by protecting and preserving our wildlife, natural resources, and Recreational facilities on tribal property. This includes the gymnasium, the softball complex, the campground, ponds, and the wooded area around the mission.
The recreational areas like the gymnasium and the softball complex are open for rental to Tribal and nontribal members to rent for different events, fundraising or other functions. The gym and the lighted field can also by rented out during the week but if you don't need lights the fields can be used free of charge. On all recreation areas the Seminole Nation Departments are allowed to use at no charge and are giving priority.
The softball fields at the mission get better every year, it seems like a slow process but we will continue to keep them in good shape and improve them as funds permit. In the last two years all four fields have been painted and new metal dugouts cover have been installed. In the future we are going to trying to put lights on a second field, replacing the old concession stand, and putting shades up over the bleachers. This year we plan to widen the infields and build two new foul poles for the northeast field before summer.
In the last several years the gym has undergone a couple of minor repairs and one major. We are working with the Executive and Procurement offices to come up with some plans to totally renovate the gymnasium. We started the project last year by completely replacing the roof at the gym and putting up new insulation. At some point this year we are going to start tearing down the women's restroom on the northwest side of the stage and put both bathrooms on that side. During this time the gym will be closed to tribal members and public for renting but will still be available to Seminole Nation Departments depending on the department's needs.
The larger pond at the mission is stocked once a year by the Tishomingo Fish hatchery and is open to the members of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma only to fish. In the last couple of years we have worked on getting a larger part of the pond more accessible to the fishermen. I started out by putting Grass Carp in the pond to clean the algae and aquatic plants that at different times during the year cover most of the pond. This process takes longer but is cheap than chemicals and now it looks a lot better. Second we had the Road Department clear out some of the brush around the pond and contracted a dozer service to clear off the dam . We have replaced the roof on the pavilion and installed a dry hydrant in case of wild land fires. We have also put in a new riser and this will allow the pond to fill up more and add more surface area to the pond.
Campground and Grounds:
We widened the small campground that was there and added 7 RV spots with 30 AMP breaker and put in another water hydrant. We also contracted a construction company to clear out the frontage of the property for the future cemetery. This year the B.I.A.'s Fire team was able to conduct two prescribed burns at the mission, this helped clear out the foliage under the trees and now we can start mapping out some routes for trails.
Sporting Activities In the past we have worked with other programs doing activities like fishing, sports, and nature hikes with the Tribal Youth departments' Spring Break and Summer programs. Our department added a position and as of July '11 has a Recreation Specialist and since then we have started working toward doing our own activities and events which we will continue throughout the year. Our Recreation Specialist has already planned a numerous events this year but has seen little interest. So far our most successful event has been the Basketball Camp we held during Christmas Break. We had 32 kids and 10 volunteers. We as had a 3 on 3 Youth tournament that went fairly well and we are hoping we get enough teams signed up for our softball league starting in the spring.
- Procuring Grants: During the last couple of years I have looked at several grants that might fit into our department but for some reason or the other it just didn't work out. On the wildlife grants, before we even started writing, I was told by the funding agencies that we didn't qualify based on the land requirements. We didn't qualify for some just because they were match funding. We did get one wildlife grant for Chronic Wasting Disease on White-tailed deer through the APHIS and USDA. We worked on that grant for two years.