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The Recent Sale of 12+ Acres of Helmerich Park in Tulsa Generates Both Controversy and Opposition

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Aired on Monday, December 7th.

The recent decision by the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority to sell more than 12 acres of Helmerich Park (at 71st and Riverside in Tulsa) to a private developer is creating controversy and organized opposition. The location has been touted as a future retail site for the outdoor recreational business, REI, on land that (under the Arkansas River Corridor Master Plan) does call for some development. But opponents say the type and scale of development, and the way this sale is being conducted, is counter to the Plan -- and counter to the manner and spirit of how the park land was first acquired. A group of more than 60 citizens -- ranging from former City of Tulsa Mayor and Tulsa County Commissioner Terry Young, who joins us today on ST, to various past and present city officials, environmental experts, park officials, and so on -- have signed a letter asking the City Council to formally review, investigate, and offer a resolution advising the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority to cancel the sale.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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