Monday, July 16, 2018
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Poteau.Life Projects


The goal of the Poteau Improvement Project and the Mountain Gateway Community Alliance is to make a difference throughout the tri-city area.  This ranges from beautification projects to unique events to large scale programs.  On this page, you’ll find details about our projects, as well as our ambitions to make the Poteau area a better place to live, work, and play.





  • The Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative:Across the country, a major push to help improve and revitalize neighborhoods has been going on.  With the Poteau Improvement Project, we want to bring that initiative here.  The first phase will be in planning and conceptualization.  Once project plans are finalized, we can begin the real work of cleaning up our neighborhoods
  • WPA Tours and Twyman Park Historic Location: A study of all of the WPA locations and parks has been completed in Poteau.  As part of our historic tours initiative, we will be creating maps and publications that highlight the various WPA locations in the area.
  • Other tours: We are working on conducting other studies to map out different tours within the town of Poteau.  These include historic cemetery tours, art tours, Black Angus tours, and others that are being considered for inclusion.
  • Rotary Outdoor Complex: Once complete, this should be a major attraction for outdoor recreation in the area.  We have been assisting in cleanup and maintaince, and will further assist the Rotary Club as needed.
  • Neighborhood Parks: We are conducting feasability studies on creating neighborhood “green spaces”.  These are small spaces within walking distance of local neighborhoods where residents can gather for things such as block parties, community gardens, and so on.
  • Historical Placemaking: As with the projects that were completed by Standridge downtown, we are looking at creating more historical points of interest throughout the city of Poteau.
  • Shade Structures: During the height of summer, many recreational areas throughout town aren’t used because of the heat.  The goal with the shade structures is to create pockets where people can cool down but still have a modern look and feel.  Areas under consideration include the Skatepark off Broadway, small parks, and the playgrounds at both Bill J. Barber Park and Twyman Park.



  • Downtown Revitalization: We are conducting a feasability study for the revitalization of Downtown Heavener.  This will be a merchant/resident led program.
  • Marketing and Promotions: Work has already begun on various marketing and promotional campaigns to help increase the awareness of what all Heavener has to offer.  Several meetings have also been set up with the KCS railroad in order to promote the history of the railroad in the area as well as to determine if there are other viable economic impacts that can be had through the railroad.



  • Downtown Revitalization: Studies have been completed that will allow for the revitalization of the downtown district in Wister.  Because a highway runs through the downtown district, much of the work will have to be through private building owners.  The goal is to clean up the appearance of the downtown area and then to market the downtown area to potential business as the “gateway to Lake Wister”. Ultimately, we hope that this will bolster the local economy by creating an “outdoor enthusiasts” destination point.
  • Sidewalks and structural improvements: We have been working with various individuals to fix many areas in the city, primarily the sidewalk running from the school to downtown and certain intersections that are dangerous.  As this would be paid through with grant money, we don’t anticipate a quick turnaround on this project.


Wister Lake

  • Various improvements: Wister Lake is one of the largest assets in the area, both socially and economically.  As such, we have been working towards bolstering the status of the park.  Initially, this is done through marketing and GIS generation.  We have been working on mapping trails and determining areas of opportunity.
  • Events and Activities: We are geared up to begin hosting more events out at Lake Wister.  The purpose of these events will be to raise money for the Poteau Improvement Project, to help purchase items needed at Lake Wister, and to help further promote the lake as a tourist destination location.


Long Lake Resort

  • Tourism: We are working with the owners to establish Long Lake as a tourist “hot-spot”.  We have been in discussions with Oklahoma Tourism and Oklahoma Commerce to create a tourist center at Long Lake.
  • Events: We are working with Long Lake to establish new and exciting events.
  • Various Improvements: As with Lake Wister, we have been working on several GIS related projects that will help with long term improvements.
  • Marketing: We’ve been working on various ways to broaden the reach of Long Lake Resort, primarily to draw in new people to the area as well as to provide further information on what the resort has to offer to the public.


Cavanal Hill

  • Cavanal Hill Historic Trail: With the research that we’ve gathered, one of our goals is to turn the route up to Cavanal into a historic trail.  This would feature areas such as the railroad accident, the mining camp, the town of Witteville, the logging accident, Captain McKenna’s orchards, Walter Beard’s Resort and Spa, and Sen. Kerr’s summer home.
  • Witteville: During the late 1800’s, there was a thriving coal mining town at the mid-point up the hill.  Over the last several years, Standridge has been able to map out all of the locations at Witteville.  As it was such an important place in history, we hope to be able to create a Witteville Park that showcases some of this history.


Poteau River

  • Cleanup: We hope to be able to begin cleaning up the Poteau River within the next two years.  Primarily, this would be ensuring that all of the trash and other items have been removed.
  • Development:  Feasability studies are in progress to determine if the Poteau River could be developed as a tourist attraction.  We have met with Oklahoma Tourism, Oklahome Commerce, the Oklahoma Water Resource Board, and several others to determine if this is a possiblity.  Additionally, we have conducted water tests to verify the safety of the water.  If the feasability studies prove to be true then we will be working towards generating plans for future development.


Frisco Trail

  • Assistance: Primarily, our goal with the Frisco trail is to provide assistance where needed.


Generate Awareness

  • Online: We are working through several different tools to help increase Poteau’s visibility in the online community.  One of Standridge’s partners has recently been aquired  by a much larger company that has a significant online presence and is optimized for SEO and SERPs.
  • Print Media: We are working with various individuals in order to create literature that focuses on many of the areas that we are working on.



While some of these projects have already begun, many won’t be ready to impliment for several years.  This is considered a long term project.  In some areas, we’re already seeing results, but in others, it could take several years for those to show.  Overall, the projects listed here should be in progress within five years.



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