Tag Archives: River Parks

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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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.

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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Blog: ProactiveOutside – What the evolution of local conservation looks like

So we know there are more users of the park. But we also know that there are more people willing to invest their time and energy not just in enjoying it, but caring for it. This speaks well of the city’s residents and the future of conservation in northeast Oklahoma. It also points toward a continuing mission that goes far beyond an opposition campaign. I have to say, I like that trend.

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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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TUWC – Winter Cleanup 2016

The  Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in todays Cleanup Day #tuwccleanup ! We had the pleasure of sharing the beautiful weather with over 120 participants! We were overwhelmed at such a fantastic turnout! With this being the start of running and cycling season we know many of our supporters were unable to attend. We promise to hold more cleanup days in 2016!

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TUWC: Turkey Mountain and ATV’s

We’ve been blessed with a fairly mild winter, and if you go to Turkey Mountain on any given day – and especially on weekends – people have taken advantage of it. You see a lot of cyclists, runners, hikers, and even folks on horseback. Social media is peppered with folks from the Tulsa area chronicling their adventures at Turkey Mountain.

But more recently, a video surfaced showing something else. It showed someone on a motorcycle getting ready to take off down the Powerline Trail.

Special thanks to our friend Tony Russell at KOTV News on 6 for alerting us!

We can see why people might be tempted to bring off-road motorcycles or ATVs to Turkey Mountain. But before you do, there are things you should know.

First, as an entity of the River Parks system, motorized vehicles of any kind are prohibited from use at Turkey Mountain. That includes any sort of ATVs.

But second, you should understand why this is the case.

If you’re on your motorcycle or ATV, there is a strong chance you will be moving much faster than other users, even those on off-road bicycles. The likelihood of your ATV running up to other users is very high.

With most of the trails in heavily wooded areas, it is unlikely you would see someone in front of you or crossing your path until they were a few feet from you. And given the noise that comes with ATV use, you certainly won’t hear others.

The trails are almost all singletrack, meaning that they are wide enough for passage of a single runner, cyclist or rider on horseback. These tight confines make it difficult to maneuver on highly trafficked trails, raising the risk of collisions greatly. No one wants to see an accident between an ATV and a runner, cyclist, or a horse.

And finally, there is the issue of wear and tear on the trails. All user traffic has some impact on trails, but motorized vehicles tend to have the greatest impact and chew up the pathways the most. The trails at Turkey Mountain were not designed to withstand the punishment of motorized vehicles of any kind.

So what should you do?

In short, find places that are better suited for ATV use, meaning areas that are more wide-open and where the risk of running into other users is lessened.

Some ideas:

Family and friends who own larger pieces of property can give you better options, and without the risk of potentially injurious incidents with other people. You can tear it up in complete freedom, with just you and your friends.

A number of state parks have facilities built with ATV usage in mind. Lake Murray State Park, Little Sahara State Park, Talimena State Park and Robbers Cave State Park all include areas designated for ATV use. Dozens of other sites throughout Oklahoma also offer places for motorcycle and ATV off-road recreation. So if you don’t mind a little time on the road, you can make quite a weekend of it in places that cater to you.

There are also places you can go in the Ouachita National Forest in McCurtain County. Check out the regulations for that, but be secure in knowing there are some great places to ride in some of the most beautiful countryside in all of Oklahoma.

One of the things the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition stands for is people enjoying the outdoors, and we encourage you to do so responsibly. We certainly extend this to our friends who enjoy themselves on their ATVs. But in the case of Turkey Mountain, we’d ask that people find a place better suited for the higher speeds that motorized fun can bring, and to help keep Turkey Mountain wild.


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