Jenks Riverwalk installing culturally inspired community playground

February 28, 2024

Guests will soon enjoy a new interactive and culturally inspired playground when visiting the Jenks Riverwalk, set to open on Thursday, April 4.

The 4,000+ sq. ft. playground, running adjacent the Tulsa Riverparks Trail System, underneath Marble Slab & Great American Cookies and Andolini’s Pizzeria, will feature the largest rotomolded slide in the world, an Eagles Nest play area, and Muscogee Nation culturally significant design elements such as canoes, clan animals, and more.

For this project, Riverwalk partnered with Happy Playgrounds, who built the playground around play-based learning with perceived risk.

Owner Kelli Collins said Happy Playground’s design focuses on the natural world that surrounds us, particularly the Riverwalk, as well as the beautiful, educational, and inspiring Native American culture.

“There is so much history to be learned from our Native American brothers and sisters, and as a Native American owned company, we value the opportunity to provide meaningful cultural elements to our playgrounds,” said Collins. “We are so excited about this play space and cannot wait for the community to enjoy it!”

On the heels of the pandemic, a law of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation authorized the expenditure of fiscal relief funds to assist with Jenks Riverwalk tourism and recreation improvement projects, including the playground. 

Other projects include newly installed nature telescopes that overlook the Arkansas River; murals by Mvskoke artists Joe Hopkins, Johnnie Diacon and Starr Hardridge; improved signage and more.

Debbie Severson, Interim CEO of Onefire Holding Company, said these improvements add to an already great destination to play, dine and gather within the Muscogee Reservation.  

“We are making great efforts to improve the Muscogee Nation’s Riverwalk property and could not be more excited for the continued growth of the Riverwalk,” said Severson. “Adding a dynamic playground feature for families to enjoy will enhance the Jenks Riverwalk experience for generations to come.”

Jenks Riverwalk will host a grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 4 at 11 a.m. The community is welcome to attend.

Happy Playgrounds was founded in 2018 and is a Certified Woman Owned Small Business and Native American Owned. Their projects include churches, schools, parks, and homeowners associations throughout Oklahoma and Arkansas. Their team has a combined 25 years of award-winning experience in the playground, shelter, and site amenities business.

Learn more about Happy Playgrounds at www.happyplaygrounds.com.

Read the full Q&A with Happy Playgrounds.

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