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'Let's Talk Tulsa Parks' Initiative Seeks Citizen Feedback, Participation

Chris Polansky
The Tulsa skyline from Centennial Park.

The Tulsa Park and Recreation Department will spend October soliciting citizen input and participation with a series of surveys and online community meetings.

Let's Talk Tulsa Parks will include an online survey, a call-in hotline, and nine virtual community meetings -- one for each Tulsa City Council district with their respective councilors.

Parks Director Anna America told the council that she wants this program to go beyond the typical community meeting, where residents can raise one specific issue like a park that needs mowing or a broken bench.

"We're hoping to really get people thinking more in terms of, what is it they want to do in a park? Don't tell me 'Just fix the fence,' say 'There's no good place for me and my family to go to have a family gathering and we want you to help fix that for us,'" America said.

The initiative will include lawn signs throughout Tulsa's parks that include QR codes which, if scanned, will direct parkgoers to the survey and more information about how to participate in meetings, which she hopes will be more accessible in the digital format necessitated by the pandemic.

"They may not have the time or inclination to go to an in-person meeting or something like that, so we're hoping that we're going to be able to reach a lot of people who maybe would not have responded to some of the other methods, because they're actually out there using a trail or, you know, hitting a tennis ball," America said.

The first meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6:00 p.m. for users of parks in or within one mile of District 5, which is represented by Councilor Cass Fahler.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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