Urban Oasis

Two urban Oklahoma parks are attracting international attention. Tulsa’s Guthrie Green located in the heart of the Brady Arts District was recently named among the 14 coolest urban spaces in America by Thrillist. Guthrie Green opened in 2012 and serves as an urban gardens and performance space. This urban playground finds itself ranked among some of the nation’s most well-known green spaces, including the Atlanta Beltline (Atlanta, GA), Brooklyn Bridge Park (Brooklyn, NY), Waterfront Park (San Diego, CA) and Yards Park (Washington, D.C.). Visitors to Guthrie Green can enjoy concerts, movies, fitness classes, food trucks and more.

Guthrie Green according to Thrillist: “Located in the heart of Tulsa’s Brady Arts District, Guthrie Green went from an industrial patch of blah to an urban garden and performance space with a stage, pavilion, tree-lined paths, artsy structures for shade, water features and a large lawn. It regularly hosts markets, as well as concerts, theater events and festivals by touring and local artists. It’s not just green to look at either: LED lighting and solar panels reduce electricity needs, and a geothermal well field on the park site feeds ground-source heat pumps at the neighboring Tulsa Paper Company building and keeps the earth at a perfectly splay-worthy 66 degrees.”

Oklahoma City’s Myriad Botanical Gardens is one of six finalists for the Urban Land Institute’s Global Urban Open Space Award. The gardens are in competition with Millennium Park in Chicago; Marina Bay in Singapore; Thousand Lantern Lake Park System in Foshan, Guangdong, China; Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square in Santa Monica, Calif.; and Washington Canal Park in Washington, D.C.

The 50-year-old, 15-acre park in downtown Oklahoma City has been transformed in recent years thanks to a local initiative called Project 180 which provided the park with a $40 million makeover. Today, the Myriad Gardens are home to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, a half-acre children’s garden, an off-leash dog park, a restaurant, a burger stand, splash fountains, an outdoor amphitheater, and walking and jogging paths. Regular activities include outdoor yoga, gardening classes, live music, outdoor movies and more.

Guthrie Green photo courtesy of Jonnu Singleton

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