Cherokee Nation Park sees continual improvements

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
03/03/2016 08:15 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Horse riders enjoy riding through Cherokee Nation Park during the initial ride of a horse trail in November 2013. The park is located about five miles south of Interstate 40 on Dwight Mission Road in Sequoyah County. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
SALLISAW, Okla. – Since 2013, the Cherokee Nation’s Natural Resources department has improved land in Sequoyah County it received nearly 20 years ago from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Nearly three years ago, Natural Resources workers bulldozed a trail next to the lake and utilized former roads that once were a part of the Sallisaw Creek Park to create a popular 6.2-mile horse-riding trail.

The park was renamed Cherokee Nation Park to avoid confusion with another park named Sallisaw Creek Park a few miles up the road. Cherokee Nation Park Manager Mike Collins said Natural Resources crews are finishing up a 40-foot-by-200-foot barn that people will use to house horses before and after trail rides at the park.

He said because the initial horse-riding trail has been so popular the barn was built to complement the trail and accommodate horse riders, and there are plans to clear land for another horse trail.

“We should be able to stable about 20 to 25 horses, and we have a 40 (foot)-by-40 (foot) arena at one end of it (barn),” he said.

Collins said Natural Resources has cleared more than one mile for the additional riding trail, which will be six miles long. He said the new trail would be wide enough to accommodate horse-drawn wagons.

Collins said he also hopes to get water and restrooms added in the barn area for riders, and plans to pour five concrete pads for riders to park horse trailers. Also, a 30-foot-by-30-foot shelter is ready next to the barn for riders to have cookouts and meetings.

Horse owners from throughout Oklahoma and Arkansas use the current riding trail, which offers views of the Arkansas River and Kerr Lake.

“We have big turnouts here. Every weekend we have 30 to 40 riders, not including the boats we have come here,” Collins said. “When we get through with everything that’s been planned, it’ll actually bring revenue into the Cherokee Nation.”

Also in the park, Collins wants a roping or barrel-racing arena behind the barn. Land has already been cleared and prepared for the arena, but Collins said funding has yet to be allocated for it.

Eighteen years ago, the Corps of Engineers gave the CN nearly 800 acres of land in Sequoyah County adjacent to the river and lake. The corps once used the land for a recreational area called Sallisaw Creek Park that included picnic areas, boat ramps, fishing areas and camping sites that were maintained and operated by the state. About 30 years ago, the state could not afford to continue operating the entire park and eventually chose not to operate any of it.

The property had five recreational outlets on the lake and river. Four are no longer used and the fifth and largest one is maintained by the Natural Resources. This site has camping areas, a boat ramp, picnic tables and fishing areas, which are being improved by Natural Resources crews.

The park is located about five miles south of Interstate 40 on Dwight Mission Road and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. After Daylight Savings Time begins on March 13, the park’s hours will be 7 a.m to 7 p.m.

Collins said improvements to Cherokee Nation Park has allowed Natural Resources to make it a “nice place” for people to bring their families.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏌᎷᏂᎨᏴᎢ, ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ. – ᏂᏗᎬᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ 2013, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏤᎵᎢ Natural Resources Department ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏤᎳᏨᏃ ᎦᏙᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏍᏏᏉᏲᎢ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏕᎤᎩᏒᎢ ᎾᏂᎨᏍᏗ 20 ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏒᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ᏕᎤᏂᏁᎸᎢ.

