Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

River Parks, Community Donors and George Kaiser Family Foundation partner on transformational park for Tulsa

Numerous donors and George Kaiser Family Foundation gift $350MM public park to Tulsa Community

TULSA, Okla., Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- River Parks Authority, a local public trust in the Tulsa community, today announced a historic partnership with George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) on the future Gathering Place for Tulsa. Under the agreement, GKFF will give ownership of the park to River Parks Authority and will ensure ongoing operation, maintenance and programming for the life of the park, which is expected to open in late 2017. The $350 million gift, combining land, design, construction costs and operating, security, maintenance and programming costs for the lifetime of the park – the total commitment is being funded by GKFF and numerous corporate and community philanthropists. 

River Parks Authority, a local public trust in Tulsa, today announced a historic partnership with George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) on the future Gathering Place for Tulsa. Under the agreement, GKFF will give ownership of the park to River Parks Authority and will ensure ongoing operation, maintenance and programming for the life of the park, which is expected to open in late 2017.

A Gathering Place for Tulsa is a planned park designed by world-renowned landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh (MVVA), who also designed the Brooklyn Bridge Park and the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, among other notable projects. Upon completion, the design transforms nearly 100 acres of waterfront along the Arkansas River into a vibrant and recreational gathering place for the community. According to a 2012 Forbes article, the previous largest gift to a public park was $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy in New York.

"This generosity is likely the largest public park gift ever made," said Matt Meyer, executive director of Tulsa River Parks Authority. "The immense generosity of GKFF and community donors brings a unique opportunity to partner with the foundation to manage, maintain and improve the park for many years to come. City and County citizens will experience the benefits of our transformed riverfront for generations."   

As part of Thursday's announcement, GKFF and partnering donors are giving the park to the Tulsa River Parks Authority which has agreed to enter into a 100 year self-perpetuating agreement with a dedicated GKFF entity to manage the long-term operations, maintenance, security and programming of the park. The agreement allows for the public trust to own the park while guaranteeing citizens the park will be properly managed, maintained and improved upon by a privately funded entity for years to come.

"The transformation over the next three years of Tulsa's riverfront into a world-class gathering place for all of our citizens will provide a tremendous boost to the economic and cultural health of Tulsa," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett. "On behalf of the citizens of Tulsa we want to thank GKFF and the many private donors who believe in this vision for Tulsa. This gift will provide enjoyment for my children and my children's children. We are witnessing how a public-private partnership should work with all of us cooperating to ensure this park is a well-managed and professionally operated asset for generations of Tulsans to enjoy."

A Gathering Place will provide an expansion of recreational and education opportunities associated with the River Parks system in Tulsa. The planned park will feature engaging aspects including a 5-acre playground for children of all ages, lodge for community gathering and activities, interactive water play areas, a boathouse for social and educational space, large green spaces for recreation and gathering, and two massive land bridges that will seamlessly unify the park with the broader River Parks system. The unique park plans evolved from 1,400 ideas submitted from Tulsa citizens in six community meetings over the course of three years.

"The current River Parks system is a major asset to Tulsa and contributes greatly to the community's quality of life," said Jeff Stava, project manager. "River Parks does an exceptional job managing the system and is widely praised and respected as the top park in our community. GKFF looks forward to working with them to construct this new riverfront park. Over 40 corporations and local philanthropists have come together to join the cause and make this transformative park a reality for the Tulsa community."    

The official groundbreaking celebration for the park is set for September 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a community-wide celebratory event.

Visit to learn more, view designs, renderings and follow the latest news and updates about the project.

About A Gathering Place for Tulsa
A project of George Kaiser Family Foundation, A Gathering Place for Tulsa will transform nearly 100 acres of Tulsa's waterfront along the Arkansas River into a dynamic and active space when the project is completed. 66.5 acres will be completed within Phase I by late 2017. The park will be a central place for Tulsans to gather and enjoy for years to come. The park will blend nature and urban entertainment and will include features such as a lodge, boathouse, nature walks, two land bridges connecting the two sides of river parks, sporting areas and a pond. A Gathering Place for Tulsa is funded by a mix of corporate and philanthropic Tulsa organizations.

Current donors include: Williams Cos., $16 million; QuikTrip, $12.5 million; Chapman Foundations, $10 million; ONEOK, $10 million.

