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Today I had planned on publishing a totally different blog but something came up that simply can't wait another day. 
There's something I need to bring awareness to and I need to ask for your help! Here in Tulsa we have a wonderful Urban Wilderness Area called Turkey Mountain. It's a wonderful park/dirt trail system in Tulsa where there are miles and miles of trails for running, hiking, taking the kids for a picnic, riding your horse, mountain biking, taking amazing photographs of the skyline of Tulsa and so much more. This amazing little gem is in jeopardy. Last week it was announced that some private property adjacent to Turkey Mountain was sold to a development company, which plans to place a large high-end outlet mall in the area that will close some of the trails.
I know what you are probably thinking, "It was private property, what's the big deal?". The big deal is that the area they bought has miles of trails on it that the previous land owner had been wonderfully gracious enough to let the patrons of Turkey Mountain use even though they weren't in the care of the Tulsa River Parks Authority. And in return, the patrons of Turkey Mountain would care for and maintain the trails. The last volunteer day was in mid July and hundreds of people showed up to maintain the land and trails. It was truly a win-win situation for everyone. 

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Here is a map of the area affected. The red box is where the new outlet mall will go. You can see that there are trails leading right into that area and that's the problem. 
Let's be clear, I'm not opposed to the outlet mall at all. I'm opposed to the location of the proposed outlet mall, especially when there is plenty of land nearby that isn't part of Turkey Mountain. 
I'm opposed to the increased traffic hazards that may come when runners/bikers mix with cars. We all know who wins and who loses in the scenario. 
I'm opposed to the domino effect that may take place which could lead to the entire area around Turkey Mountain being developed and reducing the amount of space we have left to enjoy. Here's what I mean by that...

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According to a local news reporter, HALF of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is actually private property and could be sold! 
This map shows you the land that could be sold if further development of the area were to take place. It would clearly reduce the land dedicated to trails significantly, meaning the current 45 miles of trails could be reduced to just 15 miles! 

Here is where you come in. A petition has been started. I signed it already and I'm asking all of my running buddies to sign it. I know you may not live in the Tulsa area or you may have never stepped foot on Turkey Mountain, but there will come a day when this could happen to an area you love and you will want all the support you can get. Please sign the petition by clicking here.
The Hubbo and I have spent a lot of time up there on those trails and would hate to see it change to a parking lot for an outlet mall. Let's move the mall further south and leave Turkey Mountain alone. 
I think Country Crows says it best with this song...

Question! Has this ever happened to your favorite park? What did your city do?

 


Comments

Signed right away. Sad to see beautiful land like that go.

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
08/25/2014 8:13pm

Thanks for your support John!

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08/25/2014 8:34pm

This is crazy and makes me so mad! Ugh, we only get one nature and we're going to ruin it with a bunch of concrete, which will probably be empty in a few years when online shopping takes over the world! Signing!

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
08/25/2014 10:02pm

Exactly! We need to keep Turkey Mountain the way it is so many more generations can enjoy it and it can help our environment! Thanks for your support Lora!

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08/25/2014 10:11pm

Great post. I hope that they build the outlet mall somewhere else. I also hope that somehow the city or other entity can purchase this tract and the other private tracts on Turkey mountain to incorporate into the park.

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
08/25/2014 10:37pm

Thank you! Me too! Although, I don't really think we need another mall. We have 4 large shopping complexes and the last time we added a big one, it just shut down an older one. We had a similar situation pop up in 2012 with a theme park wanting to go in and take over some land of Turkey Mountain and Tulsa shared it's voice and we were able to save it back then! Hope we can get so lucky again!

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08/27/2014 1:33pm

Yeah, because there is an extreme shortage of malls you know. It's not like they are everywhere and anywhere or that it's come to the point where you see one literally in front of the other. Yeah we must allow this mall to be built before malls become extinct. I say protect the mall! (Just in case the sarcasm didn't come through in my comment, I agree 100% with you)

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
08/28/2014 8:12am

LOL Frank! I totally get you!
There has been an update and the part of Turkey Mountain has been purchased by a local philanthropist to preserve it as a green space! This won't change the plans for the mall but at least it won't reduce the trail system further like we feared!

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08/28/2014 6:40pm

Signed! Is it a crime to have green space people use and enjoy? I'm sure there are plenty of other options that wouldn't require building on such green space. Way to create awareness!

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
08/29/2014 2:21pm

Thanks for signing Jenny!
I really hope they move their plans for the mall somewhere else!

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09/16/2014 1:18am

been an update and the part of Turkey Mountain has been purchased by a local philant

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Nice to read your this post about this area, but if it is already a private property what we can do about it. A lot of times we suffer with these things and always we are in need to find the new places. Your this video is so good and I love the way you shared it here.

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