Tag Archives: City of Tulsa

TUWC – Land Donations to River Parks Authority

With Thursday’s news of land donations to Turkey Mountain, it’s important to take a long view back to what made this happen. In addition to lands donated by the city of Tulsa to the Tulsa River Parks Authority, the George Kaiser Family Foundation donated even more, bringing the total to around 400 acres. These donations triple River Parks Authority’s land inventory at Turkey Mountain.

 
GKFF has been a forward-thinking entity when it comes to preserving land at Turkey Mountain, buying up parcels for well over a decade. It has been patient, waiting for the city to commit to a vision for the area that dates back to the late 1970s – to keep that section of land along the Arkansas River as wild and free as possible, for the purpose of giving Tulsans a place to enjoy the outdoors in a natural setting.

 
The trend has been heading that way. Plans for an outlet mall on Turkey Mountain’s western edge were loudly rejected by the public, and the city listened. The land was included in the latest Vision Tulsa sales tax package, taking it off the market.

 
Next came dealing with the inherent instability of Turkey Mountain’s land leases. Monthly lease terms meant the possibility existed that lands leased to RPA could be wild one month, then developed commercially the next. A master lease program has ended that, providing a more stable and clear future for Turkey Mountain.

 
And now we have Thursday’s land donation, the moment that GKFF and many other advocates for Turkey Mountain have been waiting for. A hodgepodge of public and private land holdings is now being further unified, which will give planners the needed certainty that Turkey Mountain can be a long-term site for outdoor recreation.

 
For years, Turkey Mountain has been a magnet for mountain bikers, runners, hikers and nature enthusiasts. We now have greater assurance that this quality-of-life asset will remain so for the foreseeable future. Turkey Mountain serves as an important site for preserving the health of the city’s air and water, and is a major asset in the area’s promising outdoor recreation economy.

 
Thursday’s news is good for all Tulsans, now and in the future. For this, we owe the George Kaiser Family Foundation no small amount of gratitude. Its long-term thinking is paying off.

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TUWC: City of Tulsa transfers property on Turkey Mountain to the River Parks Authority

The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition applauds today’s action by the city in regards to transferring its land on Turkey Mountain to the River Parks Authority.

This will ensure the long term health a viability of wild green space in Tulsa, along with the benefits that come along with it. Preserving that land is a major win for local conservation, and will go a long way toward giving Tulsans a healthy outlet to get outside and be active.

It also builds on the city’s ability to tap into Oklahoma’s outdoor recreation economy, one that provides $3.1 billion in wages and $663 million in state and local sales taxes every year. Tulsa has a unique opportunity to become a destination for outdoor recreation enthusiasts in Oklahoma and beyond and further diversify its economy.

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TUWC: The passing of a Tulsa Parks Friend

We felt the need to mark the passing of a friend today. To echo the words of former Mayor Terry Young

“In 1977, at the urging of Tulsa Tribune editor John Drummond, I initiated the effort to acquire Turkey Mountain to preserve and designate as an urban wilderness park. The effort would not have been successful if it had not been for Chris Delaporte, former state parks director. Chris was serving as President Carter’s head of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and approved a federal grant to match our local county money.”

Over the decades Chris has kept a watchful eye on Turkey Mountain from a distance. Each time a threat of development would emerge he would be in contact with friends here in Tulsa helping us to brain storm on the best ways to meet this challenge. Chris has been a long time friend to parks and wild spaces and his voice will be sorely missed.

Chris was the head of Baltimore’s Parks & Recreation department and was a noted and respected advocate for public space and outdoor recreation. He died recently of cancer.

To read more of this native Oklahoman’s life and legacy please visit his obituary in the Baltimore Sun

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Monarchs on the Mountain

Tulsa's Monarchs on the Mountain

 

Tulsa’s RiverParks Authority is pleased to announce Monarchs on the Mountain, a new festival celebrating the vital role Eastern Oklahoma plays in the Monarch Butterfly migration will be held September 24th, on Turkey Mountain. The festival will take place from 10:00 am, until 2:00 pm in the pavilion area of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area near the main trailhead, 6850 S. Elwood Ave.
The day will be filled with fun and educational activities highlighting the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly, the Great Monarch Migration and the habitat of Turkey Mountain which supports a myriad of wildlife. Information will be available and plants may be purchased to help establish your own Monarch Waystation. Visitors can even make a seed ball to plant this fall. Monarch tagging will be demonstrated and butterflies will be released to join the southward migration to the Oyamel fir forests of Central Mexico. This free festival will appeal to all ages and food trucks will be on site. Come spend the day with us celebrating our unique place in the life of the Monarch!
This event is hosted by: RiverParks Authority in partnership with the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, the Tulsa Audubon Society and The M.E.T. and supporters; Sustainable Tulsa, Blue Thumb, The Tulsa Zoo, City of Tulsa, Monarch Initiative of Tulsa, Westside Y and the USFWS.
Please help us spread the word by distributing the promotional flyer and sharing our event on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1049153295167427/

For more information contact Marci Hawkins, steering committee chair at: marci.hawkins@tulsaurbanwildernesscoalition.org.

