Bronze Statues brighten up Riverside Trails

Thursday, October 19th 2006, 5:13 pm
By: News On 6

They're not real, but the bronze animal statues in Tulsa's Riverparks provide beautiful, artistic landmarks for the park's many visitors.

The latest addition was dedicated today.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg tells us about the history of the statues.

The statues are part of a program by Natureworks, a conservation group run completely by volunteers. This is their 15th monument, and they've been monumental in their effort for Tulsa.

The beauty of nature combined with human artistry, and a lot of old-fashioned hard work.

Ken Greenwood and his fellow volunteers at Natureworks were looking for way to beautify the Riverparks.

"Well we thought it would be some way that a conservation group or organization could add to the quality of life here in Tulsa," says Greenwood.

And being a nature conservation group, they naturally looked to some of the river's past inhabitants for inspiration.

Greenwood says, "all of the species are indigenous to the watershed, the Arkansas River watershed, so they're home when they're in this set-up."

The very first statue in 1994 was placed in Stuart Park near Gilcrease Museum. Since then though, they've placed most of them in the Riverparks, adding about one per year, stretching from 21st street to 91st street, until now there's enough they have a veritable outdoor museum.

Number 15, the Riverside Mallards was dedicated at 30th and Riverside. This one is by Texas sculptor Ronnie Wells. With the exception of a couple of repeat sculptors, most are made by different artists.

And while the sculptures are frozen in place, there's no stopping the Natureworks' crew.