The Oak Mountain Interpretive Center is 2,500 square feet of interactive exhibit space, a meeting room, and teaching laboratory. The Oak Mountain Interpretive Center is a joint venture between Oak Mountain State Park, Samford University, and Shelby County. The Interpretive Center is located just off of Terrace Drive, on top of the mountain, next to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The Interpretive Center is run by staff and students from Samford University.
The mission of the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center is to promote appreciation for Oak Mountain State Park, as well as other natural features of the state, as a natural habitat and to provide a hands-on interactive educational experience that enables children and adults to learn about Alabama's biodiversity, students and teachers to research its wonders, and all visitors to understand the importance of environmental stewardship.
The Oak Mountain Interpretive Center is open 5 days a week from 9:30a.m. until 4p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 1p.m. until 5p.m. on Sunday.
On display in the Interpretive Center are native species of snakes, fish, turtles, and salamanders. The Interpretive Center offers informative exhibits about these species, as well as the geography and geology of Oak Mountain State Park and the surrounding areas.
Outside the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center is the Monarch Butterfly Waystation, a butterfly garden. It provides host plants such as milkweeds, bee balm, and butterfly bushes, for every stage of the butterfly's life cycle. The garden attracts more than 25 butterfly species in addition to other nectar feeders.