Stories Behind the Voices – Gathering Place

Because of the Coronavirus, Gathering Place is not a place to gather. Most of us are home, thinking of the day when we can return to that special place on the banks of the Arkansas River. But it is a good time to review the overall construction of the park, its challenges, description of materials used, and the emotional connection to Tulsa. 

Voices of Oklahoma felt it was important to include an oral history recording of the entire process in our collection of voices.

We asked the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the project, Jeff Stava, to describe the process from breaking ground September, 2014, to the opening in September, 2018. You will be amazed again at the enormity of the project as you listen. Hopefully we will see you soon in the park!

“I think probably the most rewarding thing is watching people in the park. I was out here so much with the construction workers. You know, we had, at the high point, seven hundred people here onsite working, but the most rewarding part of this project has been coming and walking through the park and just seeing people having fun. Kids in the playground laughing and screaming and playing, and even the simpleness of the seating in here (the lodge) and people looking out, and having a peaceful moment. Someone said that it’s like having a vacation in Tulsa. You just don’t even feel like you’re in Tulsa.” – Jeff Stava

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