$5 million: Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; Magellan Midstream Partners; Nadel and Gussman LLC; FW Murphy Family Foundation; Charles and Peggy Stephenson; Helmerich Trust; Joe Craft; Bob and Debbie Zinke.

$3 million: Kathy S. Craft; Unit Corp.; Laredo Petroleum. $2 million: Zarrow Foundations.

$1.5 million: Thomas Families, William and Susan, Jill and Robert; John Steele Zink Foundation; Omni Air International. 

$1 million Bumgarner Family Foundation; J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation; Stephen and Shelley Jackson Family Foundation; Grace and Franklin Bernsen Foundation; Stuart Price; Pam and Tom Russell.

Other significant donors to the Gathering Place project include John and Sarah Graves; Ernie and Jane Ann Maconi Kivisto; the Chickasaw Nation, Peter M. Walter and John Smith.

A Gathering Place for Tulsa is doing business as Tulsa's Gathering Place, LLC. To learn more about the project, visit

About River Parks
Offering the best in outdoor recreation, River Parks' 26 miles of asphalt-surfaced trails weave past gathering areas, playgrounds, fountains and sculptures along the banks of the Arkansas River in Tulsa. Additionally, River Parks owns and leases hundreds of acres reserved for wildlife habitation and land preservation. River Parks also controls the water levels of portions of the Arkansas River using the gates of the Zink Dam. River Parks' mission is to maintain, preserve, develop, and promote the Arkansas River and adjacent land areas under the Authority's jurisdiction within Tulsa County for the economic and cultural benefit of the community. River Parks vision is to be the region's premier park, recreation, and entertainment destination. For more information, visit

About Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. (MVVA) is a landscape architecture firm that creates environmentally sustainable and experientially rich places across a wide range of landscape scales, from city to campus to garden. Founded in 1982, MVVA maintains offices in Brooklyn, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Working closely with urban planners, architects, engineers, and ecologists, MVVA has emerged as an innovative leader of multidisciplinary urban design teams. The firm's collaborative approach ensures that the experience of MVVA's built landscapes grows from, and is supported by, outstanding environmental performance, financial resourcefulness, technical innovation, and material expression. This integrated design methodology allows the firm to synergistically leverage opportunities that arise throughout the design process. MVVA's designed landscapes are the result of great enthusiasm for the craft of building, resulting in wide acclaim from clients, critics, and the public. The firm's projects have received numerous honors including awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association, the U.S. National Park Service, the Municipal Arts Society of New York City, the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Building Stone Institute, the Waterfront Center, Places/EDRA, Progressive Architecture, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  For more information, visit

About George Kaiser Family Foundation 
George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) is a charitable organization dedicated to providing equal opportunity for young children in our community through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services and civic enhancement. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, GKFF works primarily on initiatives developed in collaboration with Tulsa-based direct service organizations. For more information about George Kaiser Family Foundation, visit

Logo -

SOURCE George Kaiser Family Foundation

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The revocation of Safe Harbor has radically affected data sovereignty strategy in the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Jeff Miller, Product Management at Cavirin Systems, discussed how to assess these changes across your own cloud strategy, and how you can mitigate risks previously covered under the agreement.
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
"eFolder does a lot of different things but we protect data and we are focused on protecting data no matter where it resides," explained Carlo Tapia, Product Marketing Manager at eFolder, in this interview at Cloud Expo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Cloud computing is unquestionably one of the driving forces of DevOps, as the automation of operations transforms enterprise software development. DevOps, however, is more than a technology trend, as it represents a move toward silo-busting, self-organizing horizontal teams that drive business velocity. At the same time, enterprise Digital Transformation represents an upheaval across the enterprise, as customer preferences and behavior drive enterprise technology decisions. This transformation ...
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
In demand-intensive mobile and web applications, an emerging pattern is to host the Systems of Engagement in the cloud (for maximum responsiveness) but keep the Systems of Record with the other important business systems in the company datacenter, often on a tightly secured mainframe. But what about the space in between? In this IBM Redpaper publication, we show that the IBM Bluemix cloud platform offers technologies that make it easy for cloud-based SoEs to securely connect to on-premises IBM...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
OpsHub, Inc. has announced enhanced support for DevOps and Migration for both Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio On-line in a heterogeneous environment. With added support for build and release entities in OpsHub Integration Manager (OIM) Microsoft customers can now leverage Visual Studio build and release services to manage DevOps processes in a heterogeneous environment. With the enhanced support customers can manage the DevOps process in Team Foundation Server while undertaking activit...