Gathering Place Story
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Our Story

A Riverfront Destination

Our story began with the George Kaiser Family Foundation and an extraordinary dream to transform nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s iconic waterfront along the scenic Arkansas River into a dynamic, interactive environment. Tulsans needed a welcoming, natural space where members of our diverse communities could come together to explore, learn and play.

After years of planning, generous donations and input from the community, Tulsa's dream became reality. In 2014, Gathering Place broke ground on Tulsa’s world-class park. The dream of a space to celebrate and gather along the river was becoming reality.  

The next chapter is filled with excitement as we welcomed our first guests on September 8, 2018. The children, families and friends of Tulsa will write the narrative from there, an ongoing adventure sure to inspire wonderful moments for generations to come. We look forward to witnessing memories made and celebrating the collective growth experienced through Gathering Place, where your adventures will only be limited by your own imagination. 

We are Gathering Place. We are Tulsa. We are diverse, passionate and true to our beliefs. We remain consistent in our mission, as a project led by George Kaiser Family Foundation, that we all become united in our love for our community. Relatives, close friends, neighbors, we are all family. We are united from every zip code, from the city to the suburbs, from the river to the hills, from the north to the south, from the west to the east. Gathering Place is the ultimate expression of Tulsa’s spirit of unity. A place for everyone.

History In The Making

Check out some key moments from the building of Gathering Place.

  • A look at the former Riverside Drive, 2011
  • Gathering Place Design Meeting April 2014. Jeff Stava, Phil Lakin, Fred Dorwart and George Kaiser meet with representatives of the design team to discuss new models showing the play areas and lodge at Gathering Place
  • Gathering Place Design Meeting, April 2014
  • Gathering Place Design Meeting, April 2014
  • Victor Mendez Meeting Fall 2014.      Victor Mendez, Deputy Secretary of Transportation, meets with Jeff Stava and Mayor Dewey Bartlett regarding grant funding for improvements to Riverside Drive in cooperation with Gathering Place
  • Victor Mendez Meeting, Fall 2014
  • Groundbreaking ceremonies 2014. The George Kaiser Family Foundation, elected officials, friends, family and Gathering Place supporters celebrate groundbreaking festivities. Governor Mary Fallin delivers a speech about the impact the park will have.
  • Ground Breaking Ceremony
  • Airport Installation Goes Up, September 2015
  • The Park Pod visits Tulsa Legacy Charter School, February 2016
  • Construction begins on Peggy
  • Foundation work begins on the Boathouse, February 2016
  • Steel installation at the Williams Lodge, July 2016
  • Wildflower and grass seeding testing, August 2016
  • Peggy
  • Caterpillar Bridge, November 2016
  • Installation of Skywalk Forest, December 2016
  • New Tree Installations, January 2017
  • BMX Pump Track March 2017
  • Four Seasons Garden, April 2017
  • Skate Bowl, May 2017
  • Boathouse masonry, May 2017
  • Lodge Fireplace, June 2017
  • Fairyland Forest, June 2017
  • Boathouse Stairs, July 2017
  • Reading Tree November 2017
  • Adventure Playground Installations, November 2017
  • November 2017
  • January, 2018
  • Boathouse Roof installation, January 2018
  • Williams Lodge Ceiling Installation, February 2018
  • First Look Field Trips, February 2018
  • First Look Field Trips, February 2018
  • First Look Field Trips, February 2018
  • Swing Hill, March 2018
  • Water Mountain, April 2018
  • Patio, May 2018
  • Four Seasons Garden, May 2018
  • Grand Opening Date Announcement, June 8, 2018
  • Lodge Floor Installation, March 2018
  • Planting Tree Lodge Exterior, June 2018
  • Slide Vale, June 2018
  • Wild Flowers in Bloom, June 2018
  • Mist Mountain testing, June 2018
  • Williams Lodge, July 2018
  • Skate Park, July 2018
  • Artists Painting Cabana Murals, August 2018
  • BOK Center, August 2018
  • Golden Driller, August 2018