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How a new playground on Jenks Riverwalk honors the Muscogee Nation

Jenks Riverwalk Playground
Posted at 7:21 PM, Apr 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 12:43:42-04

JENKS, Okla. — A new playground opened at the Jenks Riverwalk features culturally significant symbols representing the Muscogee Nation's history and heritage.

Jenks and Muscogee Nation officials attended as officials cut the ribbon on the new attraction. However, some kids didn't wait to start playing on the equipment. 2 News talked to a few kids who said the big blue slide is their favorite part.

According to the Muscogee Nation, that slide is the largest rotomolded slide ever made.

Jenks Riverwalk slide

The park is approximately 4,000 square feet and features symbols representing the heritage of the Muscogee Nation.

The tribe purchased Riverwalk more than 10 years ago.

Debbie Severson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Onefire Holding Company. She said from the beginning, they wanted the Muscogee Nation to be represented in the playground.

"One of the main things I wanted to, that me and my property managers wanted to incorporate in this playground, which was super important, was the cultural elements and heritage of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation," Severson said.

Some of the culturally significant elements include the Arkansas River, acorns, a canoe and a beaver which is a clan animal.

Beaver Playground

Severson said the area needed a new park and the Muscogee Nation was excited to build.

"We’ve always have kids and families running through the Riverwalk, we just didn’t have a playground," Severson said.

After years of the design and building process the playground finally came to life.

"It’s just a great place where families gather. They eat where kids can play. We just thought this would be a wonderful spot," said Severson.

The playground includes a variety of slides, rock walls, and a built-in scavenger hunt. Severson hopes the playground is a way families will stay and enjoy the Riverwalk.

"We want them to stay, enjoy, laugh," said Severson.

The Muscogee Nation said this is the first of many projects for the Riverwalk.

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