Friday, June 30, 2017 5:00 am
Against a backdrop of children flying kites and tossing Frisbees, Mayor Mick Cornett said Thursday the new downtown park will be a canvas for Oklahoma City, continually reimagined by future generations.
Christened Scissortail Park with the turning of 50 gold-painted shovelfuls of dirt, the park that was promised to MAPS 3 voters a decade ago ceremoniously began taking shape on downtown's southern fringe.
Central to the idea of the park is its role as catalyst for transformation of a residential and commercial area, condemned to blight by the old Interstate 40, into a vibrant urban district tying downtown to the Oklahoma River.
"As we stand out here today it looks a little bit like a blank canvas," Cornett said as children played behind him and adults, including elected and civic leaders, stood beneath a shade tent before him.
"There's a lot of open space out here," said the city's longest-serving mayor, who is stepping down next year. "In a way it reminds us of those young people and their lives yet to unfold."
Cornett painted the park as an ever-changing element of the city, and the city as an ever-changing community, always searching out its next self.