As the past few weeks have unfolded, we’ve seen a growing number of voices who are opposing construction of an outlet mall at Turkey Mountain. Some are individuals, and some are turning into more organized groups. It points to the fact that there is a strong interest in preserving Tulsa’s biggest and best urban green space.
Noting this, there are some important distinctions to be made.
The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition was founded on the belief that there needs to an open dialogue between the various owners of Tulsa’s wild spaces and those who visit them. The goal was that this would bring everyone closer together and foster greater care for one another and the world around us.
Yes, our formation as a coalition was prompted by a potential commercial development on an urban wilderness. But no, we are not a protest group.
• Yes, we are against the mall.
• No, we as a group are not against Simon malls or any other corporate entity.
The TUWC was formed with a long-term goal in mind. As we carefully decided what our group was to stand for, we came back with some basic fundamentals:
The first of those is respect. Respect for one another, the land and respect for those who have a different vision than we do.
The second is that in order to be users of the wilderness, we also need to be good stewards of the land. We need an active role in preservation. This is why we host cleanup days quarterly as well as other projects that help maintain and preserve the land.
The third is that facts speak louder than any rhetoric ever could, that the TUWC would become a clearing house for all facts dealing with Tulsa’s urban wilderness spaces. This is why we present all information from all sides on our website. We trust that Oklahomans want what is best for the world around them and that given the facts would arrive at the same conclusions that we do.
The fourth is to share this wonderful space with as many people as we can. To encourage them to live a more active and healthy lifestyle in whatever way they physically can. The TUWC regularly hosts guided walks of Turkey Mountain so that others may feel more at ease in the wilderness and also be taught how to respectfully use the trails and why these spaces are so important.
In short, we Celebrate Local Wilderness by standing on the basic principles above: Preserve, protect and promote the responsible use and enjoyment of Green Country’s urban wildness areas for current and future generations.