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Tulsa Parks and Rec plans to keep crowds despite developing attractions

Posted: 6:21 PM, Jul 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-17 19:21:34-04

TULSA -- The Director of Tulsa Park and Recreation Department says despite huge attraction to projects like The Gathering Place, the local parks are here to stay.

The Gathering Place is opening in September and represents the largest private gift to a public park in U.S. history, racking up $465 million.

The hot spot is expected to draw national attention.

"Maybe bring people in, they’ll make more of a longer stay and try other things while they’re here," said Ashley Blackford, who was at the Whiteside park pool Tuesday afternoon.

These attractions could potentially overshadow the smaller, local parks, but the Director of Tulsa Parks and Rec believes they'll still draw the loyal crowds.

"People like that neighborhood park that they can walk up, and that they grew up to and that they have family memories," said Lucy Dolman, Director of Tulsa Parks and Rec.

Dolman says despite big money standing behind The Gathering Place, the department is at a good place in their budget.

"With the new pool coming in at McClure, and new pools coming on for the next few years I think the budget outlook as far as revenue generating will be good," said Dolman.

She says none of the parks or centers are under any threat of shutting down because of this expected competition.

Dolman feels so confident in the parks attendance, and her staff, that she announced her retirement after 39 years.

"It’s time because everybody knows what they’re doing and they’re very competent and I think it’s a great move for all of us," said Dolman.

Her last day is September 1st. The city has not announced her replacement.

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