Tusla, Oklahoma, USA
Acting as a central hub for social and community events in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Guthrie Green Park has played a key role in the revitalization of the city’s Brady Arts District. A former truck yard and refueling station, the 2.7 acres of Guthrie Green have since been transformed into an attractive public space complete with rolling event lawns, a park pavilion, an outdoor stage, and interactive water features. Spearheaded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and funded by $113.5 million in public-private investment, this park has helped breathe new life into the downtown core by celebrating art and promoting a healthy, active lifestyle to all its visitors.
Named in honor of musical icon Woody Guthrie, Guthrie Green’s true claim to fame is its abundance of green technology. All lighting within the park is LED and solar panels adorn the roof of the performance pavilion. Additionally, all water runoff on the site is diverted to bio-swales, helping to irrigate the landscape and clean the storm-water. However, the most intriguing component of Guthrie’s green technology remains hidden beneath its surface. Buried underground, the park is home to an extensive geothermal exchange system that helps supplement the heating and cooling needs of nearby non-profit organizations, reducing their needs by up to 60%. Misting fountains, modeled after natural geothermal vents and positioned throughout the park, are the only reminder of the complex sustainable system below.
Given that Oklahoma has some of the highest obesity rates in the United States, one of the primary objectives of Guthrie Green was to promote the health of its patrons through physical activity. To that end, the park offers a robust selection of activities such as bicycle races, fitness classes, and farmers markets to complement its year-long schedule of concerts and artistic performances. To further promote active commuting by its visitors, the park offers a bike share system and is in close proximity to local transit.
In 2015, Guthrie Green Park received an award for excellence from the Center for Active Design, recognizing its sizable contribution to the health and wellness of the surrounding community.