Category Archives: Parks and Public Spaces

Renovated School Fields Double as Community Park

Just a few short years ago, uneven terrain, broken goal posts, weeds and trash greeted students at Webster Middle School in south Oklahoma City, as well as families from the nearby neighborhood looking for a space to play. Thanks to a collaboration of community partners including the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and Fields & Futures, the school grounds now feature new athletic fields and a walking/running track complete with landscaping and trees.

Katrinka Greear, Webster Middle School athletic director, says the renovation has been a game changer for both students and the community.

“This is one of the few places where they can come with their families,” she said. “It’s a community field.”

To provide for ongoing maintenance of the fields and ensure the area can be enjoyed by the surrounding community for years to come, Fields & Futures established an endowment fund at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. To help build the fund, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund is offering a $200,000 matching grant for $600,000 in gifts made through May 31, 2018. To make a gift toward the match, visit occf.org/kffmatch.

Learn more about the Webster Middle School project in a recent segment of Oklahoma Gardening below.

The Rebirth of a City Park Helps a Community Recover

Four years ago, an EF5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, tragically killing 24 people and destroying nearly everything in its path. Since that time, many community partners have come together to rebuild the city, proving that triumph truly can arise from tragedy.

“May 20, 2013, is a date that everybody remembers,” said Moore assistant city manager Todd Jensen. “It was devastating to the community.”

Jensen says the recovery process hasn’t been easy, but thanks to the help of countless volunteers and organizations, the city has been rebuilt one step at a time.

The restoration of Little River Park, located near the Warren Theater, is one example of the resiliency of the Moore community. The tornado ripped right through the center of the public park that serves the Plaza Tower Elementary School neighborhood.

“This park symbolizes the resiliency of Moore, the recovery,” Jensen said. “And not just recovering and going back to where we were, but being better than we were and stronger and more improved. With the things that we’ve been able to do with our partners here at Little River, we’re well on our way in doing that.”

Thanks to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and a number of community partners, the park has not only been restored, but is growing into a lively community gathering spot. Learn how the rebirth of this city park is enhancing the recovery of the Moore community in a recent segment of Oklahoma Gardening.