Officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma have dedicated about two miles of improvements to the city’s popular River Parks Trail:
“This is a great example of how Tulsa really does it right when we get together as partners,” Mayor Kathy Taylor said.
The George Kaiser Family Foundation donated $12.4 million for the trail improvements, and the city added $2.6 million in third-penny sales-tax funds.
The $15 million in work includes a wider, dual trail system on both sides of the Arkansas River from 11th to 71st streets.
Foundation Director Ken Levit said he doesn’t think a better donation could have been made to benefit the community. “Everybody loves the trails, loves the river,” he said. “The usage and the interest and the passion for this area of the community has increased multiple fold.”
Levit said the foundation was always interested in the project because more than any other place, “all aspects of the community, north, south, east, west, come together to enjoy the trails.”
Authority Executive Matt Meyer said River Parks is best known for its trails. “We have people running, jogging, walking, pushing baby strollers, walking their dogs — all those sorts of things, and it’s great to see that use,” he said.
Meyer said he has never worked in a community “where the philanthropy and generosity is what it is in Tulsa.”
The improvements to the pathway includes a dual-trails system that provides separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists, space permitting, and widens the trail where room doesn’t allow for dual trails. The improvements are just the first phase in a three-year project which began in the fall of 2007.
Read more: First part of trails project dedicated from the Tulsa World.