Landscaping At Tulsa's Gathering Place Provides Natural Filtration

Thursday, August 10th 2017, 6:30 pm

The Gathering Place is going green.

The first wave of planting is underway around a series of ponds that filter and recycle water.

The lodge and wetlands on the northern end of the park will be the first view many visitors have at the Gathering Place.

The Gathering Place today is still a noisy, dusty place, but when it's done around the wetland gardens, visitors will hear wind and water.

5/11/2017 Related Story: New Timeline Puts Opening Of Gathering Place In Spring/Summer 2018

Though 100,000 plants are in the ground, there are more than a million plants still to come.

The landscaping, around and in the water, is actually a natural filtration system required for the pond.

"You have to provide for the ability to circulate and be cleaned," said Jeff Stava, project manager.

Stava says the flow through vegetation, down through several levels and out to the pond, will surround visitors with the sound of water.

"And then it flows back into the pond, so it's continuously running and cleaning the pond water," Stava said.

Where the soil might wash away, the Gathering Place used three feet of topsoil, embedded with fibers.

"This keeps and holds all the soil, so in a downpour where you might have a little trickle wash away, without the fiber in the soil, this whole thing would just slough off," Stava said.

The pathways are lined with stone benches to provide plenty of resting spots.

The pond is the centerpiece of the park and the Williams Lodge has an overlook.

Workers are covering the walls with stone, inside and out, and they're completed a massive wall that took five months to build.

The fireplace is so large it has seating inside, with a view out over the fire.

"You can see almost any aspect of the park. I think it will be beautiful sunset views and I think this will be a great place to hang out," Stava said.

On any construction project weather is a concern.

They're worried about the rain this weekend, because there is still a lot of bare soil and planting that needs to be done.