Woodward Park, located at 2324 S. Rockford Avenue, has throughout history served as a beakon of beauty among the ugly history of Tulsa. Throughout the relatively ugly history Tulsa, including the Tulsa Race Riot, the presence and spread of the Klu Klux Klan, and many other events, Woodward Park has nearly always served as a serene and peaceful tract of land. This 45-acre tract of land serves many purposes, but primarily to act as a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the second largest city in Oklahoma.
Woodward Park's rose garden may seem large enough to have been the work of an industrial operation, but it was actually constructed by hand. The now-nearly 5,000 roses, resting on a gentle 900-foot slope, were all planted by hand. Beginning in 1934, teams of horses, park officials, civilians, and even local Scouts began planting the collection of roses. Over the years, more and more planting terraces were accumulated, allowing for expansions of the municipal garden.
The nine present terraces are home to approximately 5,00 individual roses, representing 250 different kinds of roses. However these roses are not alone in their beauty, as pools or fountains, junipers, clematis, and magnolia trees are also found on every level.
Watched over by Pan, Greek God of the wild, the rock garden was originally a collection of streams that flowed through carefully laid limestone rocks.
During the mid-60's and 70's, in order to turn a severely eroded hillside into less of an eyesore, thousands of azaleas were planted, and now make the rock garden into one of the most viewed areas of the park. During the spring, however, the azaleas are not alone in their beauty, as blossoming redbuds, whitebuds, and dogwoods are in full bloom during the springtime. Also, in order to provide shade along the walking paths for visitors, native oaks and hickory trees populate the area surrounding the garden.
With its name deriving not from the actress, but the wife of William Shakespeare, the Anne Hathaway Herb Garden is both for public enjoyment as well as benefiting the well-being of visitors.
With specimen including geraniums, sages, mints, basil, summer and winter savory, lemon thyme, burnett, rosemary, marjoram, oregano and tarragon, the population of the herb garden in plentiful, however visitors are still asked to only take one leaf of each plant for use and/or smelling.
Welfare of the garden is currently taken up by the Anne Hathaway Herb Garden Club, which is an affiliate of the Tulsa Garden Club, located at the center of the park
Though Arboretum’s are traditionally thought of as museums, Woodward park frames it’s Arboretum as a place of exhibition, study, and general leisure.
Home to ninety-six trees in total, the Woodward Arboretum is populated by ninety native or native cultivar species including oaks, pines, dogwoods, and various kinds of shrubs. The area is also a home for sixteen species of non-native ornamental trees.
While open hillsides, secluded benches, walking trails, and natural flora are the primary aspects of Woodward Park, the statues that reside there are also highly recognized. Woodward has a grand collection of statues, including, but not limited to:
Appeal to the Great Spirit, which was donated to the park by Central High School. This statue depicts an Indigenous person on horseback pleading for an explanation for colonization.
The park also has a statue of the Greek god of the wild, Pan. The original statue was stolen, but a sketch of the monument by Hubert “Hubie” Pollok was used to recast the statue, and it was eventually rededicated.