ᏦᎢᏃ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎾᏂᎨᏍᏗ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ, Natural Resources ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎤᏂᏅᎿᏅᎢ ᎥᏓᎵᎢ ᎾᎥᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏅᏔᏅᎢ ᎢᎬᏱᏱᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗᏃ ᏌᎷᏂᎨᏴᎢ ᎠᎹᏳᏟᏗ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏧᎵᎪᎯ ᎨᏒᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏙᎷᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎤᏂᎸᏉᏗ 6.2- ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏧᏅᎩᎸᎡᏗᎢ ᏕᎦᏅᏅᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏄᏩᏓᎴᎢ ᏚᏃᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᏂᎵᏙᎯᏍᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏗᏐᎢ ᎠᏰᎵ
ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏧᏠᏱ ᏧᏙᎢᏓ ᏌᎷᏂᎨᏴᎢ ᎠᎹᏳᏟᏗ ᎯᎸᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏫᎦᏅᏅᎢ. ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎦᏘᏯ Mike Collins ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Ꮎ Natural Resources ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎩ ᎠᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗᎢ 40 -ᏱᎳᏏᏗ- ᎾᏍᎩᏃ -200- ᏱᎳᏏᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎳ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏯᏅᏗ ᎠᏏ ᎠᎴ Ꮓ ᏳᎵᏍᏆᏓ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏓᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ.

ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᏳᏰᏟᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎸᏉᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎾᏁᏍᎨᎲᎢ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎤᏂᏴᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏫᎬᏩᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎾᏊ ᏳᎾᎴᏅᎯ ᎠᏁᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᏙᏗ ᎬᏩᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏓᏄᎪᏗᎭ ᎤᏂᎳᏅᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᏐᎢ ᎤᏂᏅᏃᏗᎢ.

“ᎡᎵᏊᏃ ᏰᎵ 20 ᎠᎴ 25 ᎢᏳᏂᏨᎢ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎬᏩᏂᏴᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎣᎦᏓᏁᎳ 40 (ᏱᎳᏏᏗ) – ᏱᎩᏓ- 40 (ᏱᎳᏏᏗ) ᎤᎾᏕᏱᏍᏗᎢ ᏌᏩᎫᏘ ᎢᏗᏜ (ᏐᏈᎵ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏗᎢ),” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Collins Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ Ꮎ Natural Resources ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎤᏂᎳᏅᏓᏛᎢ ᏑᏟᎶᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᏅᎯᏓ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎥᎿ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏧᎾᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᏕᎾᏅᏅᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏑᏓᎵ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ. ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏤᎢ ᏅᏃᎯ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎾᏯᏔᎡᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏐᏈᎵ-ᏗᎦᏏᏁᎯ ᏙᏆᎴᎷ ᏧᏪᏓᏍᏗᎢ.

Collins Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎤᏮᏐᎢ ᎠᎹ ᏗᎦᎷᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏙᏱ ᎤᎾᏨᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏠᏯᏍᏙᏗ ᎥᎿ ᏓᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏰᎵ ᏗᎬᏩᏅᏙᏗ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᏧᏄᎪᏔᏅᎢ ᏅᏯ ᎢᏧᏍᏗ ᏧᏂᏰᏍᏛᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᏙᏆᎴᎷ ᏧᏂᏗᎢ. ᎠᎴᎾᏍᏊ, ᎾᏍᎩ 30- ᏱᎳᏏᏗ- ᏱᎩᏓ- 30 -ᏱᎳᏏᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎠᏓᏁᎳ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᎥᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎦᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏍᏓᏴᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᏠᎯᏍᏗᎢ.

ᏐᏈᎵ Ꮓ ᏧᏂᎾᏝᎢ ᏂᎬᎾᏛᎢ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎠᎴ ᏙᏧᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᏓᏅᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᏳᎳ ᏥᏕᎦᏅᏅᎾ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏫᎬᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᏚᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᎡᏉᏂ ᎤᏪᏴᎢ ᎠᎴ Kerr ᎠᏍᏚᎲᎢ.

“ ᎡᎵᏃᏙ ᎤᏂᎪᏗᎢ ᎠᏂᎷᎪᎢ. ᏧᎾᎩᎶᏍᏗᏃ ᎠᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ 30 ᎠᎴ 40 ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎷᎪᎢ, ᎠᎴᎾᏍᏊ ᏥᏳᎢ ᏗᏂᏂᏙᏗ ᎠᏂᎷᎪᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Collins. “ᎣᏥᏍᏆᏛᏃ ᏂᎦᎥᎢ ᏦᎫᎪᏔᏅᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗᏃ ᎤᎷᏤᎯ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ.”

