Gathering Place opened, ready for visitors


Tevis Hillis

There’s a new park on the block.

George Kaiser, president, CEO and primary owner of the GBK Corporation, spearheaded the effort to build the Gathering Place, a 100-acre riverfront park to unite the city’s cultures by permitting children and adults spend time together.

But this park was not created in a day. The $465 million space was conceived many years before ground was actually broken.

“We have been thinking about it for twelve years but actually working on it for about ten,” said Frederic Dorwart, Trustee and President of the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Dorwart was one of the first people to know about a park after Kaiser emailed Dorwart with his vivid idea to change the look of the city.

Kaiser’s wanted a space where everyone could come, enjoy nature and be a part of a community.

“It’s really about inclusivity,” said Mandy Lopp the event specialist for the park. “It’s about uniting a community, it’s about uniting the great state of Oklahoma with different cultures, different backgrounds and giving a place for people to really gather and spend time together.”

This park was created to make everyone feel like they have a community to be involved in.

Opening weekend, the park welcomed 50,000 people. The turnout was more than anyone expected and more than the people expected the park to be.

“Once you actually come here and walk around you see the eye for detail, you see that every corner you turn around there’s some other amazing thing that could be its own park all alone,” said G. T. Bynum Mayor of Tulsa. “And you can’t really appreciate it until you get here and see it”

The Gathering Place is opened from 9a.m. till 10p.m. every day and wants to continue to inspire imagination.