A CLOSER LOOK: Gathering Place aims for future growth

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8/27/18 8:06:35 PM — Photos of the Oneok Boathouse at night.

Photo by Shane Bevel

TULSA, Okla. (KNWA) — Gathering Place in Tulsa may be less than a year old, but it has some grand plans for the future.

“Currently, [Gathering Place] is 65 acres. The total plan when we finish will be 100 acres,” said Katie Bullock, Gathering Place’s vice president of marketing.

The massive park, located on the east side of Tulsa’s River Park, strives to bring community members together and unite people of all backgrounds.

“The Gathering Place is a mission-driven park. Tulsa has been racially divided, divided by zip code, a spread out city,” Bullock said. “The idea was to have a free, inclusive space with the singular purpose of bringing people together.”

The George Kaiser Family Foundation gave the initial $200 million to develop Gathering Place.

“They could have given the rest but they really wanted the community to buy in as well and to feel ownership over it,” Bullock said. “So they led the charge for 80 other donors to give $200 million.”

The City of Tulsa provided the final $65 million needed to create the park.

There are two more phases of development ahead for Gathering Place.

A new children’s museum is a key part of phase two, Bullock said.

While the children’s museum will be located on Gathering Place grounds, it will be owned by a third party, Bullock said.

Museum construction will begin later this year, according to Bullock.

The third phase involves the creation of a pedestrian bridge connecting the River Park’s east side trails to the park’s west side trails.

Bridge construction is slated for early 2020, Bullock said.

There are over 100 experiences throughout the park, and community members can always recommend new experiences, Bullock said.

“There’s a lot for people to do and choose from. We encourage people to give feedback on what events they would like to see,” she said.

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