Tag Archives: GKFF

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 – Looking back on 2016

As another year draws to a close it is important to look back at what we have accomplished to better plan our goals for the new year. While we reflected the one thing that stuck with us was how much commitment Tulsa is showing to a renewed sense of community. A deep desire to be outdoors and a measurable value in what we have. Tulsa, again you leave us happy and speechless. Thank you.

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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 – Thoughts on Vision Tulsa

It was a little more than a year ago that Tulsans faced the prospect of losing a large chunk of woodlands at Turkey Mountain to commercial development.

Citizens spoke up and were heard by city leaders as well as the prospective developers, and the land in question – about 48 acres at 61st Street and U.S. 75 – was removed from any plan for a shopping center.

The future of the land was further secured by the generosity of two local private benefactors, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the QuikTrip Corporation.

The entities purchased the property with the intention of keeping the land undeveloped, but they also wished to serve as placeholders for the city of Tulsa.

Enter the Vision 2025 extension. The proposed renewal of the Vision 2025 sales tax includes more than $7 million for the land now being held by GKFF and QuikTrip. Should voters approve Vision 2025, some of the money generated by the sales tax extension would be used to pay back GKFF and QuikTrip. In turn, the land would be grafted into the existing Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area currently managed by the River Parks Authority.

City leaders wisely questioned commercial development of this acreage, and the developer correctly walked away. Public sentiment demanded it, as the overwhelming majority of Tulsans wished to see all of Turkey Mountain kept wild. Now the citizens have the opportunity to finish the work and vote yes on the Vision Tulsa extension on April 5.

The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition sees the Vision extension as a wise move for the city, its residents, and for securing the future of Turkey Mountain. For that reason, we urge voters to approve the proposal on April 5.


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Blog: YogisDen – Turkey Mountain Cleanup Day and the George Kaiser Family Foundation Purchases the Simon Malls Tract

 It is a win/win. Simon Malls decided to build the mall on a more appropriate site and the private landowners of the 60 acres got paid for the value of the land that we users of the mountain enjoyed at their expense.

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Tulsa World: River Parks board OKs loan deal tied to Vision funding to expand Turkey Mountain lands

River Parks board OKs loan deal tied to Vision funding to expand Turkey Mountain lands

The River Parks Authority approved two measures on Thursday designed to make its plans to acquire more lands around Turkey Mountain more attractive to Vision 2025 renewal voters.

The board voted 4-0 to accept a $5.6 million non-recourse loan from QuikTrip Corporation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation to fund the accelerated purchase of lands “in the vicinity of Turkey Mountain.”

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Tulsa World: Meeting for proposed mall near Turkey Mountain

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TUWC: Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition Acknowledges Meeting With Representatives From Simon Property Group, Finds Plan Lacking In Important Details

For the full press release click here.

“Based upon an in-depth review of Simon’s plans, their lack of follow up detail, and how these plans do not respect the surrounding properties and their future intended use, Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition cannot support Simon’s development plans and requests for public tax incentives for this site.  We wish Simon well in the Tulsa market but feel it is unfortunate they selected this site without apparent consideration for what pristine urban wilderness means to not just Tulsa, but the entire region,”

TUWC public relations coordinator Laurie Biby said.

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Blog: ProactiveOutside – Turkey Mountain update: Simon Group meets with Tulsans about mall plan, and the reception gets chilly

Turkey Mountain update: Simon Group meets with Tulsans about mall plan, and the reception gets chilly

Simon appears reluctant to share any of its 2,000 parking spaces with trail users. Instead, the company plans to go to the George Kaiser Family Foundation (one of the property owners adjacent to the proposed mall site) and see if the foundation would mind tearing up its property to put an additional 50 or so parking spaces and trailhead access. It’s been communicated to Simon that trail users do not want to sacrifice even more wild land for parking.

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Blog: ProactiveOutside – A bad mall plan’s details are revealed, and it still looks pretty bad

A bad mall plan’s details are revealed, and it still looks pretty bad

The outlet mall at Turkey Mountain would degrade quality of life for Tulsa. Notice I didn’t say an outlet mall on its own is a bad thing. But rather an outlet mall in that location would degrade a real asset for the city, an area with more than 40 miles of wooded trails for hikers, cyclists, runners, geocachers and equestrians. Individuals and families go there to experience nature on its terms without having to drive out of the city. As it exists, the greater Turkey Mountain area is a prime site for people to get outside, exercise and get in tune with nature like no other place in the city. Plopping a mall on a chunk of that land would degrade the experience.

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