City of Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation partner for new Splash pad


(L to R) Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols and Principal Chief Bill John Baker sign a lease agreement Thursday. Back row: Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden, NSU President Steve Turner and Tribal Council Member Joe Byrd.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla.—Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker signed a 25-year lease agreement with the city of Tahlequah Thursday that will bring the city’s first splash pad to town.

The agreement will allow city officials to build a water playground, equipped with jet tunnels, water sprayers and rock slides, on .72 tribally owned acres downtown. The city will lease the space for $1 a year.

“Establishing good governmental partnerships that improve the lives of Cherokees and non-Cherokees alike is something I believe in and we will continue to develop these kinds of infrastructure improvements for our citizens,” Chief Baker said.
The nearly $200,000 splash pad is part of $150 million in new infrastructure for the city of Tahlequah in recent years. Northeastern State University is building a new multipurpose event center, and Cherokee Nation, a new $50 million hospital. The city of Tahlequah’s sports complex and new city swimming pool are also a few of the planned investments.

“We’ve worked hard to make the city of Tahlequah more family-friendly with new parks, an outdoor skating rink and now a splash pad, because we know having a good quality of life is vital to our community’s growth,” Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said. “We certainly could not have done this project if not for the important partnership with Chief Baker and the Cherokee Nation.”

The splash pad, to open in 2014, is located adjacent to Norris Park on Water Street. It will offer picnic tables, dumping water buckets, a water wheel and a foam landing pad.

Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896 

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