The Impact of Beautification


In 2019, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation celebrated its 50th Anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, the Community Foundation decided to plant nearly 800 trees along the Oklahoma River.

The 3-mile stretch on the north side of the river between Portland and Western Avenue was what the Community Foundation’s Parks and Public Space Director, Brian Dougherty, referred to as “no man’s land.” The south side of the river already had plenty of trees, so the Community Foundation President Nancy Anthony decided that the Community Foundation should create a beautification impact along this stretch of land on the river’s north side.

A good deal of strategy and planning went into the project and the Community Foundation worked with utility companies to make sure the trees’ growth would not affect gas or power lines. The entire project was one of the Community Foundation’s most ambitious projects and it took nearly 6 months to get all of the trees planted.

Today, the trees are growing and any that were lost due to inclement weather have been replaced. This portion of the river trail is becoming more and more popular. What was once deemed as “no man’s land” is now enjoyed by bikers, runners, joggers and families from all over the metro.