The San Joaquin County Oak Grove Nature Center is located in the Oak Grove Regional Park, between Stockton and Lodi, 4520 West Eight Mile Road, Stockton, California. It has an area of 180 acres and is situated in a beautiful oak forest setting. The nature center is preserved and exhibited by the San Joaquin County administration, which is undergoing major renovation works, as of this writing.
The Oak Grove Nature Center is famous for its exquisite beauty and special features. Among them the Oak Grove Lake stands apart, because it is convenient for both fishing and sightseeing. Paddleboats are a big favorite for visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake and surrounding area.
The nature center primarily focuses on local wildlife, their native habitats, and the early residents of the grove, specifically the Miwok and Yokuts tribes.
The flora and fauna of this area is preserved mainly in two trails namely, the Yokuts Trail and the Miwok Trail. The former has a wide range of native plants and animals such as wild Geranium, Elderberry, Scrub Jays or Kestrels.
The latter has an extensive array of oaks dating back centuries. The Miwok Trail also has a collection of native animals including Western Fence Lizards, Red-tailed Hawks, and Acorn Woodpeckers.
The trees in the area are affected by a common growth called galls. This is caused by several kinds of insects and mites. The native oaks support more than 100 types of galls. No part of an oak is free from infestation. It is also found in other trees like willow and poplar.
The center organizes a new program to maintain the lost glory of the area by planting oak tree saplings and providing support to the surrounding grounds by keeping everything watered and healthy.
The Nature Play Area located west of the Activity Center, invites children to get involved in the preservation of the natural habitat.
The Oak Grove Nature Center offers many learning activities during spring and summer, however its activities are limited in fall and winter.
The educational programs are organized and sponsored by the Oak Grove Docent Council. Along with the educational programs, the center also has provided an 18-hole disc golf course, children’s playgrounds, and a youth campground.