Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park
1650 Matlock Rd.
Mansfield, TX 76063
|Open Monday -Friday|
|March through Oct.||5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Nov. through Feb.||5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.|
Visiting Oliver Nature Park?
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For your safety and the enjoyment of all visitors, please observe the following park rules:
- For your safety please stay on the trails
- Professional photography is allowed at ONP. Please follow these guidelines and be respectful of other visitors and the environment.
- ONP is not available for rent or event usage of any kind. Please see this list of Mansfield Parks that have rentable pavilions.
- Golfing and horseback riding are prohibited.
- Firearms are prohibited except as authorized by law.
- Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail or in the park.
- Parking is allowed in designated area only.
- Inline skates, roller skates and bicycles are permitted on concrete trails only
- Dogs welcomed on leashes per City Ordinance 90.09.
- Please clean up after pets per City Ordinance 90.12.
- Alcoholic beverages and glass containers are prohibited per City Ordinance 96.05.
- Overnight camping is prohibited per City Ordinance 96.20.
- Do not attempt to touch, befriend, feed or help any wild animal you encounter while in the park.
- The unauthorized removal of plants, animals or other natural resources is prohibited.
- Picnics are permitted in designated picnic areas only.
- Please deposit litter in appropriate receptacles.
- Park hours: Daily 5 a.m. - 9 p.m. March – October, 5 a.m. - 6 a.m. November – February.
Elmer W. Oliver was born Sept. 13, 1898, in Natchitoches Parrish, Louisiana. After the World War I veteran came to work in North Texas, he fell in love with a Mansfield girl, and they chose a 200-acre plot along Walnut Creek to raise their growing family. Over the years the family sold off portions of the property, leaving about 60 acres on the north side of Walnut Creek for their retirement homestead.
The fields of wildflowers and prairie grass shaded by large pecan trees became a wonderful gathering place for the family during holidays and special celebrations. Mr. Oliver loved the property and tended to it himself, mowing the acreage on his tractor and trimming each tree by hand. The beautiful property he loved became what Elmer Oliver envisioned when he first saw the land in the early 1960s - "This is where roamings end." Elmer Oliver died in November 1977 at the age of 79. Myrtle Oliver died in 1989 at age 92. Their Mansfield property was left to their daughters.
In 1994 the Mansfield Park Facilities Development Corporation accepted a 13-acre land donation for use as a linear park from a residential developer building on the south side Walnut Creek and adjacent to the Williams property. In 1999 the City acquired seven acres of the Williams property to widen Matlock Road as well as create a detention pond and linear park trail connection.
Although Mansfield was growing around their property, the family wished for the land their father held so dear to remain untouched. They approached the City of Mansfield about purchasing the property for a park where the beauty of the natural space would be maintained and education, appreciation and preservation would be the principal goals driving its development. The sale was finalized in 2004. The property in this sale, as well as the 20 acres previously acquired by the City, comprises the 80-acre Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park.
The nature park was named for Elmer W. Oliver at the request of the family, to honor the man who first walked among the trees nestled by the creek bank and realized that this is where his "roamings end."
A master plan to develop the property was formally adopted in 2011, and the park opened in January 2014.