ᎠᎴᎾᏍᏊ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ, Collins Z ᎤᏚᎵᎭ ᏧᏂᏍᏜᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏒᏙᏂ ᏗᏙᎩᏯᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏛᏁᏟᏗᎢ ᎤᏃᏢᏗᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏐᏈᎵ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏗ ᎤᏌᏛᎢ . ᎦᏙᏃ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎤᏂᎶᎨᏛᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏛᏂᎢᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎤᏃᏢᏗᎢ,ᎠᏎᏃ Collins ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎥᏝ ᎠᏏ ᎠᏯᏙᏢᎢ ᏱᎩ.

ᏁᎳᏚᎢ ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Corps of Engineers 800 ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎦᏙ ᎨᏥᏁᎸᎢ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎥᎿ ᏍᏏᏉᏲᎢ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎥᎿ ᎾᎥᎢ ᎡᏉᏂ ᎤᏪᏴᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏍᏚᎲᎢ ᎾᎥᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Corps ᏌᏊᏃ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏘ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎤᎾᏛᏅᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎦᏙᎯ ᏣᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮓ ᏯᏂᏪᏎᎯ ᎨᏒᎢ Sallisaw Creek Park ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏕᎪᏢᏒᎢ ᎤᎾᏅᏗᎢ, ᏥᏳᎢ ᏧᏂᏔᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ, ᎤᎾᏑᏗᎢ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏧᏂᎵᏦᏙᏗᎢ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏚᎾᎦᏎᏍᏕᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏚᎾᏂᎩᏍᏕᎢ . ᎡᎵᏃ 30 ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎥᏝ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎬᏩᏅᎯᎸᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗ ᏂᎬᎾᏛᎢ ᎠᏰᎵᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏄᎪᏔᏅᎢ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎥᎿ ᎦᏙᎢ ᏕᎪᏢᏒᎢ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏱᎦᎢ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎠᏍᏚᎲᎢ ᎾᎥᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎡᏉᏂ ᎤᏪᏴᎢ ᎾᎥᎢ. ᏅᎩᏃ ᏱᎦᎢ ᎥᏝ ᏃᏊ ᏱᏓᏅᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮎ ᎯᏍᎩᏁ ᎠᎴ ᏭᏔᏅᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ Natural Resources ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗᎢ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᏧᏙᏢᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏙᏢᎭ ᏧᏂᎳᏦᏙᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏥᏳᎢ ᏧᏂᏔᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏙᎦᏍᎩᎳ ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏓᏰᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏑᏗᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᎭ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᎩ ᏓᏂᏤᎲᏍᏗᎢ Natural Resource ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ .

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏰᎵᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏙᏢᎭ ᎯᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏩᏂᎩᏓ ᎤᎦᎾᏮᎢ ᏗᏜ ᎤᏔᎾ ᎦᏅᏅᎢ 40 ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏗᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩᎢ ᎦᏅᏅᎢ ᏴᎠ ᎠᎴ Ꮓ ᎠᏍᏚᎢᏐᎢ 7 a.m. 5 p.m. ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎢᎦ ᏒᏂᏙᏆᏍᏗ. ᎤᎶᏐᏅᎢ ᏩᏥ ᏓᏂᏁᏟᏴᏍᎬᎢ ᎢᏴᏃ ᎠᏓᎴᏂᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏅᏱ 13, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎢᏴ ᎠᏟᎠᎵᏒᎢ 7 a.m. 7p.m. ᏩᏍᏘ.

Collins Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᏂᏤᎳᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᏥᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ Ꮓ ᎤᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ Natural Resources ᎾᏍᎩ “ᎤᏬᏚᎯ ᎡᏓᏍᏗᎢ” ᎤᏳᏅᏁᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏴᏫ ᏧᎾᏘᏃᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ.

About the Author
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. 

For many years h ...
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. For many years h ...

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