It’s been four years since Tulsa broke ground on an ambitious waterfront park along the Arkansas River. Gathering Place, a 100-acre, $465 million riverfront park, has its grand opening on Sept. 8.
Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the park is estimated to receive 1 million annual visitors, with programming aimed at all ages, including concerts, public art, and culinary offerings.
Children may be the most excited. The park includes a five-acre adventure playground, with towers and gardens, aimed at kids of different ages and physical capabilities; Spiral Connectors, with seven towers, slides, and suspension bridges; Skywalk Forest, with pathways 20 feet above ground; Mist Mountains, with jets of water, misting areas, and waterfalls; and a fairyland forest with tiny houses. Two sensory rooms are meant to provide a calming environment for children with autism.
Tulsa is Oklahoma’s second largest city. Gathering Place is privately funded and is the recipient of the largest ever private gift to a public U.S. park.