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New park coming to downtown Lawton

LAWTON, Okla._ A vacant plot of land in downtown Lawton will soon be transformed into a new park, and the community got to chime in on how to best use the space at a meeting Monday night at City Hall.

A former gas station, which used to sit on the corner of SW 2nd and C Avenue, was recently demolished.

Leaders of the project say the park will serve as an aesthetically pleasing hub, connecting future walking and running trails to the 2nd Street retail development space.

About 50 people showed up at City Hall to share their vision for the park. Ideas ranged from waterfalls and plants to bathrooms and drinking fountains. Some raised concerns about parking in the area.

Kyle Rogers, program coordinator with Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma, says the space will not be a playground, but rather a well-landscaped information center for residents.

“A place where you can find all the information available for the activities downtown, whether it's parks or the Rail to Trails project we're working on, or the mountain bike parks, or if it's a link to Elmer Thomas Park,” says Rogers. “It's going to really serve as kind of a coordinating park for all of those activities downtown.”

A funding source for the project has not yet been determined. A number of organizations, including the Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority and the Comanche, Cotton, Tillman County Medical Society, have showed interest in donating money. The City of Lawton could also put money into the park if a Capital Improvement Project is approved by voters on Aug. 26.

Using tonight’s feedback, a survey will be created and distributed to community members to give city officials a better idea in crafting a final plan.

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