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TUWC: National Trails Designation

On the eve of National Trails Day, more good news came to Turkey Mountain.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of the Interior named Turkey Mountain’s Red, Yellow and Blue trails as part of the country’s National Recreational Trail System. Turkey Mountain was one of just six places to receive that designation.
“By designating these new National Trails, we recognize the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “Our world-class network of national trails provides easily accessible places to enjoy exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while also boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities in local communities across the country.”

According to a statement from the Interior Department, National Recreation Trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the Nation. The newly designated trails will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers and a letter of congratulations from Secretary Jewell.

Achieving this designation was a combined effort from the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition’s grant writing team and the Tulsa River Parks Authority.

Aside from the recognition, the designation has other benefits for Turkey Mountain, including promotion, technical assistance, networking and access to funding. This will add to ongoing efforts by River Parks Authority and the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition to aid Turkey Mountain through education programs, trail maintenance work and clean-up days.

The news is the latest victory for Turkey Mountain. Last year, plans for an outlet mall on Turkey Mountain’s west side were abandoned thanks to widespread community opposition and an organized education effort on behalf of preserving green space. In April, voters approved a measure that purchased the land in question, with the purpose of folding it into River Parks’ inventory. And over the last few years, usage of the trails has grown as more people have learned about Turkey Mountain and what it has to offer. Turkey Mountain is already considered one of the country’s premier mountain biking trail systems, and is home to a number of trail running events every year. It’s also a popular site for hikers, geocachers and equestrians.

As for the trails that received the Interior Department’s designation, they offer a range of experiences for users. The Red Trail is a scenic 0.8-mile loop through wooded terrain and is considered one of the best trails for beginner hikers and runners to try. The Blue Trail, a 1.6-mile loop, climbs to near the top of Turkey Mountain, giving users a good dose of woodlands with a taste of elevation gain and a trip around a pond. The Yellow Trail, at 4.4 miles, climbs to the top of Turkey Mountain and traverses its ridge, while on its eastern flank offers some of the best views of the Arkansas River in all of Tulsa.

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KOTV – River Parks Adding Fencing Around Turkey Mountain To Stop Illegal Dumping

NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com |

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TUWC – Vision Tulsa Letter from President Tyler Hanes

Letter from TUWC President Tyler Hanes about Vision Tulsa Proposition 3
Letter from TUWC President Tyler Hanes about Vision Tulsa Proposition 3

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TUWC – Vision Tulsa Arkansas River Dam concerns addressed by Oklahoma Biologist

In search for answers on the Arkansas river dams included in the Vision Package we turned to experts for a better understanding. The Shovel Nosed Sturgeon, Paddle Fish, and Least Terns were some of our chief concerns.

Some of you may know Dave Lindo from Tulsa Kayak and Oklahoma Kayak, but did you also know he is a biologist as well? If you have ever spent much time with him outdoors you will notice he catches many subtle things happening that a casual nature observer may miss. This made him the perfect resource to turn to with this question.

When asked this is Daves response, “The current situation is feast or famine in regards to water in the river. Least Terns (endangered) make a living by nesting on the sand bars that get flooded. As part of the project, the federal government requires that like for like habitat be provided for any projects which involve their nesting grounds. Putting a stable water level in the river and creating nesting islands will give these critters a chance to incubate an egg for 21 days without getting flooded.”

Dave notes that as the city made cuts to the vision proposal he was surprised they left the in river side passages billed as a whitewater kayak channel. “The reason you see this still included, is because this will act like a fish passage channel for the sturgeon who need to migrate up the river past the low water dams. Currently, sturgeon and paddlefish, etc. get trapped in pools on the river when power generation water ceases. Additionally, the dams can raise and lower into the river bed, disappearing completely when needed for seasonal migrations or to stop the impoundment of silt (see current situation at Zink Dam).”
 
“Compared to the current situation created by the impoundment of water by Lake Keystone, I think this is a win for wildlife, recreation, and overall quality of life for Tulsans. The big picture that must be considered, is that improvements in the river will likely get Tulsa area residents outside, active, and using the river. This is turn should cause citizens to more actively involved and interested in water quality, and the preservation and protection of all the birds, fish, and critters that call the river home.” 
Dave Lindo, Owner of OKC Kayak & Tulsa Kayak Biologist • Conservationist Photo By Mark Edward Allen
Dave Lindo, Owner of OKC Kayak & Tulsa Kayak
Biologist • Conservationist
Photo By Mark Edward Allen

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Tulsa World: Economic Impact study shows big possibilities for Vision’s river project

Economic Impact study shows big possibilities for Vision’s river project

“Relative to many such endeavors, we fear that the Tulsa community is ‘behind the curve’ in local amenities in comparison with many cities across the land,” the study states. “Conservative estimates of economic impacts reveal it would require only modest employment and income responses to justify the proposed plan for Tulsa riverfront development.”

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