Improvements On The Way For Turkey Mountain

Thursday, May 8th 2008, 5:52 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa's River Parks Authority has got big plans for one its most popular parks.  On Thursday, it unveiled plans to spruce up Turkey Mountain.  The News On 6's Jeffrey Smith River Parks says Turkey Mountain is fast becoming one of the most popular parks in Tulsa.

Now, the George Kaiser Foundation has donated $1 million to make it even better.  The Tulsa River Parks Authority says the money will go a long way to preserve the area.

"The parking lot here is completely full of cars. Lot of mountain bikers. Lot of hikers.  There are scout groups out here. We just want to make more amenities to attract people out here," said River Parks Director Matt Meyer.

The park has more than 300 acres of trails.

 "To get away from the urban area and to come up to a heavily wooded trail area, that is just a pure gem for Tulsa," said Tonja Pitzer with Tulsa River Parks Authority.

Tonja Pitzer says they've received a million dollar donation to update the park.  They'll be building a pavilion, several artificial climbing boulders for children and they'll make some trail enhancements.

"What we'll do is go in and define some of the key trails so that families can get out there and do a nice planned hike or a mountain bike ride," said Tonja Pitzer.

Turkey Mountain in years past has had a reputation for being a hangout for sexual activity and illegal drug use.  But, the new focus is on family-friendly fun and to that end, River Parks says part of the donation money will be used to double the size of the parking lot from 40 spaces to more than 80.

"Any type of enhancement we can add, such as additional parking, shelters, and improved trails, that just increases the number of people that feel safe coming up to Turkey Mountain," said Tonja Pitzer.

Pitzer says the money's in place and they'll hire a contractor and begin construction early this summer.

Turkey Mountain has some trails that go on uninterrupted for about 15 miles.  Pitzer says it's important to keep those trails clean and well-marked. And, she says best of all, the project won't cost taxpayers a cent.