Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve


The sun rises over TNC's Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve, located near Tulsa.
OK Crosstimbers Preserve The sun rises over TNC's Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve, located near Tulsa. © Brian Halchak

“Bob would be proud...he didn’t do this just to preserve a legacy. He wanted people to experience the grandeur of this place as he did.”

- Andie Jackson



Nestled in the gentle hills of Creek County lies the Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve, the newest among The Nature Conservancy in Oklahoma’s (TNC) portfolio. 

This milestone is made possible through the vision and generosity of Bob and Andie Jackson, who donated their family ranch to TNC. Named after Bob’s grandmother, the Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve is an ideal specimen of the crosstimbers ecoregion. It features open tallgrass prairie and woodlands of post and blackjack oak—some which are 200 to 300 years old. 

The Jacksons have stewarded the property exceptionally well; implementing prescribed fire annually since the 1980s. Consequently, the preserve is in outstanding ecological condition, rich with plant and animal life. Seldom-seen bobwhite quail and bobcats, as well as whitetail deer, turkey, songbirds and more, are just a few examples of the diverse animal population of the preserve. 

Bob inherited his grandparents’ land in the 1980s. Although he lived in St. Louis, where he practiced law, he continued operating the ranch. As he became increasingly involved in managing the ranch and his love grew stronger, he was distressed to think that it might be developed, saying, “I don’t want anyone to pave it over.” Ultimately, Bob made the decision to donate the land to TNC.



The preserve is closed to the public at this time.


Near Sapulpa, Oklahoma


12,000 acres

Explore our work in Oklahoma

Pearl Jackson, namesake of the Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve.
Portrait of Pearl Jackson Pearl Jackson, namesake of the Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve. © The Jackson Family

“Actions speak louder than words,” says Mike Fuhr, state director. “The Jacksons’ donation affirms their support of conservation in Oklahoma. Their generosity forgoes millions in personal gain for the benefit of nature and people. TNC aims to honor their vision by creating a place for people to connect with the natural world. Plus, a preserve of this magnitude promises ongoing ecological benefits—enhancing water and air quality, fighting climate change and safeguarding biodiversity. 

“Bob would be proud,” recalls Andie Jackson. “Sadly, he passed away in February 2023 before everything was finalized, but I know he would be proud of what he accomplished and the future of the preserve. Although his family’s ranch held a special place in his heart, he didn’t do this just to preserve a legacy. He wanted people to experience the grandeur of this place as he did.”

Located near Sapulpa, and just 25 minutes from midtown Tulsa, the Crosstimbers Preserve will provide a new gateway for Oklahomans to connect with nature. Although the preserve is not currently open to the public, TNC is assessing future public access opportunities which showcases its conservation practices.  

The crosstimbers ecoregion is a mosaic of upland deciduous forest, like oaks and hickory, with stretches of savanna and open prairie stretching from North Texas, through Central Oklahoma, into Kansas and a sliver of Western Arkansas. Before settlement, the crosstimbers ecoregion spanned 20,090,638 acres and is one of the least disturbed forest ecosystems remaining in the eastern United States. It’s rare to find land of this scale which hasn’t been converted for agriculture or developed as urban sprawl creeps further south of Tulsa.

A portion of the crosstimbers, as seen from the Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve
CTP Forest A portion of the crosstimbers, as seen from the Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve © Mike Fuhr / TNC

TNC’s top priority is to steward the land—improving its ecological condition and removing invasive species for the benefit of biodiversity, soil health and water quality. 

Bob and Andie’s generous donation marks the beginning of this new chapter for TNC and all of Oklahoma. The Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve serves as a living testament to the power of community-driven conservation, passion for nature, enduring dedication and selfless generosity. Together, we can continue to make Oklahoma and the world a better place for people and nature.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The preserve is not open to the public at this time. TNC is currently assessing what public activities may be available in the future.

  • According to Oklahoma State University, the crosstimbers ecosystem is a mosaic of upland deciduous forest, savanna, and tallgrass prairie that typifies the broad region between the eastern deciduous forest and the grasslands of the southern Great Plains. The pre-settlement crosstimbers may have covered some 20,090,638 acres and today may represent the least disturbed forest ecosystem of comparable size still left in the eastern United States.

  • A nature preserve is a permanently protected natural area managed to restore and/or maintain its ecological condition. Unlike local, state, or national parks, preserves emphasize biodiversity and often possess sensitive wildlife. Thus, preserves usually limit recreation to passive activities like hiking, birdwatching and photography.

  • Pearl Jackson is Bob Jackson’s grandmother. She was born in in 1879 in Ohio and passed away in 1960 in Tulsa. Not much is known about her except she was a strong supporter of women’s education and served as state president of Philanthropic Educational Organization.

  • We rely on volunteers with various aspects of our preserves, like trash removal, invasive plant removal, photography, maintenance and office tasks. Visit this page for the latest.

  • TNC in Oklahoma conserves 120,976 acres across 12 preserves and several conservation easements. The Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and the J.T. Nickel Family Nature & Wildlife Preserve are open to the public. 

  • We rely on both small and large donations from individuals, foundations, corporations and more. Get started at

  • The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Founded in the U.S. through grassroots action in 1951, TNC has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and over 400 scientists, we impact conservation in 79 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 42 through partners.

  • The Nature Conservancy is working to boldly address the biodiversity and climate crises this decade. We must make a lasting difference by 2030 so people and the planet can have a brighter future. TNC has a long history of protecting lands, rivers, lakes and oceans through projects on the ground. We also collaborate with partner organizations in the field and with governments and other influencers to inform policy decisions and direct public funding to further our mission. The list of countries in which we work reflects the diverse ways in which we impact conservation around the world. That’s how TNC has done more than anyone else to advance conservation around the world since our founding in 1951.


Photo Gallery

For the very latest, find us on Instagram: @conserve_ok.

Mossy rock formation containing a shallow pool of water.
Yellow and golden grasses sway in the breeze, framed by a blue sky and a few thin clouds.
The winter sun sets over a clump of trees.
A close-up shot of green moss on a tree trunk.
A shallow pool of water flanked by large, mossy stones.
A spiky, green and brown moss growth protrudes from the ground.
A rock formation containing pools of standing water from Turkey Creek, one of the many water features found on the Pearl Jackson Crosstimbers Preserve.
Water runs from the edge of a rock formation into a shallow pool below.
An Oak tree towers over the forest, rising into the clear blue sky.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

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