The groundbreaking for Wakon Iron Park was several weeks ago, and soon the park will welcome its first visitors. Wakon Iron Park is intended to touch the lives of every person who lives and visits the Pawhuska Indian Village. Wakon Iron Park is part of an overall effort to improve the physical appearance of the village, strengthen the community, and make the Pawhuska Indian Village a more attractive place to live.
One of the most important benefits of Wakon Iron Park is the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. In the near future, the Five Man Board is investing in picnic tables, park benches, and has already designed a section for future development. In partnership with Osage Nation Roads, nine parking spaces are set to be developed for the east side of Wakon Iron Park.
Regina “Ustee” Grass, MPH, has been the project manager at the Pawhuska Indian Village for 15 months and her expertise in public health, grants, and community development work ensures the Five Man Board’s success for identified projects. Grass stated: “A key benefit of Wakon Iron Park is physical activity…there is strong evidence showing when people have access to parks, they are more likely to be regularly physically active, so this is a part of a broader effort called Indian CAMP (Creative and Mindful Play).”
The Five Man Board, governing board of the Pawhuska Indian Village, has identified an outdoor basketball court with lights and bleachers, while looking at other areas of the village to improve.
Margie Williams, Chair of the Five Man Board, said: “We really took into consideration all the age groups and everyone having fun, while feeling safe.”
Wakon Iron Park will play a special role for the Pawhuska Indian Village by providing a place for people to gather and socialize and more importantly a providing a point of community pride for residents and visitors.