Peggy's Pond at Gathering Place
A water feature in the heart of A Gathering Place is renamed for its donor.
Visitors to Peggy’s Pond will be able to rent equipment, including kayaks and canoes, at the nearby Boathouse.
Rendering courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
The elements: Pond and wetland gardens
Previously called Blair Pond, “Peggy’s Pond” — recently renamed for donor Peggy Stephenson — is centrally located on the site of the former Blair Mansion.
Groundwater will feed into the pond and surrounding wetland gardens, helping to clean and purify the pond. Its tranquil waters will provide recreational activities such as wildlife observation, fishing and boating.
Three docks will extend over the pond with spaces to park boats and opportunities for fishing and picnicking. The pond will be situated near the park’s major elements and dining options.
“People can tie up their boat and run in to get an ice cream, a coffee or a meal,” says Jeff Stava, executive director and trustee of Tulsa’s Gathering Place LLC. “You could even go down to the water’s edge to eat your lunch or dinner.”
The donors: Charles and Peggy Stephenson
The Stephensons were two of the earliest donors to A Gathering Place. At $5 million, their gift will make possible Peggy’s Pond and wetland gardens.
During the couple’s 57-year marriage, they have supported numerous community projects through their family foundation. Education, religion and health in Oklahoma are the three causes for which the Stephensons are most passionate.
The broad-based educational programming planned for A Gathering Place — to include physical fitness, health and wellness, gardening, and wildlife and nature programs for all ages — made the park a perfect project in which to invest.
“It could be transformative for Tulsa and could be what Central Park was for New York City,” Charles says.
Peggy says she was surprised by her husband’s suggestion to name the pond after her.
“I am very humbled and excited about it because it reflects what we all do as a family,” she says. “We both love water activities and used to love to boat in our younger days.”