We, the citizens of Oklahoma City, owe our park system to some far-thinking people at the beginning of the 20th century.
Grand Boulevard, the Boulevard Beautiful, was envisioned to encircle the city with four anchoring parks, one in each of the four quadrants.
The city, of course, outgrew Grand Boulevard as a boundary, but the four parks are still serving citizens today, offering green space, golf courses, swimming pools, gardens and more.
The parks were originally named for their locations, Northeast Park, Northwest Park, Southeast Park and Southwest Park.
Over the years, the parks received the names we know them by today.
Sometime before 1911, Southeast Park was named Trosper Park for the family that homesteaded the area at Eastern Avenue and SE 29.
Trosper Park has a golf course, an archery range and bicycle and walking trails.
In 1918, Northeast Park was renamed Lincoln Park at the request of the Grant post of the G.A.R. “Grand Army of the Republic” on the anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln Park is home to a golf course, and the Oklahoma City Zoo was built on its grounds.
Will Rogers, Oklahoma’s and the nation’s beloved humorist, died in an Alaskan airplane crash in 1935.
In June 1936, City Manager Orval Mosier suggested the name of Northwest Park be changed to Will Rogers Park.
The park, with its rose gardens and flower beds located at Portland Avenue and NW 36, still bears Rogers’ name.
Southwest Park at May Avenue and SW 29 was the last to be renamed.
The Oklahoman announced on Sept. 7, 1938, that Southwest Park would be renamed “in honor of Dave S. Woodson, late Capitol Hill real estate man and civic leader.
Summer is nearly over, but there is still time to visit one of the many parks the city has to offer.
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