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Local & Regional

New Project for River area

Don Sibley
View of the area

By KWGS News

Tulsa, OK – George Kaiser Family Foundation is moving forward with its plans to build a new gathering space in the Riverside area of Tulsa.

"Tulsans have embraced the recent trail improvements made in River Parks," said Jeff Stava, project manager for A Gathering Place for Tulsa, a project of GKFF. "This new space is a continuation of the foundation's commitment to enhance River Parks into a central gathering place for all of Tulsa to enjoy."

The new park will be built on the Blair property located between 26th and 29th and Riverside Drive, as well as the Sundance and Legacy apartment properties south of 31st and Riverside, all of which are owned by GKFF. A final name has not yet been determined for the new gathering place.

As part of the planning process, GKFF will conduct two public meetings. They will be held Tuesday, March 6 and Wednesday, March 7 at the Tulsa Community College Center for Creativity. The sessions begin at 6 p.m. and will offer an open-house style experience for Tulsans to engage with members of the project team about the potential for the site to deliver a unique experience to the community.

"Because this will be a space for all of Tulsa to enjoy, we want the entire community to give us their input," Stava said. "The purpose of the public meetings is for the community to tell us what they want to see in their new park, and we are eager to hear the ideas residents have."

After the first public input meetings are held, GKFF will conduct a second round of input meetings with the community in late spring. At that time, concept drawings will be presented, reflecting ideas gathered from the public as well as thoughts from GKFF and its landscape architect firm. Final public input will be gathered to help create the final project plan, which is anticipated to be unveiled in the fall, depending on the progress of the planning and public input process.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a Brooklyn, New York, based landscape architecture firm, has been selected to design the project. River-front projects are a specialty of MVVA. The firm designed the Hudson River Park in New York, transforming a former industrial waterfront into a community landscape featuring a boardwalk, carousel and expansive views of the river. In Columbus, Indiana, MVVA turned a natural floodplain into the award-winning Mill Race Park, integrating the flow of the water into the park itself.

"MVVA has experience designing amazing parks in numerous metropolitan areas around the country, and their dedication to creating landscapes that reflect the community in which they're based made them the clear choice for this project," Stava said.