By KAREN KEITH and FRED PERRY
Tulsa County Commissioners
MATCH POINT: The LaFortune tennis complex overhaul is resulting in one of the finest tennis facilities in the state. New courts are still being poured while 12 courts are in full action. On this day, the Monte Cassino Cushing Cup tennis tournament is taking place.
DANIEL C. CAMERON for GTR Newspapers
Many people don’t realize that Tulsa County owns and operates several parks, yet almost everyone probably knows these parks all too well. Two of them have recently completed major projects that will make them more user friendly for residents of Tulsa County.
Tulsa County has just completed construction of the new Chandler Park Community Center. This 16,000 square-foot facility features a workout room, reception hall, full-size gymnasium, dance room, and activities area. The project was made possible by the 4-to-Fix II County sales tax program. It is a well-needed addition to west Tulsa County.
As spring is here and summer is right around the corner, it’s a great time to highlight the activities at Chandler Park. There are opportunities for of all ages: day camps, classes in music, photography, dance, rock climbing and sports from basketball to dodgeball. Additionally, Chandler Park has started a new non-competitive youth baseball league for children Pre-K through 5th grade. And of course, the Chandler Park swimming pool, which opens June 1, is ready for another hot Oklahoma summer. Chandler Park will continue to host several special events throughout 2010, including the Sunset Concert Series, the Kings of Champion Medieval Faire, Top of the Hill Car Show and Oklahoma Boulderfest.
LaFortune Park is full of opportunities for all ages as well. Being the busiest park in Tulsa County, it has something for everyone: tennis, golf, baseball, picnic and playground facilities and a walking trail. In recent years, thanks to Vision 2025, there have been significant improvements to this park and with more on the way. The Buddy LaFortune Community Center has hundreds of opportunities for youth, adults and seniors. From self-enrichment classes like dance, art appreciation and pottery, or yoga, zumba and tai chi, the Buddy LaFortune Community Center has something for everyone and is accompanied by the Herman and Kate Kaiser Library.
Recent and ongoing improvements to the tennis and golf facilities have set new standards for public sports in Oklahoma. We have completed Phase 1 by adding to 12 new post tension concrete tennis courts and are totally rebuilding 9 of the original 12 asphalt base courts with new post tension concrete courts. A popular tennis tournament site among the players, LaFortune is on its way to being an even better one. With more private contributions in the future, it will be state-of-the art.
The LaFortune Park Golf Course has a new clubhouse with new pro shop. And a restaurant is available to serve the golfer as well as other park patrons.
It is amazing to see how far the Tulsa County Parks have come in just a few years. We are excited with the progress and look forward to more in the near future.
Our Parks Department and its staff truly do an outstanding job for the residents of Tulsa County. We are fortunate to have Director Richard Bales who leads the department and makes the facilities and programs a reality.
In addition to Chandler Park and LaFortune Park, the Tulsa County Parks Department operates the Bixby Community Center, Haikey Creek Park, O’Brien Park/Recreation Center and Golf Training and Practice Center, South Tulsa County Recreation Center and South Lakes Golf Course.
For more information, or to view the Tulsa County Parks Recreation & Activity Guide, please visit www.tulsacounty.org