George Kaiser Family Foundation announced QuikTrip committed $12.5 million for A Gathering Place for Tulsa to sponsor the 3.7-acre area of the park that stretches from the Great Lawn to the Lakeview Lawn.
The sponsorship includes naming rights to the Great Lawn, Lakeview Lawn and the Lakeview Passageway over the north land bridge.
“QuikTrip believes The Gathering Place for Tulsa is going to be a special place for our community, and we are honored to be a part of this visionary project,” said Chet Cadieux, President and CEO of QuikTrip. “QuikTrip has been very fortunate in our 55-year history, and we owe our success to our customers in the Tulsa Metro area. We hope this gift is another way of saying thank you from the families of QuikTrip.”
A Gathering Place for Tulsa is a planned 66.5-acre park along the Arkansas River that will connect three previously independently owned sites with the existing River Parks. A land bridge design will serve to connect the east and west sides of Riverside Drive. This will provide meaningful access to the Arkansas River, turning Tulsa’s waterfront into a dynamic and active space, and improving the city’s social, economic and environmental sustainability.
“Tulsa has always been a very proud and giving community, and we are convinced that our partnership with the George Kaiser Foundation and the other great Tulsa businesses and foundations will enhance the quality of life for our citizens,” Cadieux said.
“If you think about it, this ambitious project will have so many diverse options for families and will represent the spirit of our community. Judging from the excitement from families utilizing QuikTrip’s 41st street splash park, the opportunity to expand our commitment to The Gathering Place and our community, seems like a perfect fit.”
The Great Lawn will sit at the center of the new park, retaining a popular feature of the existing Blair site. This large space will be multifunctional and highly flexible: a spot for concerts, movies, picnics, Frisbee, causal soccer or ball throwing, sunbathing, reading, relaxing, playing capture the flag or just hanging out. A generous land bridge will connect the Great Lawn to Lakeview Lawn with a continuous landscape space. This will provide the heart of the new park and a recreational connection between the City and the regional riverfront system.
Built out into the Arkansas River, Lakeview Lawn will create a unique moment within the existing River Parks trail system, opening up a generous landscape space creating a gently sloped lawn that makes the water’s edge accessible. The new westward-facing lawn, which will be connected to the higher elevations of the northern part of the park by means of a land bridge, will provide a great new gathering spot to watch 4th of July fireworks or enjoy the sunset.
“In order to create a park with a broad diversity of landscape experience, we wanted the four existing properties to be experienced as a continuous space, rather than segmented parcels,” said Jeff Stava, project manager for A Gathering Place. “We also heard from the public a desire for an open lawn area, so the Great Lawn and Lakeview Lawn will provide opportunities for recreational activities. We want to thank QuikTrip for their generous donation to sponsor this area and for their dedication to making A Gathering Place for Tulsa a success.”
A Gathering Place for Tulsa will also include features such as a lodge, boathouse, nature walks, sporting areas and a pond. For more information, visit www.agatheringplacefortulsa.com