TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — The Gathering Place is attracting millions of visitors. Since the park opened in 2018, more than three million have come to play and to see what has developed in midtown Tulsa.
What many of the visitors don’t see is how much work goes into caring for 1.2 million plants and shrubs.
“If you walked in and the landscape didn’t look well, the emotional feeling and experience you have would be different,” explained the Executive Director Tony Moore.
He helped select the 1.2 million plants and shrubs and the 7,000 trees that are planted in the Gathering Place. He says they searched for and selected only the best.
“We spent just over $40 million between soils and plants to make this experience feel natural, to make it feel sustainable, to make it be an escape,” said Moore, who is now focused on helping the park keep the greenery protected from the elements of winter.
“We have a great team of horticulturalists. We all work together, as we stuff coming up in the field that we need to do preventative maintenance on, that we need to address. We have a lot of eyes on the field to do that,” said Stacie Martin, the director of horticulture at the Gathering Place.
Right now, she is working to make sure that plants are covered in mulch or given enough water if they need it. Several trees have green bags around them, and they have blue ribbons tied to them because they are receiving extra attention as the weather changes.
The horticulture team will put down 600 cubic feet of mulch soon to make sure the plants are protected and to prevent spring weeds.
While the park has received many awards, USA Today called it the "Best Attraction in the Nation," and it made Time Magazine’s list of The World's 100 Greatest Places.
Moore says the landscaping contributes to all the awards.