In the heart of Oklahoma lies the Gathering Place, a true treasure located along Tulsa’s riverfront that beckons to individuals and families alike. More than a decade in the making, the Gathering Place first welcomed guests in 2018 and has been a pillar of the community since that time. Coterra Energy has been a proud supporter of the Gathering Place for years and we recently sat down with their Executive Director, Julio Badin, for a quick chat to learn more about the venue.
With 10 months of leadership with the Gathering Place under his belt, Badin shared insights on the park’s history, some of the most popular attractions, and his favorite part of the park. Throughout his brief tenure, he shared that it has been a whirlwind of learning, fascinating and fun, and he is honored to be involved in the operation of the park.
The Gathering Place idea was first introduced in the early 2000s by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and along with like-minded individuals, brought the vision to fruition to transform nearly 100 acres of Tulsa’s waterfront into an outstanding community resource. Learn more about the history of Gathering Place here.
Badin shared that “the icon of the park is clearly the Adventure Playground” – and with five acres of towers, slides, climbing features, play gardens, sand lots, and water areas, there’s no doubt that this feature is a hit with families across the region. The playground provides a safe and beautiful resource for families with young children to exercise their bodies and their minds, as there is something new to discover around every corner.
The surprises in store for guests are Badin’s favorite parts of the park. He stated, “the park is concepted as different rooms, which allows guests to wind through the park, entering different areas to experience beautiful horticulture and nature.” While much of the horticulture is unique to each specific area, the park also highlights many trees that were native to the area, which the designers integrated into the overall design of the park, making them a central feature.
The Gathering Place is a free park that provides a multitude of opportunities for visitors. One of the top attractions right now is The National Geographic Photo Ark, which will be available to guests until July 31. With more than 35 images to enjoy, this photo journey is a celebration of the native and migratory species throughout the great state of Oklahoma. This exhibit highlights the photos of National Geographic Explorer and photographer, Joel Sartore, and is part of a larger Photo Ark program across the globe.With robust educational and entertainment programs sponsored by Coterra, the Gathering Place has something for everyone. From family nature walks to doggy play nights and everything in between, the interactive events calendar can help you plan your adventure in the park today!