Turkey Mountain is the Wrong Place for an Outlet Mall

Turkey Mountain is the Wrong Place for an Outlet Mall

Turkey Mountain is the wrong place for an outlet mall. Rarely does a city have an outdoor treasure like Turkey Mountain within its city limits, and that uniqueness is what attracting record numbers of locals and out-of-towners alike. One recent event welcomed over 7,000 competitors to Turkey, many from out-of-state. Overall, visits to the area have increased by an estimated 1000% in the last 10 years, due primarily to the construction of  multiple trailhead improvements funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Hikers, families with children, mountain bikers, athletes-in-training, and average Tulsans are all present…and in growing numbers.

Occasionally, it’s difficult to explain to casual observers why this place needs to be preserved. In order to fully understand the value of this large-scale greenspace, one must begin looking at what truly makes a city special. Surveying great cities across the United States, a emphasis on preserving large open areas is clear. From the south of Texas, to New York, and across California, visionaries in these areas pushed ahead in creating places where individuals surrounded by traffic and noise could find a peaceful and necessary escape. Although controversial at the time, the forward thinking of the above city planners and philanthropists has paid off plenty-fold. How? These large parks soon became the reason that people wanted to move into their cities. Property values around and surrounding such areas improved. The health of the average citizen improved as outdoor opportunities expanded. In the big picture, there is clear value in LITTLE or CAREFUL development of an area that uniquely improves a city.

Turkey Mountain is one of these precious areas. Unfortunately, Simon Outlet Malls has purchased approximately 50 acres to build an 800,000 square feet outlet mall at Turkey Mountain. To be clear, the land in question is private property, and the owner is allowed to sell to whomever they wish. Additionally, an outlet mall brings jobs and amenities to our area; by most accounts, the upcoming construction is a win for Tulsa. However, there are Tulsans who want to give voice to concerns about encroaching upon this great place known as Turkey Mountain. These are people who run, bike, hike, walk, and view wildlife with their children, family, and friends. These are people who see value in NOT developing this area. These are people who want Tulsa to be something special, something to tell others about…and Turkey Mountain is a part of that unique landscape.

To be clear: this isn’t a choice between Tulsa having/not having an outlet mall. This is a choice whether or not to build an outlet mall at Turkey Mountain. Please call/email your city councilor, mayor, and other contacts listed below to tell them: “Simon Outlet Malls is welcome in Tulsa, but Turkey Mountain is the wrong place. Where else can we welcome this developer while preserving this unique Urban Wilderness?”

What next? If you feel that Turkey Mountain is a place that needs preserved, share this information. To make your voice heard, it would be highly beneficial to contact some/all of the following:
Email/Call as many city councilors as necessary
Email/Call the Mayor of Tulsa
Email/Call Simon Property Group

Additionally, you may share the link to this post on your preferred social media outlets. If you haven’t visited Turkey Mountain and would like to know what the fuss is about, download a trail map here.

 

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