Kerr Park unveils new enhancements with the help of Southwest Airlines

OKLAHOMA CITY - Surrounded by concrete and tall buildings, Kerr Park is meant to be a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, but it isn't always used for its intended purpose.

"People really didn't know what to do with the space. It's beautiful, but they were just using it as a pass through the downtown area,” Jill DeLozier, vice president of Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership, said.

"There was never any place to sit, so you'd sit outside, and it'd be so hot," Ann McFerron said.

The long-standing park just got $250,000 in enhancements geared at re-invigorating the area, as well as to build on the renovations completed just two years ago by Sandridge Energy and the city.

"We hope to take that and install some extra icing on the cake if you will; seating, shade, other loungers, games,” DeLozier said.

Like bocce ball, ping pong and corn hole.

A majority of that was paid for with a 2017 grant from Southwest Airline's "Heart of the Community" program.

"The year that Oklahoma City won, we actually only selected three grant recipients out of 75 applicants,” Megan Lee, senior manager of community outreach at Southwest Airlines, said.

The established partnerships with the city, parks and recreation department and non-profits like Downtown OKC Partnership and the Project for Public Spaces made them an attractive candidate for the grant.

Also, Southwest has more than 600 employees in the metro.

"We want to make the cities that we fly to also a great city for our employee to live and work," Lee said.