MAPS park meeting scheduled

The 70-acre park is budgeted at $132 million with an upper
park and a lower park. The upper section will sit north of the realigned
Interstate 40 near Downtown, and the lower section will reach from the
interstate south to the Oklahoma River.

At the first meeting, on Sept. 13, about 130 people attended to hear Hargreaves’ consultant Mary Margaret Jones talk about parks around the
world her firm has designed and planned. She also discussed amenities in
the Myriad Botanical Gardens in looking at what will work best in the Downtown
park.

She said the Myriad Gardens is very “program rich,” meaning
there are many things to see and do as one moves through the gardens with
features such as a dog park, children’s play area, the crystal bridge and a large
lawn with a band shell.

“It’s all linked,” she said. “As you move
through that park, you go from one thing to do to the next, to the next, to the
next.”

Jones also presented overviews of parks in
places such as Houston and San Francisco that vary from dense urban parks to
large fields for various activities. She said residents of the city and city
government must decide what kind of park it should be, and account for things
like water features, pedestrian access and public art.

One question mark will be ongoing funding,
and creating the park while staying on budget.

“We have a budget,” she said at the
September meeting. “It can’t be everything, but we want to begin to understand
priorities.”

City leaders have praised the community
involvement in that meeting.

“We
received valuable input from the first meeting, and hope that continues as we
continue with the design of the park.” MAPS 3 Program Manager David Todd said.

Jones said her team plans to have a master plan for the park
completed next spring, with input included from the public meetings.

“All of that will come together to create a
world-class park,” she said.

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