Neighborhood garden a labor of love

When the first vegetable ripens on the vine, Jim Barnes is already on planning on getting out the salt and pepper and sampling his labor of love.

A vacant parcel of land in west Bartlesville has turned into a growing opportunity for Barnes and his neighbors.

Instead of having the city mow the land this summer, Barnes and his neighbors talked over the possibility of putting in a community garden. So, he called city officials, and they were happy to allow them use the land for a garden as long as they had permission from the land owner.

The 25-foot by 50-foot garden is a “little more than I anticipated,” Barnes said.

Eight families are involved in the project, donating time, seeds and other materials.

“When it’s picking time I’m sure they will all be here. I don’t see them too much during weeding time,” he said with a laugh.

“When it was tilling time, you should have seen all the kids. They had a big old time pulling weeds and throwing mud.”

Interesting things were found in the ground when it was tilled, Barnes said, including money, wrenches and a tire tool.

This is the first garden Barnes has attempted, and he said it has been a learning experience from the beginning.


Tower opens “Price Tower Plaza” to community

Special to the E-E

The space that was once a simple downtown street and parking lot has been transformed into a uniquely designed outdoor venue and gathering place. The new Tower Center at Unity Square beautifully connects Bartlesville Community Center and the iconic Price Tower creating a picturesque green space in the heart of downtown. And now, the Tower’s newly opened “Price Tower Plaza” has become a key place to take in the scenic views.

According to Price Tower Executive Director Rick Loyd, the concept to utilize the outdoor space adjacent to the Tower has been in the works for quite some time. Loyd says as they worked with designers and architects regarding the best utilization of the space, they decided the “Plaza” was the perfect way to make use of the downstairs kitchen and the Tower’s south terrace.

“We realized that the lovely patio area which connects us to the green space is the perfect location to enjoy both Unity Square’s views and the beautiful view of Price Tower - and from an angle most have never taken advantage of,” said Loyd. “We wanted to be able to provide a casual outdoor space downtown for people to enjoy good food, drinks and conversation alongside the most scenic view in town.”

The newly designed “Price Tower Plaza” is appointed with modern outdoor tables and chairs complete with over-sized outdoor umbrellas and newly planted patio trees providing shade. As summer temps heat up, plans to install misters to help keep visitors cool are also underway. Seven days a week plaza-goers can enjoy the shade and scenic views along with refreshing beverages and creative casual dining options crafted by Price Tower’s Wright Chef, Jordan Keen.


Wooden Buffalo Collectibles a hobby for retired couple

Ron and Teresa Schooley have enjoyed renting booths at craft malls over the years, and when they had an opportunity to open and operate their own site, they “jumped in with both feet.”

The couple opened Wooden Buffalo Collectibles off of Madison Boulevard and Adams Road earlier this month. A grand opening is scheduled in July with a food truck and giveaways.

“We jumped in with both feet,” Ron Schooley said. “I believe, and I feel, it’s going well. We are getting a lot of positive feedback.

“Since we opened, we’ve had a lot of people come in.”

The Schooleys both worked for Conoco Phillips before retiring. Ron Schooley, who worked in global customer support, had health issues and decided to retire. But he couldn’t stand to be idle, so he went to work for Allied Security where he says he enjoys visiting with people.

The mall, he said, is not a job, it is a fun hobby.

Dealers from Bartlesville, Ocheleta, Nowata and Coffeyville are among the 32 vendors selling their wares at the mall.

Teresa Schooley said the mall offers a variety of items including Dusty Trail motorcycle gear, collectible toy vehicles, antiques and crafts, jellies and jams, old cookie jars, native beaded earrings, hand-embroidered items and the works of two artists — Rod Bailey and Linda Rous.

The mall also offers amenities for those who are tagging along with shoppers. Comfortable chairs are available for sitting, and the Schooleys plan to keep coffee on hand so people can relax while others peruse the merchandise.

Wooden Buffalo is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 918-715-5002.

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