Bonnie Geer presents the deed to the land to the Muskogee County
Conservation District. From left to Right; Ken Silver-MCCD Director,
Bonnie Geer-Donor, Andy Qualls-MCCD Tech., Butch Garner-MCCD Director,
Trish Kloeckler-MCCD District Secretary.
Bonnie Geer and Muskogee County Conservation District Technician Andy
Qualls plant oak trees on the property.
The Muskogee County Conservation District (MCCD) will soon be opening
“The Bonnie & Richard Geer Nature Sanctuary” thanks to a generous
On March 14, Bonnie Geer, of Tulsa, donated 152 acres of land to the
MCCD to be used as a nature, wildlife and bird sanctuary. Ms. Geer said
that it had always been a dream of her late husband Richard to turn the
land into a nature habitat. Mr. Geer passed away March 14, 2007 with
complications from cancer.
The site, located west of Muskogee at the intersection of Highway 62 and
162, will be operated and maintained by the MCCD.
“We are so thankful and appreciative of Ms. Geer for this contribution
that will preserve a small piece of natural history for future
generations,” says Andy Qualls, a technician with the MCCD.
Qualls says they have already started quite a bit of conservation work
and natural beautification projects, but it will take several years
before the land is completely restored to native conditions.
“Someday it will be a diamond in the crown of Muskogee County,” he says.
The District has worked in close partnership with the USDA-Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Geer to develop a conservation
plan for the property, with the goal of wildlife habit restoration and
“Current plans include re-establishment of native grasses and flowers
including many tallgrass prairie plants, planting native trees and food
and habitat sources for birds and wildlife,” says Danielle Whaley, NRCS
district conservationist in Muskogee.
The area will be made available to area schools and nature/conservation
organizations for outdoor classrooms and other conservation and nature
related activities. There are plans to remodel a barn on the property to
include a classroom and bathroom facilities. The District is pursuing
grants and other funding opportunities to help fund the conservation
work being done, as well as develop facilities to fulfill the purpose
and enjoyment the property can offer.
“The goal is to use this beautiful site for outdoor education purposes,”
Whaley says. “It is a unique opportunity for school classes, 4-H clubs
and special interests groups to have some hands-on experiences with the
land and wildlife.”
Several groups have expressed interest in land judging competitions,
bird watching, walking nature trails, range planting, soil judging and
Classes or groups interested in using the facility for nature/natural
resource/conservation educational purposes or that would like to be
involved in the restoration of the area to a more native state, should
contact the NRCS office or the MCCD, located at 3001 Azalea Park Drive
in Muskogee. They can also be reached by phone at 918-687-3478.