OKLAHOMA CITY - Nearly four miles of the Oklahoma City River Trail recently received a major face-lift.

As many as 800 new trees were planted, several stone seating area and new irrigation have been installed on the trail located on the north side of the Oklahoma River between Portland and Harvey Avenues.

The project began in November of 2018 and is part of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s 50-year anniversary celebration. It is an effort to increase the amount of shade on the trail and encourage more use. 

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation worked with the city Parks and Recreation Department and the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority.

Officials are excited about the progress.

“We’re starting to get some really good traction on different projects, we're starting to work all the way across the city,” said Brian Dougherty, horticulturist and landscape architect for the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. “It's taking areas like this and you do these more massive types of projects and I think it just gives us that much more traction when we look forward and start planning proactively into the future.”

A lot of thought went into the selection of vegetation for the project.

Trail users will notice prairie areas filled with wildflowers.

“There are several oak varieties and sycamore’s,” said Dougherty. “The idea is that these are going to be sustainable, that 50-years from now these trees will be that much longer. In this part of the country you have look about sustainability from storms.”

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has awarded nearly $3.5 million in public beautification and landscape enhancement projects throughout Central Oklahoma. The Parks and Public Space Initiative grew out of a $1.5 million gift from the estate of Oklahoma City school teacher Margaret Annis Boys.

The Oklahoma City Community foundation is a 501©(3) public charity that was founded in 1969.