The city of Tulsa wants to hear what you think of the park system and how it can be improved.
Beginning Monday, the Park and Recreation Department will hold Zoom meetings for each of the city’s nine City Council districts to gather input.
The “Let’s Talk Tulsa Parks” meetings are intended to help city officials with the creation of a new Park and Recreation Master Plan and to assist in determining how to best spend the millions of dollars allocated to parks in the 2019 Improve Our Tulsa renewal package.
“I want people to tell us the things that matter to them, even if it is not on this funding package,” said Park and Recreation Director Anna America. “We still need to know that so the next funding package is better.”
America said she expects the meetings to include discussions on the amenities residents would like to see in their local parks but that she also wants to hear residents’ broader concerns about the recreational gaps neighborhoods are facing.
“They will have specific ideas, I’m sure,” she said. “But if they can tell us what they want to be doing and how they want to be using it and what their goals are when they get out to the park, then we’ll try to come up with a plan that is the best way, with the resources we have to give them that.”
She noted that the $30 million allocated for parks in Improve Our Tulsa does not include funding for trails, yet they have come up again and again in the master plan surveys being conducted online.
About two-thirds of the $30 million has already been allocated for facility improvements across the park system and for rehabilitation and renovation projects at Fred Johnson, Swan Lake, Hill and Mohawk parks.
The city is looking for residents’ input on how remaining funds should be spent.
“My commitment is to come back to the (city) council and say, ‘Hey, here is how we are going to spend this money,’” America said. “Because they put trust in us to give it to us pretty open-ended. That will be based not exclusively on the community input, but that will be a big part of it.”
Tulsans who can’t participate in the Zoom meetings can share their thoughts over the phone or by email. The telephone number to call is 918-596-7275. The email address is email@example.com.
The parks survey can be found online at cityoftulsa.org/letstalktulsaparks.