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Community green spaces, playgrounds and walking trails contribute to the health and quality of life for residents of most every city. Parks and Recreation Centers are the places where memories are made and sports careers are launched. As we continue our year in review, here are three improvements made to our Parks and Recreation Department in 2019.
In March, Reflection Park, 709 Magnolia Court, became a reality. The park is dedicated to the victims of the Bever family murders and the first responders who were the first to arrive at the tragic crime scene.
Former City Councilor Mike Lester spearheaded a group of private donors from Broken Arrow and Tulsa who paid $50,000 to turn the property into a memorial park and garden. The City subsequently used mostly donated supplies and labor to construct a small walking path, a garden and a gazebo. Reflections Park connects to the City’s existing Indian Springs Mini Park behind the property.
“We can never erase the tragedy that occurred here, but we are making a statement with Reflections Park that will not allow evil to define who we are and the high standards we hold as a community,” Lester said at the time of the opening. “Thanks to the generosity of so many people in Broken Arrow and the metro area, we have built a place of peace and serenity.”
Also in 2019, the City of Broken Arrow added four new sand volleyball courts at Nienhuis Park, 3201 N. 9th St. The new courts are between the Aquatic Facility and Fire Station No. 6 and are already providing opportunities for residents to set, spike and dig!
The sand volleyball courts were built at a cost of $190,280 and were paid for by the 2011 General Obligation Bond & Parks Capital Fund.
In September, the City completed the Main Street Bikeway. A first in Broken Arrow, The Main Street Bikeway is a part of INCOG’s regional GO Plan and will eventually connect to the nine-mile Liberty Parkway Trail that follows the Creek Turnpike in south BA.
The project cost $504,000 and the majority of the funding came from a $378,000 Federal Transportation Alternatives Grant. The remaining funding came from the Parks and Recreation Department’s capital fund.
LOOKING AHEAD. This year, Vandever Park, 1101 W. Ithica St., will receive much-needed park improvements which will include playgrounds, sidewalks and other park amenities according to Director of Parks and Recreation Matt Hendren.
Also, construction on The Challenger Sports Complex located in the Broken Arrow Events Park is currently underway. It is expected to be complete in July 2020.
“This state of the art project includes four soft ball fields with turf infields and one adaptive field,” Hendren said. “The baseball fields at Indian Springs Sports Complex will receive new wrap-around shade structures and concrete to help patrons beat the summer heat.”
Construction will begin in late 2020 and should be ready for the 2021 season.
The City of Broken Arrow Parks and Recreation Department manages more than 963 acres of developed park land with 44 parks throughout the city.