Summer is coming soon, and that means spending more time outdoors. For many Tulsans, that includes a visit to Gathering Place. The Park is reopening in phases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The date for Phase 1 includes opening of the trails, major pathways, skatepark, lawns, and BMX Pump Track scheduled to be available for use at the reopening. During phase one, The Lodge, Boathouse, Adventure Playground, and sports courts were closed to encourage social distancing protocols. The Gathering Place encourages visitors to stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask, and wash their hands whenever possible or use hand sanitizer.
According to the Gathering Place website, the staff has secured the necessary PPE, sanitizing tools, and hand sanitizing stations to run the facility safely and efficiently according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. Gathering Place’s COVID-19 statement states that guests are encouraged to wear face masks and practice social distancing. During Phase one of the reopening, there will not be any live events held. There will be limited food and drink options on the patio.
Bailie Brown, Marketing Director of the Gathering Place said, “The mission of the Gathering Place is to provide an inclusive space for all to learn, explore, and play together, no matter what race, religion, culture, or socio-economic background they come from.” Brown said that the staff realized that many in the Tulsa community were not able to visit the park due to a lack of transportation. Brown said that the leadership among the staff believes that providing free shuttles to and from the Gathering Place is a great incentive to get the Tulsa community to visit.
Tulsa Transit created three Gathering Place themed buses, each highlighting different park attractions outside and inside the buses. There is also park information available for guests before their visit. Riders can text 56520 for real-time information about their ride status.
Brown stated that there are often not enough parking spots during busy days, and the shuttles would relieve the problem. Brown said the planning for the shuttles has been for over a year. As of May 2020, the dates for the shuttle are on hold due to the COVID pandemic. The park hours are daily 9 a.m. to park close. In the fall, the shuttle hours are Fridays 4 p.m. until the park closes and Saturday and Sundays 10 a.m. until the park closes.
The Gathering Place is located at 2650 S John Williams Way, and the phone number is (918) 779-1000. For more details, visit their website at https://www.gatheringplace.org/