Tulsa Parks public review meetings set
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Sunday, February 10, 2013
2/10/13 at 1:35 PM
Tulsa Parks is asking city residents to attend one of four public meetings being held Monday to assess the city's park system.
The meetings will be the public's first chance to take part in the city's effort to have its park system accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies.
Should that happen, Tulsa Parks would be the first municipal park system in Oklahoma to be CAPRA accredited.
Parks Director Lucy Dolman said receiving accreditation is about raising expectations - not just for Parks Department employees but the public.
"We will have standards that we have to meet that will ensure that we are a quality parks department," Dolman said.
Monday's public meetings will be facilitated by nearly three dozen University of Arkansas graduate students. They are students of Merry Moiseichik, who edited a nationally recognized book on park accreditation.
"The person who wrote the book is two-and-half hours away," Dolman said. "So why not use that expertise?"
Those attending the meetings will be given time to say what they like about the park system and what they think is lacking.
"In order for us to be a quality park system, we need to address the things the people want to see," Dolman said.
The information gathered at the meetings will be used to create a needs assessment questionnaire that will be sent to 1,000 Tulsans.
The questionnaire will then be used to determine what types of facilities and amenities the community would like to see the park system include.
Dolman said she expects to submit the application for accreditation within a year. The Parks Department will then have two years to meet all of 144 of CAPRA's standards.
Tulsa Parks includes 144 park sites covering nearly 6,000 acres.
The park system has struggled recently to maintain and operate existing facilities - some many years old - on a limited budget.
Its 2013 fiscal year operating budget is $19.6 million.
As part of a new master plan adopted in 2011, the Parks Department is moving to replace or repurpose many of its old facilities and encourage self-directed activities.
Dolman hopes that with accreditation will come a renewed appreciation for what the Parks Department provides and its value to the public.
"I think if you have a quality park system that has been accredited, maybe its value to citizens will be recognized as budgets are being prepared," Dolman said.
City of Tulsa Parks Public Meetings
The city of Tulsa will hold four public meetings Monday to gather information and comments from the public about the city’s park system.
The meetings are part of the city’s effort to have the park system accredited. They will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the following locations:
— Booker T. Washington High School, 1514 E. Zion St.
— Hale Junior High School, 2177 S. 67th East Ave.
— Peggy Helmerich Library, 5131 E. 91st St.
— Silo Center/Cedar Rock Inn, 4501 W. 41st St.
Original Print Headline: Tulsans invited to city park meetings
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313