OKLAHOMA CITY - Residents in northwest Oklahoma City are getting an exciting, new treat.
This week, the City Council voted to purchase a piece of land for $817,000 from the Lone Oak Homeowners Association and Lone Oak LLC. It sits on 130 acres and is located west of Portland, along Bluff Creek, sitting between Northwest 150th and Northwest 164th streets.
"It's gonna have wonderful trails, playgrounds, and it's gonna be right next to Bluff Creek so it should be a beautiful park," said Oklahoma City Ward 8 City Councilman Mark Stonecipher.
It's a potentially perfect park for a part of Oklahoma City that could use one. Stonecipher said, as Ward 8 - on the city's northwest side - continues to grow, there becomes a need for places to go.
"Ward 8 is seeing this incredible development, single-family development and so there's a need for parks," he said. "In fact, when we did our 2017 geobonds, we looked at the need for three additional parks in Ward 8, and so this will add one of the three parks we need in the area."
The acreage used to be owned by late geologist, civic leader and philanthropist Dean A. McGee. It now sits right next to one of the newest neighborhoods in the area developed by Lone Oak LLC, who - along with the Lone Oak Homeowners Association - is conveying the land to the city of Oklahoma City.
Stonecipher said, through interviews, those living in nearby neighborhoods will determine the details of what will be included in the park.
"So, we don't dictate what the park is," he said. "They dictate to us what they want in a park."
No matter what they decide, Stonecipher said one feature is a guarantee.
"I just hope people will go out and look at the tree," he said. "It's a beautiful tree, and some would say it's been out there 150-200 years - and it's going to be the centerpiece, the focal point of the park."
Right now, you have to access the big oak tree from a nearby neighborhood. Access is still under development but most likely will come from Northwest 164th street.
$755,000 of the purchasing price will come from impact fees by developers, and $62,000 will come from Better Streets, Safer Cities bond funds.