Urban Green

9/21/2007


New park in the heart of downtown

Tulsa World


By World's Editorial Writers


As important as the upcoming Oct. 9 vote on the Arkansas River proposal and the accompanying attention it is getting are, there are other things going on in the county, supported by taxpayers, that deserve to be noted.

The most visible, at least in downtown, portion of the Vision 2025 project is the new BOK Center, the 18,000-seat arena that is destined to become the wow project.

There are many other smaller, but no less important, projects that have either been completed or are in the process of being built.

One project is the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green that is under construction on Sixth Street between Main Street and Boston Avenue.

The park will replace a concrete surface parking lot and is expected to be finished by April. The land for the $3.8 million park was purchased from Land Legacy, a nonprofit conservation organization that paid $2.4 million for the land and sold it to the city for half that price.

Donations from the H.A. Chapman Trust, the Walton family, the Oklahoma Centennial Commission and other sources also made the park possible.

Other urban parks have either been built or are in the works. The Chapman Green is just the kind of thing needed to create an urban residential atmosphere and attract people to downtown living opportunities.

It will have an oval lawn, a fountain and a small amphitheater. It is considered the trailhead for the two-mile Centennial Walk, which also is making progress.

Nearby portions of Sixth Street will be improved and new crosswalks, sidewalks and a landscaped median are planned.

For the naysayers who continue to criticize Vision 2025 as not living up to its promises, they need only look at many of the downtown Tulsa projects as well as smaller but no less significant projects in the rest of the county.

Public investment works. That's something to keep in mind come Oct. 9 when a small tax could open Tulsa County to an even brighter future.