Women's Right Pioneer Honored In Tulsa

Sunday, October 10th 2010, 10:00 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A pioneer for women's rights in Oklahoma was honored Sunday. Sarah Allison passed away in 2007, but her legacy will live on at the Botanical Gardens.

Allison was Oklahoma's first female psychologist to have her own private practice, but family members say her real passion was nature.

After a ribbon cutting ceremony, family and friends were the first to stroll along the Sarah Allison path.

It winds for three quarters of a mile around the Centennial Botanical Gardens seven-acre lake, and is named for a woman who walked a different path.

"I think she would be beyond words. She would just go oh my goodness, someone did all this for me," said, Sarah Allison's daughter Valerie Lawson.

Valerie Lawson's mother broke barriers in the 1970's, when she became Oklahoma's first female psychologist to open a private practice.

She says Allison was also an activist who, until her death in 2007, was a voice for women's issues like domestic violence.

"It's wonderful. My mom really was my best buddy. I mean, I miss her every single day," Lawson said.

The path is part of an ongoing effort to upgrade the Botanical Gardens. After eight years of planning, they opened in 2007.

A recently awarded one million dollar grant went towards planting 300 new trees, and providing water and electricity to the gardens, which sit in a remote area of Osage County.

"It's very rewarding because there are so many people that are enjoying it now. It's just going to continue to grow," Lawson said.

They hope the path named for a woman who blazed her own trail will allow people to enjoy it for some time to come.

The Botanical Gardens has more additions planned. It will add a chapel, a restaurant, and a 3,000 seat amphitheater.