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Civic leaders celebrate tree planting project along Oklahoma River

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A cyclist rides along the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail during a dedication ceremony Wednesday along the north shore of the Oklahoma River. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]
A cyclist rides along the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail during a dedication ceremony Wednesday along the north shore of the Oklahoma River. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

Civic leaders sank shovels into the ground along the north shore of the Oklahoma River and ceremoniously planted a bur oak tree under a bright, cloudless sky Wednesday morning.

Someday, the tree will tower over those who visit the trail, providing shade from the sweltering summer sun or a picnic spot. It's among 800 trees that were planted recently as part of a project coordinated by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in partnership with the city's Parks and Recreation Department and the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority.

The beautification project also included enhanced landscaping with native grasses and wildflowers and new seating stones. It will transform what was a mostly empty 3.5-mile stretch of trail along the river's north shore from Harvey to Portland avenues into a linear park by adding color, shade and scenic respite areas, officials said.

The stretch of trail has been named the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail. The Community Foundation coordinated the project as part of its 50th anniversary celebration.

Wednesday morning, dozens of civic leaders and outdoor enthusiasts gathered along the river for a dedication ceremony. Afterward, runners and cyclists set off down the path, and other guests took golf cart tours of the newly landscaped area.

Related Photos
Civic leader cut the ribbon during The Oklahoma City Community Foundation's 50th anniversary ceremony with a Oklahoma River Trail dedication along the north shore in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Civic leaders, runners, cyclists and walkers gathered to dedicate the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail that was highlighted with 800 trees, stone park benches and wildflower growing areas. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

Civic leader cut the ribbon during The Oklahoma City Community Foundation's 50th anniversary ceremony with a Oklahoma River Trail dedication along the north shore in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Civic leaders, runners, cyclists and walkers gathered to dedicate the Oklahoma City...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a091c297e74cf5776a3ce7f2d820aed7.jpg" alt="Photo - Civic leader cut the ribbon during The Oklahoma City Community Foundation's 50th anniversary ceremony with a Oklahoma River Trail dedication along the north shore in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Civic leaders, runners, cyclists and walkers gathered to dedicate the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail that was highlighted with 800 trees, stone park benches and wildflower growing areas. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="Civic leader cut the ribbon during The Oklahoma City Community Foundation's 50th anniversary ceremony with a Oklahoma River Trail dedication along the north shore in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Civic leaders, runners, cyclists and walkers gathered to dedicate the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail that was highlighted with 800 trees, stone park benches and wildflower growing areas. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Civic leader cut the ribbon during The Oklahoma City Community Foundation's 50th anniversary ceremony with a Oklahoma River Trail dedication along the north shore in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Civic leaders, runners, cyclists and walkers gathered to dedicate the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail that was highlighted with 800 trees, stone park benches and wildflower growing areas. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-22abf6b78886debe4318820dbf34cb3f.jpg" alt="Photo - A cyclist rides along the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail during a dedication ceremony Wednesday along the north shore of the Oklahoma River. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title=" A cyclist rides along the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail during a dedication ceremony Wednesday along the north shore of the Oklahoma River. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> A cyclist rides along the Oklahoma City Community Foundation River Trail during a dedication ceremony Wednesday along the north shore of the Oklahoma River. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Darla Slipke

Darla Slipke is an enterprise reporter for The Oklahoman. She is a native of Bristol, Conn., and a graduate of the University of Kansas. Slipke worked for newspapers in Kansas, Connecticut, North Carolina and Oklahoma, including a previous... Read more ›

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