‘Inclusive’ Freedom Trail project proceeds

Splash pad equipment arrives; new playground coming soon

Tammy Kretchmar

By Conrad Dudderar
Associate Editor

Construction is moving into high gear on Yukon’s new “inclusive” Freedom Trail Playground and splash pad water spray ground.

“This week, plumbing for the splash pad is being installed,” Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar reported Sept. 5. “The splash pad equipment has arrived.

“Playground equipment is scheduled to arrive any day now.”

Rudy Construction was awarded a $1,682,221.28 contract to install new state-of-the-art play equipment and the water feature. A $400,000 federal Land & Water Conservation Fund grant covers about 23.7% of the project cost.

Freedom Trail Playground, near Yukon’s Mulvey Pond across from Shedeck Elementary School, remains closed to the public during renovations.

The City of Yukon hosted a ground-breaking ceremony March 7 for this project in Yukon City Park, 2200 S Holly.

Participants included Yukon city leaders, park board members and Yukon’s Diana Hale – who headed an all-volunteer committee that built Freedom Trail Playground in the mid-’90s.

Freedom Trail – a playground designed for people of all ages and abilities – has been closed since spring 2022 when crews demolished the old play structures and related items.

Over the years, the popular Yukon playground had deteriorated and required significant maintenance. Many pieces of broken equipment couldn’t be repaired or replaced.

Freedom Trail was one of only two “all-inclusive” playgrounds in Oklahoma when it opened in 1996 at Yukon City Park. It was designed as a place where people of all ages and abilities could come together to play.

Other Freedom Trail committee members were Carole Garner, Dee Blose, Melody Duty, Charles Brandley, Debbie Cain, and Bob Schwaninger.

Several original members worked with Yukon city staff and a landscape architect to help design the “new” Freedom Trail.

The updated playground will be about the same size as the previous one.

The surface will be a combination of pour-in-place rubber coating and artificial turf.

This project includes installation of Yukon’s second splash pad, the first having opened in May 2014 at Sunrise Park.



City Manager Kretchmar provided status updates on Freedom Trail and other capital improvement projects during a report at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

“We’ve been busy with projects,” Kretchmar told the public.

Other highlights were:

  • Wastewater Treatment Plant: Water sampling will begin next week for expansion of the plant, 501 W Wagner Road, from 3 million to 5 million gallons per day.
  • Yukon Fire Station #1: Bid specifications are being prepared for contractors to make masonry repairs at the Yukon Fire Department’s headquarters, 1000 E Main.
  • Holly Avenue Storm Drain: Ten consecutive working days are needed for a city contractor to replace a gary grate at Holly and Montreal, which means this work won’t be done until next spring after the school year ends.
  • Dale Robertson Center: New heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) units are scheduled for delivery next January at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore. A city contractor is now performing prep work.
  • Wagner Road, Health Center Parkway, Frisco Road: Surveys are complete on Wagner Road and Health Center Parkway drainage projects and a Frisco Road sewer line extension project. The city engineer is working on construction plans and specifications.

Among the City of Yukon’s future capital projects are:

  • Installation of traffic signals at the N.W. 10th/Shedeck Parkway intersection.
  • Intersection upgrades at the Yukon Parkway/Vandament intersection.
  • Waterline replacement along Lakeshore Drive.
  • Upgrades to the Wagner Road lift station.

Completed capital projects include a Parkland lift station upgrade and sewer rehabilitations funded by an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal stimulus grant.